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.
THE WINNER: Tim Baker
School: Knoxville Catholic (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Weight: 135 pounds
Athletic achievement: Baker scored 29 goals and passed for 16 assists this past season, leading the Irish (15-2-3) to the District 4-AAA Tournament semifinals. A First Team All-State selection by both the Tennessee High School Soccer Coaches Association and the Tennessee Sports Writers Association, he concluded his prep soccer career with 65 goals and 49 assists.
Academic excellence: Baker has maintained a 3.78 weighted 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 school.
“Tim was the fastest player on the ball that we played this year,” said Seth Harbin, head coach of rival Webb School of Knoxville (Tenn.). “His touch on the ball was better than anyone we saw this year. To quote some of my players, ‘He’s incredible.’ My guys haven’t given that kind of praise to any player this year.”
THE FUTURE: Baker has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., this fall.