High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Cary-Grove

Illinois Boys Soccer POY: Drew Conner

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: Drew Conner


School: Cary-Grove (Cary, Ill.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 6-foot
Weight: 165 pounds


Athletic achievement: Conner scored 14 goals and passed for 17 assists this past season, leading the Trojans (17-3) to the regional final in the Class 3A Barrington Sectional Tournament. The Northwest Herald Boys Soccer Player of the Year and a First Team All-State selection, he did not play high school soccer as a junior, suiting up instead for Schwaben in the Metropolitan Soccer League, an amateur adult men’s club.

Academic excellence: Conner has maintained a B average in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He founded a local charitable initiative, Boots for Bolivia, which donates soccer equipment and clothes to needy children in Bolivia, and he has volunteered locally donating and wrapping holiday presents for under-privileged children.

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Eye on POY: Illinois 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.

Drew Conner
Senior midfielder, Cary-Grove (Cary, Ill.)

2011 Team record: 17-3 (Class 3A)
2011 Team standing: Lost Class 3A Barrington Sectional, regional championship game

2011 Goals: 14
2011 Assists: 16
2011 Points per game: 1.50
Career goals: 15
Career assists: 25

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: University of Wisconsin

How he’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Directly responsible for 30 of Cary-Grove's 88 goals (34.1 percent). Recorded an assist in Cary-Grove's 3-0 win over Barrington (Ill.) in the first round of the Class 3A Barrington Sectional. 2011 First Team All-State selection. 2011 Northwest Herald Boys Soccer Player of the Year. No. 61 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS.

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