The window on the Gatorade State Boys Soccer Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes 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, Westlake (Austin, Texas)
2012 Team record: 25-2-1
2012 Team standing: Lost in Class 5A state semifinals
2012 Goals: 24
2012 Assists: 16
Career goals: 31
Career assists: 22
Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Florida's Rollins College
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Averaged 1.43 points per game this season. District 15-5A Most Valuable Player.
Senior midfielder, Plano (Texas)
2012 Team record: 17-3-7
2012 Team standing: Lost in Class 5A state tournament Round of 16
2012 Goals: 11
2012 Assists: 9
Career goals: 20
Career assists: 17
Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: South Carolina's Furman University
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Averaged 0.74 points per game this season. District 8-5A MVP. Dallas Morning News Metroplex All-Area Team 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.
Kayode George: Junior forward, Alief Elsik (Houston)
Haiden Lane: Junior midfielder, Brenham (Texas)
Blake Muehlstein: Senior goalkeeper, Nolan Catholic (Fort Worth, Texas)
Jefry Saravia: Senior forward, Thomas Jefferson (Dallas)
Jack Wolf: Senior forward, Berkner (Richardson, Texas)
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.