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 Defender/Midfielder, Manchester Central High (Manchester, NH)
2011 Team record: 18-0-1
2011 Team standing: Won Div. I state title
2011 Goals: 2
2011 Assists: 10
2011 Points per game: 0.63
Career goals: 10
Career assists: 35
Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: New Hampshire
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: First Team All-State; Captain of state championship team; Reached 2010 state title game.
Junior Forward, Bedford High (Bedford, NH)
2011 Team record: 19-0-1
2011 Team standing: Won Div. 2 state title
2011 Goals: 16
2011 Assists: 12
2011 Points per game: 1.40
Career goals: 44
Career assists: 24
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: HS Junior
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: NSCAA All-New England; First Team All-State; MVP of Div. 2 state finals.
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.
Brian Hart: Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter, NH) Senior forward
Andre Simmond: Londonderry High (Londonderry, NH) Junior midfielder
Matt Cooper: Londonderry High (Londonderry, NH) Junior defender
Peter Siragusa: Pinkerton Academy (Derry, NH) Senior goalkeeper
Willis Griffith: Souhegan High (Amherst, NH) Junior defender
Peguy N'gatcha: Kimball Union Academy (Meriden, NH) Junior 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.