The Gatorade State Boys Soccer Players of the Year spring selection process is in full swing, and what better way to kick off coverage than with profiles of returning underclassmen winners? Repeating is no guarantee, but here's a snapshot of what this year’s challengers can shoot for.
Name: Luis Rendon
School: Cosby (Midlothian, Va.)
2011 Goals: 18
2011 Assists: 16
2009-11 Total goals: 40
2009-11 Total assists: 40
Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year. 2010-11 Gatorade Virginia Boys Soccer Player of the Year. No. 4 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as ranked by ESPNHS. Has played just one game in the 2012 spring season due to injuries. U.S. Soccer Under-18 Men's National Team camp invitee. Led the Titans to the 2011 Central Region semifinals. 2011 Group AAA First Team All-State selection. 2010 Group AAA Second Team All-State selection.
Academics: B-plus average
College: Duke University
Extracurricular activities: He has volunteered locally at Richmond’s Lynmore Nursing Home, delivering mail, meals and singing songs for residents. He has also donated his time on behalf of the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation and US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer, a community-based training and team-placement program for young athletes with disabilities. A member of his school’s Varsity Club, Rendon has also served as a youth soccer coach in association with his FC Richmond Magic club program and on behalf of Non-Stop Soccer camps. A native of Colombia, Rendon arrived in the U.S. at age 9 and earned his American citizenship in February, 2010.
Dave Amsler, head coach of FC Richmond Magic: "Luis’ ability to score goals is amazing. He has a calming effect on the game and his skill level is very high. He’s just not your typical American player. He’s a very elusive player. He just brings something totally different to the game.”
Each Gatorade State Player of the Year is challenged by thousands of fellow high school athletes. These are a few of the returning boys soccer underclassmen that also contended in 2010-11.
Michael Howard: Senior defender/midfielder, Collegiate School (Richmond, Va.)
Parker Patterson: Senior midfielder, St. Stephen's St. Agnes (Alexandria, Va.)
Todd Wharton: Senior midfielder, Deep Run (Glen Allen, Va.)
A dedicated ESPNHS POY team manages the Gatorade Player of the Year selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the program’s behalf. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders must demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of ESPNHS recruit rankings.
To nominate a student-athlete for Player of the Year honors, contact the POY team at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.