In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Jack Harrison of Berkshire School as its 2013-14 Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Harrison is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Berkshire School.
The 5-foot-10, 155-pound junior midfielder led the Bears to a 19-1-1 record and the New England Prep School Athletic Council Class A tournament championship this past season. Harrison scored nine goals and passed for 17 assists. An All-New England selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Harrison is a two-time Western New England Prep All-Star. He concluded his junior year with career totals of 26 goals and 41 assists.
Harrison has maintained a B average in the classroom. A school tour guide and ambassador, the native of England has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach and as part of multiple community-service initiatives in association with Berkshire’s Helping Hands organization.
“Jack Harrison might not have been the most exciting player we faced this season but he was probably the most effective,” said Ozzie Parente, head coach of Taft School. “He is ridiculously talented and he stands out even on that loaded Berkshire squad. He just controls the game and distributes the ball really well. He is really the man that makes the whole operation run.”
Harrison has verbally committed to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Wake Forest University beginning in the fall of 2015.
Connecticut - Matheus Souza, Conrad
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound senior forward scored 24 goals and passed for 10 assists this past season, leading the Chieftains (13-5-2) to the Class LL state tournament quarterfinals. The Connecticut Junior Soccer Association Male High School Player of the Year, Souza was a three-time Hartford Courant First Team All-Area honoree and an All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. He concluded his prep soccer career with 59 goals and 26 assists.
Souza has maintained a B average in the classroom. A native of Brazil who did not speak English when he came to Conard as a freshman, he has volunteered locally with Lead By Example, a teen-led campaign to promote healthy decision-making. He has also donated his time as a lifeguard and as a child-care provider at his church.
“Matheus Souza is always a marked man and still manages to take over games,” said Matt Denecour, head coach of New Britain High. “He scores at will and moves on and off the ball well. He combines speed, strength and especially skill and essentially carried his team offensively.”
Souza has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the University of Connecticut this fall.
Rhode Island - Komla Dogbey, Hope
The 6-foot-2 senior forward scored 21 goals and passed for 12 assists this past season, leading the Blue Wave (6-9-1) to the Division I state tournament. An All-New England selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Dogbey was a Providence Journal First Team All-State honoree and a member of the Rhode Island Soccer Coaches Association’s Mike Dynon Academic All-State Team. He concluded his two-year prep soccer career with 36 goals and 23 assists.
Dogbey has maintained an A average in the classroom. A native of Togo, he has worked as a tutor for refugees in Providence and volunteered locally as part of multiple community-service initiatives in association with his church youth group.
“Komla is a very fast and strong player,” said Joao Santos, head coach of Central High. “His physical strength and speed are his best weapons. Although he doesn’t possess a lot of technical skill, he was able to score many goals because of his superior speed and size.”
Dogbey remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.
Maine - Wyatt Omsberg, Scarborough
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound senior midfielder scored 19 goals and passed for 12 assists this past season, leading the Red Storm (17-1) to the Class A state championship. An All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Omsberg was also chosen as the Class A Player of the Year and the Portland Press Herald Player of the Year.
Omsberg has maintained an A average in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of a homeless shelter, Meals on Wheels and youth soccer programs.
“Omsberg is the real thing,” said Rocco Frenzilli, head coach at Portland High. “He’s long, quick, knowledgeable. He’s very technically sound and he really sees the field. He makes everyone else better.”
Omsberg will attend Dartmouth College this fall, where he will play soccer.
New Hampshire - Daniel Hazlett, Hanover
The 5-foot-7, 155-pound senior forward scored 16 goals and passed for seven assists this past season, leading the Marauders (19-0-1) to the Division 1 state championship. An All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Hazlett was also named First Team All-State.
Hazlett has maintained a 3.41 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of the CROP Hunger Walk and youth soccer programs.
“Hazlett is very difficult to defend,” said Scott Dunlop, head coach at Concord High. “He has great speed on the ball and his first touch is outstanding. It takes a collective team effort to contain him.”
Hazlett will attend Dartmouth College this fall, where he will play soccer.
Vermont - Zack Evans, Champlain Valley Union
The 5-foot-11 senior defender led the Redhawks (16-2) to the Division 1 state final this past year. An All-New England selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Evans anchored a defense that allowed just seven goals and notched 13 shutouts. He scored three goals and passed for three assists, and was a two-time Burlington Free Press First Team All-State selection. Evans has maintained a 3.68 GPA in the classroom. A member of the National Honor Society and his school’s Athletic Leadership Council, he has served as a peer mentor and has volunteered locally on behalf of youth sports camps.
“Evans reads the game very, very well from the back,” said Scott Mosher, head coach at Essex High. “He’s strong defensively, but he can also be productive in transition. As soon as he wins the ball, your team is under pressure.”
Evans has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at the University of Vermont this fall.