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Berkshire's Harrison named Gatorade boys soccer POY

In its 30th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Jack Harrison of Berkshire School as its 2014-15 Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Harrison is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Berkshire School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Harrison as Massachusetts’s best high school boys soccer player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced in May, Harrison joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook HS, Mich.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, East Brunswick HS, N.J.) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.).

The state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, the 5-foot-10, 155-pound senior midfielder led the Bears to a 19-2-1 record and a second straight New England Prep School Athletic Council Class A championship this past season. Harrison scored 16 goals and passed for 27 assists. One of two players nationally to be chosen as an All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America for both high school and club soccer play, Harrison was also the 2014 Boston Globe All-Scholastic Prep School Offensive Player of the Year. He concluded his prep soccer career with 44 goals and 65 assists.

Harrison has maintained a B average in the classroom. A school ambassador and tour guide, the native of England has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach and as part of multiple community-service initiatives in association with Berkshire’s Helping Hands organization.

“Jack Harrison brings it all to the table for Berkshire,” said Eric Zimmer, head coach of Bridgton (Maine) Academy. “He is the glue that ties an already dominant team together.”

Harrison has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Wake Forest University beginning this fall.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Two-time winner Harrison joins Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Soccer Players of the Year Mac Steeves (2012-13, Needham High School), Oliver White (2011–12, Noble & Greenough School), Cole DeNormandie (2010–11, Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School), Leon Brown (2009-10, The Roxbury Latin School), Charlie Rugg (2008–09, The Rivers School), Jan Trnka-Amrhein (2007-08, Noble and Greenough School), and Ben Slingerland (2006-2007, St. John's Prep School) among the state’s list of former award winners.