High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Boys Soccer

Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year nominees

July, 9, 2012
7/09/12
3:00
PM ET
A dozen exceptional student-athletes -- already honored as National Player of the Year in their respective sports -- are contenders for the 10th annual Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Award. On Tuesday in Los Angeles, one boy and one girl will be named prep sports’ Male and Female Athletes of the Year (ESPN3, 9:40 p.m. EDT), and both will be recognized at the ESPYS the following evening.

And the male nominees are (click here for the female nominees):

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Boateng nets National Player of the Year

May, 17, 2012
5/17/12
12:28
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CARPINTERIA, Calif. -- Ema Boateng grew up in a home with no electricity and no running water in Ghana, but his intellect, determination and soccer ability offered him a shot at a better life. The teen hit a pretty big bull's-eye Thursday when he was named the 2011-12 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

Boateng was surprised with the news in his Cate School (Carpinteria, Calif.) environmental science class by one of the most recognizable faces in American soccer, Alexi Lalas, who earned Gatorade Michigan Player of the Year honors in 1987-88.

“I’m very overwhelmed,” said Boateng, a Cate School boarding student who turned 18 in January. “I did not see this coming. I’m looking at the list of names of athletes who’ve won this before and I can’t believe I’m anywhere near this list. I can’t believe I’m on it.”

The 5-foot-6, 165-pound junior midfielder led the Rams to a 20-2-1 record and the CIF-Southern Section Division VII tournament championship this past season. Boateng scored 32 goals, passed for 19 assists and was a repeat selection as the Southern Section Division VII Player of the Year.

“I’m here to welcome him to the Player of the Year family,” said Lalas, 41, a veteran of two FIFA World Cup teams with US Soccer (1994 and ’98), a former Major League Soccer front office executive and now a television analyst for ABC and ESPN. “It was a wonderful moment. It was a genuine surprise. He’s truly a special talent on and off the field.”

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Gatorade Boys Soccer Players of the Year

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
5:20
AM ET

Alabama Boys Soccer POY: Jack Hopkins

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
5:19
AM ET
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: Jack Hopkins

THE BASICS

School: Vestavia Hills (Ala.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Forward
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 170 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Hopkins scored 29 goals and passed for 28 assists this past season, leading the Rebels (26-3) to the Class 6A state semifinals for a second straight year. The 2011 Birmingham News Boys Metro South Player of the Year, he recorded four goals and five assists in the Class 6A state tournament. Hopkins concluded his prep soccer career with 88 goals and 59 assists.

Academic excellence: Hopkins has maintained a 3.9 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A member of the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society, he has volunteered locally with Habitat for Humanity and as a youth soccer coach.

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Alaska Boys Soccer POY: Michael Sedor

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
5:18
AM ET
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: Michael Sedor

THE BASICS

School: A.J. Dimond (Anchorage, Alaska)
Grade: Senior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-foot-8

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Sedor has led the Lynx to a 13-1 record entering the regional playoffs against Bartlett (Anchorage, Alaska), scheduled for Thursday. He scored 10 goals and passed for seven assists in the regular season. Sedor was a Second Team All-Cook Inlet Conference selection and a member of the All-State Tournament Team in 2011.

Academic excellence: Sedor has maintained a 4.14 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A member of his school’s swing choir, he has served in student government and has participated in recycling and environmental awareness initiatives with Dimond’s Green Effects club.

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Arizona Boys Soccer POY: Danny Arrubla

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
5:17
AM ET
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: Danny Arrubla

THE BASICS

School: Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Forward
Height: 5-foot-9
Weight: 160 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Arrubla led the Huskies to a 24-3 record and the Division I state championship this past season. He scored 39 goals and passed for 14 assists, including a state-playoff record four goals in the state semifinals. The 2012 East Valley Tribune State Player of the Year and an Arizona Republic All-Arizona First Team selection, Arrubla concluded his prep soccer career with 70 goals.

Academic excellence: Arrubla has maintained a B average in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with the Salvation Army.

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Arkansas Boys Soccer POY: Nelson Landaverde

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
5:16
AM ET
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: Nelson Landaverde

THE BASICS

School: Springdale (Ark.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-foot-8
Weight: 150 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Landaverde has led the Bulldogs to an 18-1 record and a berth in the Class 7A state final against Catholic (Little Rock, Ark.), scheduled for Friday. He scored six goals and passed for 13 assists through 19 games. The 7A West Conference Most Valuable Player, Landaverde is a two-time Class 7A First Team All-State selection and a four-year starter.

Academic excellence: Landaverde has maintained a B average in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit ALS research and has served as a youth soccer coach and mentor.

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California Boys Soccer POY: Ema Boateng

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
5:15
AM ET
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: Ema Boateng

THE BASICS

School: Cate School (Carpinteria)
Grade: Junior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-foot-6
Weight: 165 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Boateng led the Rams to a 20-2-1 record and the CIF-Southern Section Division VII tournament championship this past season. He scored 32 goals, passed for 19 assists and was a repeat selection as the Southern Section Division VII Player of the Year. A two-time Division VII First Team All-State honoree, Boateng concluded his prep soccer career with 79 goals and 49 assists. Officially a member of the Class of 2013, he has earned enough credits to attend University of California Santa Barbara this fall.

