A dedicated ESPNHS team managed this spring'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 19 fellow Gatorade State Spring Boys Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.
For the 30 Gatorade State Fall Boys Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Tony Santibanez
School: Plano (Texas)
Weight: 150 pounds
Athletic achievement: Santibanez scored 11 goals and passed for nine assists this past season, leading the Wildcats (17-3-7) to the Class 5A, Region 1 semifinals. The District 8-5A most valuable player, he was a Dallas Morning News Metroplex All-Area Team selection and a two-time First Team All-District pick. Santibanez concluded his prep soccer career with 20 goals and 17 assists.
Academic excellence: Santibanez has maintained a 3.42 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach and as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with his church youth group.
“Tony always had an impact on the game,” said Monte Pace, head coach of rival Hebron (Carrollton, Texas). “He was good on possession, able to attack with great speed and was a good finisher. He was a player that you always had to account for. Even then, you could only hope to contain and slow him down -- you could never truly stop him.”
THE FUTURE: Santibanez has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Furman University in South Carolina this fall.