Eye on POY: California boys soccer

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
5:46
PM ET
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.

Ema Boateng
Junior midfielder, Cate School (Carpinteria, Calif.)

2012 Team record: 20-2-1
2012 Team standing: CIF Southern Section Division VII tournament champions

2012 Goals: 32
2012 Assists: 20
Career goals: 79
Career assists: 50

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: University of California-Santa Barbara

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: No. 18 ranked recruit in Class of 2013 as rated by ESPNHS. Two-time CIF Southern Section Division VII Player of the Year. Two-time All-CIF Division VII First Team All-State selection. Graduating in three years.

Tanner Thompson
Junior midfielder, Granite Bay (Calif.)

2012 Team record: 20-3-4
2012 Team standing: Lost CIF Northern Section Division II tournament championship match

2012 Goals: 16
2012 Assists: 22
Career goals: 24
Career assists: 34

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: University of Indiana (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Sierra Foothill League Most Valuable Player. Bay City Classic All-Tournament Team selection.

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.

Luis Cervantes: Senior forward, Millikan (Long Beach, Calif.)
Emilio Huerta: Junior midfielder, St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif.)
Jonny Murray: Senior goalkeeper, Capital Christian (Sacramento)
Josh Yaro: Junior defender, Cate School (Carpinteria, Calif.)

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.

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