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Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Eye on POY: New Mexico boys soccer

By Ben Rohrbach

The fall soccer season may have concluded, but the search for Gatorade State Boys Soccer Players of the Year 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.

Brad Carabajal
Senior midfielder, Eldorado (Albuquerque, N.M.)

2011 Team record: 18-3 (Class 5A)
2011 Team standing: Class 5A state champions

2011 Goals: 9
2011 Assists: 10
2011 Points per game: 0.90
Career goals: 23
Career assists: 31

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Trinity University

How he’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Tallied one goal and three assists in the postseason. Registered the assist on the game’s only goal in the Eagles’ 1-0 win over La Cueva (Albuquerque, N.M.) in the state final. 2011 Class 5A State Player of the Year. Two-time Class 5A First Team All-State player. Two-time Albuquerque Journal First Team All-Metro selection.

Tyler Miller
Senior defender, Volcano Vista (Albuquerque)

2011 Team record: 15-4 (Class 5A)
2011 Team standing: Lost Class 5A first round

2011 Goals: 3
2011 Assists: 0
2011 Points per game: 0.16

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: University of Washington

How he’s played herself into the State POY conversation: All three goals were game-winners, including in a 2-0 regular-season win over Eldorado. 2011 Class 5A First Team All-State player. 2011 District Player of the Year.

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.

Corey Carabajal: Sophomore forward, Eldorado (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Isaac Chavez: Junior midfielder, Belen (N.M.)
Deven Mason: Senior defender, Eldorado (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Ricardo Perez-Contreras: Senior forward, Belen (N.M.)
Justin Schmidt: SR M Volcano Vista (Albuquerque, N.M.)

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.