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: Drew Conner
School: Cary-Grove (Cary, Ill.)
Weight: 165 pounds
Athletic achievement: Conner scored 14 goals and passed for 17 assists this past season, leading the Trojans (17-3) to the regional final in the Class 3A Barrington Sectional Tournament. The Northwest Herald Boys Soccer Player of the Year and a First Team All-State selection, he did not play high school soccer as a junior, suiting up instead for Schwaben in the Metropolitan Soccer League, an amateur adult men’s club.
Academic excellence: Conner has maintained a B average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: He founded a local charitable initiative, Boots for Bolivia, which donates soccer equipment and clothes to needy children in Bolivia, and he has volunteered locally donating and wrapping holiday presents for under-privileged children.
“Drew Conner elevated that team in a huge way,” said Scott Steib, head coach of Barrington (Ill.). “Drew did more for his team because they don’t typically have someone like that. He made all of them better.”
THE FUTURE: Conner has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the University of Wisconsin this fall.