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: Dakota Edwards
School: Sayville (West Sayville, N.Y.)
Athletic achievement: Edwards scored eight goals and passed for 12 assists this past season, leading the Golden Flashes (14-3-1) to the Suffolk County finals. An All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, he is also the NSCAA New York Player of the Year, the Long Island Player of the Year and a two-time All-State honoree.
Academic excellence: Edwards has maintained a B-plus average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of an area soup kitchen and youth soccer programs.
“He’s imposing physically, he’s very good in the air and he has a real understanding of the game,” said Matt Allen, head coach of Byram Hills (Armonk, N.Y.). “He’s very physical, but he’s smart too. Without question, he’s the best defensive player that I’ve seen.”
THE FUTURE: Edwards has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at the University of Maryland this fall.