High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: American Heritage

Florida Boys Soccer POY: Brian James

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
5:14
AM ET
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.

For his 19 fellow Gatorade State Spring Boys Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.
For the 30 Gatorade State Fall Boys Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Brian James

THE BASICS

School: American Heritage School
(Delray Beach, Fla.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 140 pounds

THE PILLARS

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.

Read More »

Eye on POY: Florida boys soccer

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
6:09
PM ET
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.

Luis Betancur
Senior midfielder, American Heritage School (Plantation, Fla.)

2012 Team record: 28-3-3
2012 Team standing: Class 3A state champions

2012 Goals: 35
2012 Assists: 17
Career goals: 59

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: University of Virginia (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Averaged 1.53 points per game this season. 2012 Florida Dairy Farmers State Player of the Year. 2012 Class 3A State Player of the Year. 2012 Sun-Sentinel Class 3A-2A-1A Player of the Year.

Brian James
Senior midfielder, American Heritage School (Delray Beach, Fla.)

2012 Team record: 22-4-2
2012 Team standing: Lost Class 2A state semifinals

2012 Goals: 24
2012 Assists: 55
Career goals: 78
Career assists: 168

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: University of Virginia

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: No. 49 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS. Averaged 2.82 points per game this season. 2011 ESPNHS First Team All-American selection. Two-time Palm Beach Post 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.

Martin Giordano: Senior midfielder, Cypress Bay (Weston, Fla.)
David Graydon: Senior midfielder, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
Jordan Hayes: Senior forward, Tampa Prep (Tampa, Fla.)
Miguel Morales: Senior forward, Fort Pierce Central (Fort Pierce, Fla.)

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.

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