Academic excellence: Boateng has maintained a 3.75 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally as a participant in multiple school-wide community service projects in addition to coordinating and coaching at a summer youth soccer camp.

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Florida Boys Soccer POY: Brian James

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
5:14
AM ET
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: Brian James

THE BASICS

School: American Heritage School
(Delray Beach, Fla.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 140 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: James scored 24 goals and passed for 55 assists this past season, leading the Stallions to the Class 2A state semifinals. A 2011 ESPNHS First Team All-American selection and a two-time Palm Beach Post Player of the Year, he has been a member of the U.S. Soccer Under-18 Men’s National Team player pool. James concluded his prep soccer career with 78 goals and 168 assists.

Academic excellence: James has maintained a weighted 4.52 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally at a retirement home, as a youth soccer coach and on behalf of the Easter Seals.

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Georgia Boys Soccer POY: Holden Fender

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
5:13
AM ET
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: Holden Fender

THE BASICS

School: Walton (Marietta, Ga.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 175 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Fender scored 10 goals and passed for 13 assists this past season, leading the Raiders (12-6-1) to the Class AAAAA state quarterfinals. A member of the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Men’s National Team and a 2011 Youth All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, he was a Class AAA First Team All-State honoree as a junior. Fender concluded his prep soccer career with 22 goals and 32 assists.

Academic excellence: Fender has maintained a 3.56 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally with the US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program serving young athletes with disabilities in addition to donating his time as a youth coach and mentor.

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Hawaii Boys Soccer POY: Leo Klink

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
5:12
AM ET
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: Leo Klink

THE BASICS

School: Kalani (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Grade: Junior
Position: Forward
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 150 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Klink scored 25 goals and passed for five assists this past season, leading the Falcons (15-2) to a runner-up finish in the Division I state tournament. The 2012 Honolulu Advertiser Player of the Year and the Oahu Interscholastic Association East Player of the Year, he was a 2012 First Team Division I All-State Tournament selection. Klink concluded his junior year with 39 career goals.

Academic excellence: Klink has maintained a B average in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of the Honolulu Marathon and as part of fundraising campaigns to benefit the March of Dimes and victims of the 2011 earthquake in Japan.

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Iowa Boys Soccer POY: Eric Williams

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
5:11
AM ET
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: Eric Williams

THE BASICS

School: Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa)
Grade: Senior
Position: Forward
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 185 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Williams has led the Tigers to a 12-5 record entering this week’s regular-season finale against Mason City (Iowa), scheduled to be played on Monday. He scored 10 goals and passed for 10 assists during the team’s first 17 games. A 2011 Second Team All-State selection and a two-time First Team All-Central Iowa Metropolitan Conference honoree, Williams entered the final game of the regular season with 37 goals and 22 assists in his prep soccer career.

Academic excellence: Williams has maintained a 3.31 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally at an area homeless shelter, as a youth academic tutor and as a youth soccer coach.

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Louisiana Boys Soccer POY: Phillip Hicks

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
5:10
AM ET
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: Phillip Hicks

THE BASICS

School: Jesuit (New Orleans, La.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Defender
Height: 6-foot-1

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Hicks scored nine goals and passed for six assists this past season, leading the Blue Jays (27-1-4) to the Division I state championship and a No. 7 ranking nationally in the ESPNHS Fab 50. He was the state Division I Player of the Year and the Times-Picayune Defensive Player of the Year.

Academic excellence: Hicks has maintained a 3.38 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of Habitat for Humanity and an area homeless shelter.

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Mississippi Boys Soccer POY: Jake Files

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
5:09
AM ET
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: Jake Files

THE BASICS

School: Clinton (Miss.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Goalkeeper
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 180 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Files led the Arrows to a 23-2-2 record and the Class 6A state championship this past season. He allowed 12 goals and recorded 15 shutouts, including back-to-back whitewashes in the state final four. The 2012 Clarion Ledger Player of the Year, Files concluded his prep soccer career with 20 shutouts.

Academic excellence: Files has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom and scored a perfect 36 on his ACT.

Exemplary character: An Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America, he has volunteered locally at the Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital and as a researcher in the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s biochemistry department.

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Nebraska Boys Soccer POY: Gabe Garbin

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
5:08
AM ET
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: Gabe Garbin

THE BASICS

School: Lincoln East (Lincoln, Neb.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Defender/midfielder
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 165 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Garbin scored 14 goals and passed for seven assists this past season, leading the Spartans (12-6) to the District A-7 Tournament championship game. A 2011 First Team All-State selection as a defender, he has been a member of the U.S. Youth Soccer Region II Olympic Development Program. Garbin concluded his prep soccer career with 16 goals and 12 assists.

Academic excellence: Garbin has maintained a 3.67 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally as a youth coach and as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with the Salvation Army.

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