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/Midfielder, Brighton High (Cottonwood Heights, UT)
2012 Team record: 13-1
2012 Team standing: Top-ranked team in Class 5A
2012 Goals: 8
2012 Assists: 14
2012 Points per game: 1.57
Career goals: 16
Career assists: 31
Academics: A-plus average
Collegiate destination: BYU
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Salt Lake Tribune Second Team All-State in 2011; First Team All-Region; Team ranked No. 48 in ESPNHS Fab 50.
Senior Midfielder, Davis High (Kaysville, UT)
2012 Team record: 12-3-1
2012 Team standing: State playoffs begin May 15
2012 Goals: 15
2012 Assists: 8
2012 Points per game: 1.44
Career goals: 36
Career assists: 33
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Undecided
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Salt Lake Tribune First Team All-State in 2011, Second Team in 2010; First Team All Region; Started on 2010 state championship team.
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 2012-12 campaign.
Nick Thiros: Junior Midfielder, Layton High (Layton, UT)
Matt Gay: Senior Forward, Orem High (Orem, UT)
Alex Espinoza: Junior Midfielder, Wasatch High (Heber City, UT)
Besser Davila: Senior Forward, Mountain View High (Orem, UT)
Payden Pemberton: Senior Midfielder, Salem Hills High (Salem, UT)
Aaron Caprio: Junior Forward, Lehi High (Lehi, UT)
Richard Haddock: Senior Forward, Bountiful High (Bountiful, UT)
Trase Stapley: Senior Defender, Roy High (Roy, UT)
Parker Dixon: Senior Midfielder, Weber High (Pleasant View, UT)
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.