A dedicated ESPNHS team managed this past fall's Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For his 29 fellow Gatorade State Fall Boys Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Christiano Francois
School: St. Benedict’s Prep (Newark, N.J.)
Weight: 140 pounds
Athletic achievement: Francois led the Gray Bees to a 24-0 record and the New Jersey Prep A state championship this past season. He scored 44 goals and passed for 22 assists, including a goal and an assist in a 4-1 win over Pennington School (Pennington, N.J.) in the state final. The 2011 Newark Star Ledger New Jersey Prep Player of the Year, Francois is a two-time First Team Prep All-State selection. He concluded his two seasons at St. Benedict’s with 60 goals and 41 assists.
Academic excellence: Francois has maintained a B average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A refugee from Haiti who came to the United States two years ago, he has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach and on behalf of the Special Olympics in addition to serving as a gospel singer in his church choir.
“Christiano Francois is a fabulous player. His speed and technical ability make him as dynamic as any player I have seen in New Jersey over the last decade,” said Ryan Spring, head coach of Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.). “He is a tireless worker who is constantly making runs, finding space and creating opportunities for himself and his teammates.”
THE FUTURE: Francois has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the University of Maryland this fall.