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.
Senior forward, South Kingstown (Wakefield, R.I.)
2011 Team record: 10-7-3
2011 Team standing: Lost Division 1 state quarterfinals
2011 Goals: 14
2011 Assists: 4
2011 Points per game: 1.13
Career goals: 28
Career assists: 11
Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Undecided
How he’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Had a direct hand in 18 of South Kingstown's 31 goals (58.1 percent). 2011 First Team All-State selection. 2011 Most Valuable Player as named by The Narragansett Times. 2010 First Team All-Division selection. 2010 First Team All-State Tournament selection.
Senior midfielder, La Salle Academy (Providence, R.I.)
2011 Team record: 15-1-5
2011 Team standing: Division 1 state champions
2011 Goals: 7
2011 Assists: 12
2011 Points per game: 0.90
Career goals: 19
Career assists: 30
Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Connecticut College (verbal)
How he’s played herself into the State POY conversation: As a defensive midfielder, helped La Salle's defense to 10 shutouts and a goals against average of 0.81. Had a direct hand in 19 of the Rams' 52 goals (36.5 percent). 2011 NSCAA State Player of the Year. Two-time First Team All-State selection.
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.
Emerson Barros: Senior forward, Shea (Pawtucket, R.I.)
Joao Cardoso Junior midfielder, Shea (Pawtucket, R.I.)
Stevie Duncan: Sophomore midfielder, Barrington (R.I.)
Andrew Jones: Junior goalkeeper, Barrington (R.I.)
Torrey Stricklin: Senior midfielder, Bishop Hendricken (Warwick, R.I.)
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.