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: Jake Files
School: Clinton (Miss.)
Weight: 180 pounds
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.
“Jake Files is a tremendous keeper,” said Jesse Lang, head coach of rival Oak Grove (Hattiesburg, Miss.). “When Clinton had no offense, he kept them in the game.”
THE FUTURE: Files has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Spring Hill College in Alabama this fall.