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Sunday, May 6, 2012
Eye on POY: Louisiana boys soccer


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.

Ryan Barcelona
Senior Forward, Parkway High (Bossier City, LA)

2012 Team record: 19-6
2012 Team standing: Lost to New Iberia, 1-0, in second round of postseason

2012 Goals: 36
2012Assists: 13
2012 Points per game: 1.96
Career goals: 96
Career assists: 38

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: LSU

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: First Team All-State; Academic All-State; Second in state in goals scored.

Phillip Hicks
Senior Defender, Jesuit High (New Orleans, LA)

2012 Team record: 27-1-4
2012 Team standing: Won Div. I state championship

2012 Goals: 9
2012 Assists: 6
2012 Points per game: 0.47
Career goals: 13
Career assists: 8

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: LSU

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: State Div. I MVP; First Team All-State; Times-Picayune Defensive Player of the Year; First Team All-Metro; Scored four tying goals in final six games of season.

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.

Adam Pittman: Junior Goalkeeper, Dutchtown High (Geismar, LA)
Jaxon Lambert: Senior Forward, St. Amant High (St. Amant, LA)
Ethan Judice: Junior Midfielder, Lafayette High (Lafayette, LA)
Jordan Bonfiglio: Senior Forward, St. Thomas Aquinas High  (Hammond, LA)
Ryan Reid: Senior Forward, Dutchtown High (Geismar, LA)
Chris Cironi: Senior Defender, St. Louis Catholic High (Lake Charles, LA)
Vanja Popovich: Senior Forward, Ben Franklin High (New Orleans, LA)

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.