Eye on POY: West Virginia boys soccer

The fall soccer season may have concluded, but the search for Gatorade State Boys Soccer Players of the Year is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Tommy Trupo

Senior forward, Charleston Catholic High (Charleston, WV)

2011 Team record: 23-0-2

2011 Team standing: Won Class AA-A state title

2011 Goals: 40

2011 Assists: 17

2011 Points per game: 2.28

Career goals: 102

Career assists: 37

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Marshall

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Class AA-A Player of the Year; NSCAA All-American; Three goals and an assist in state title game; Returning Gatorade West Virginia Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

Brian Runyon

Senior forward, Parkersburg High (Parkersburg, WV)

2011 Team record: 17-5

2011 Team standing: Lost in Class AAA regional final

2011 Goals: 38

2011 Assists: 23

2011 Points per game: 2.77

Career goals: 120

Career assists: 55

Academics: A average

Collegiate destination: Northern Kentucky

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Class AAA Player of the Year; Three-time First Team All-State selection; Holds share of state record for single-season goals scored.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Boys Soccer Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.

Carter Phillips: George Washington High (Charleston, WV) Senior midfielder

Trevor Starcher: Hurricane High (Hurricane, WV) Senior midfielder

Brady Reymond: Point Pleasant High (Point Pleasant, WV) Junior goalkeeper

Wes McWatters: Hurricane High (Hurricane, WV) Senior defender

Errin Baynes: Wheeling Park High (Wheeling, WV) Senior midfielder

Kris Robins: Washington High (Charles Town, WV) Senior midfielder

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.