Brett Gerry learned early that if you want to attain something, you have to work for it.

Two individual state wrestling titles and now a Class B state football championship can attest to that fact.

Gerry, a senior, has worked hard in the weight room and at practices, as have his teammates, and the rewards have come.

“I think being in wrestling, I learned you really have to work hard,” he said. “From my freshman to my sophomore years, I got a better understanding of what it takes to be successful in football. It’s about improving as an individual and everyone doing their jobs. This is what I want and this is how I’m going to go about achieving it.”

This season, Marshwood football got a taste of the real Gerry.

After a high ankle sprained limited his effectiveness as a junior, Gerry was healthy this fall and rushed for a school-record 2,225 yards.

He scored 32 touchdowns as Marshwood (12-0) won the state championship Nov. 22 with a 44-18 victory against Brunswick.

Because the Hawks had blowouts in 11 of their 12 games, Gerry carried the ball very little, if at all, in the second half of games but averaged an amazing 12.3 yards per carry.

As a linebacker, he finished third on the team in tackles and had an interception.

For his performance, Gerry was selected as Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year.

“I have never had a player play or practice harder than Brett,” said Coach Alex Rotsko. “Brett Gerry might be the best all-around football player I’ve coached in 35 years.

“He has, without a doubt, been the leader of our football team. His teammates elected him captain of the team his junior and senior years.”

Rotsko said nobody works harder than Gerry in the offseason, describing him as an avid weight lifter and fitness fanatic.

Gerry and a few of his teammates hit the weight room and got bigger and stronger.

“Going into my sophomore year, I weighed 160 pounds,” said Gerry. “This year I was 200-plus and retained the same speed. Getting bigger has helped my football.”

After going undefeated in eighth-grade football, Gerry and his teammates knew they had the potential to do something special in high school. Playing on the varsity as a freshman, Gerry was part of a team that went 2-6.

Rotsko arrived from Longmeadow High in Massachusetts the next season and the Hawks won Western Class B, then fell to Mt. Blue 44-42 in a wild state final.

Marshwood lost to Kennebunk last season in the regional final but was dominant this fall.

“Ever since the eighth grade, we knew what our class was capable of,” said Gerry.

Gerry carries a 91 grade-point average and wants to continue his football career in college.