High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Austin Clifton

Kansas Boys Soccer POY: Austin Clifton

February, 22, 2012
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed this past fall'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 29 fellow Gatorade State Fall Boys Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Austin Clifton


School: Northwest (Wichita, Kan.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Forward
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 160 pounds


Athletic achievement: Clifton led the Grizzlies to a 21-0 record and the Class 6A state championship this past season. He scored 28 goals and passed for eight assists, including a hat trick in a 3-1 win over Blue Valley Northwest (Overland Park, Kan.) in the state semifinals. An All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, he is a two-time First Team All-State honoree. Clifton, who transferred to Northwest from Wichita South (Wichita, Kan.) after his sophomore year, concluded his two seasons as a Grizzly with 51 goals and 18 assists.

Academic excellence: Clifton has maintained a 3.55 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally with the Meals on Wheels Association of America, the Northwest Booster Club and as a mentor and coach for special-needs children.

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Eye on POY: Kansas boys soccer

February, 16, 2012
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.

Evan Wright
Senior goalkeeper, Blue Valley (Stillwell, Kan.)

2011 Team record: 11-7-3 (Class 5A)
2011 Team standing: Lost Class 5A state championship game

2011 Goals allowed (AVG.): 29 (1.41)
2011 Saves (PCT.): 152 (84.0)
2011 shutouts: 5
Career shutouts: 11

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Saint Louis University

How he’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Posted a shutout in the 5A state semifinals against Kapaun Mt. Carmel (Wichita, Kan.). 2011 NSCAA All-American selection. 2011 First Team All-State selection.

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