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.
Junior midfielder, Cardinal Newman (Columbia, S.C.)
2012 Team record: 17-4
2012 Team standing: South Carolina Independent School Association Class 3A state semifinals on Wednesday
2012 Goals: 10
2012 Assists: 15
Career goals: 31
Career assists: 50
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: University of South Carolina (verbal)
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Averaging 1.67 points per game this season. U.S. Soccer Under-18 Men’s National Team member. 2011 SCISA Class 3A Player of the Year. No. 23 ranked recruit in Class of 2013 as rated by ESPNHS.
Senior midfielder, Christ Church Episcopal (Greenville, S.C.)
2012 Team record: 15-3
2012 Team standing: Class A state tournament second-round game on Thursday
2012 Goals: 11
2012 Assists: 12
Career goals: 33
Career assists: 37
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Georgetown University
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Averaging 1.28 points per game this season. Member of the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Men’s National Team player pool. Plays for the 11-time Class A state champions. No. 31 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS.
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.
Joe Amon: Senior midfielder, Summerville (S.C.)
Matthew Freeman: Senior defender, Irmo (Columbia, S.C.)
Nestor Jaramillo: Senior forward, Cardinal Newman (Columbia, S.C.)
Devin L’Amoreaux: Senior midfielder, Fort Dorchester (North Charleston, S.C.)
Trent Rieflin: Senior defender, Wando (Mount Pleasant, S.C.)
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.