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: Brian James
School: American Heritage School
(Delray Beach, Fla.)
Weight: 140 pounds
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.
“Brian is the difference-maker on most teams he plays on,” said Jerry Willenborg, the director of the Weston FC club team. “He plays harder when the team is down, he usually scores game-winners and he is very focused on his game.”
THE FUTURE: James has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the University of Virginia this fall.