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 midfielder, Episcopal (Alexandria, Va.)
2011 Team record: 12-6-4
2011 Team standing: Virginia Independent School Division I state champions
2011 Goals: 18
2011 Assists: 9
Career goals: 55
Career assists: 28
Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: University of Maryland
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Averaging 1.23 points per game this season. 2011 Washington Post All-Met Player of the Year. Two-time VISAA State Player of the Year.
Senior midfielder, Deep Run (Glen Allen, Va.)
2012 Team record: 12-1 (Group AAA)
2012 Team standing: Regular season ends May 17
2012 Goals: 27
2012 Assists: 22
Career goals: 66
Career assists: 52
Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: University of Virginia
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Averaging 3.77 points per game this season. 2011 NSCAA Youth All-American. 2011 Colonial District Player of the Year. No. 54 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.
Suli Dainkeh: Junior midfielder, South Lakes (Reston, Va.)
Peter Lam: Senior defender, Fairfax (Va.)
Tyler Phillips: Junior midfielder, Paul VI (Alexandria, Va.)
Luis Rendon: Senior forward, Cosby (Midlothian, Va.)
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.