High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Eldorado

New Mexico Girls Track AOY: Gina Okoye

June, 20, 2012
6/20/12
5:19
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For her 50 fellow Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year winners, click here.


THE WINNER: Gina Okoye

THE BASICS

School: Eldorado (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Grade: Senior
Event(s): Hurdles/jumps
Height: 5-foot-10

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Okoye won the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 14.82 seconds, the triple jump with a leap of 38 feet, seven inches and the long jump (18 feet, nine and three quarter inches) this spring, leading the Eagles to a second-place finish as a team at the Class 5A state meet. Also the 2011-12 Gatorade New Mexico Girls Basketball Player of the Year, she was the top New Mexico competitor at the Great Southwest Classic, earning fourth place in the triple jump with a leap of 37 feet, seven and one quarter inches and fifth place in the 100 hurdles with a time of 14.84. Her triple jump leap at the state meet ranked as the nation’s No. 61 mark by a prep competitor at the time of her selection.

Academic excellence: Okoye has maintained a 3.75 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally on behalf of Habitat for Humanity and an area food bank.

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New Mexico Boys Hoop POY: Cullen Neal

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:19
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Boys Basketball 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 50 fellow Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Cullen Neal

THE BASICS

School: Eldorado (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Grade: Junior
Position: Guard
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 170 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Neal led the Eagles to a 22-8 record and the Class 5A state title this past season. He averaged 27.7 points, five rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game. A two-time Class 5A All-Tournament team selection, Neal scored 34 points on 12-for-21 shooting in A state final victory over La Cueva (Albuquerque, N.M.).

Academic excellence: Neal has maintained a 3.97 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

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New Mexico Girls Hoop POY: Gina Okoye

March, 8, 2012
3/08/12
5:32
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Girls Basketball 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 her 50 fellow Gatorade State Girls Basketball Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Gina Okoye

THE BASICS

School: Eldorado (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Forward
Height: 5-foot-8

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Okoye led the Eagles to a 26-1 record and a berth in the Class 5A state semifinals against Hobbs (N.M.), scheduled for Thursday. She averaged 18.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and 6.0 steals through 27 games. Okoye's a First Team All-District selection and has twice been named Metro Defensive Player of the year.

Academic excellence: Okoye has maintained a 3.77 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally on behalf of Habitat for Humanity and an area food bank.

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The window on the Gatorade State Girls Basketball 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.

Taylor Edmondson
Senior Guard, Carlsbad High (Carlsbad, NM)

2011-12 Team record: 17-10
2011-12 Team standing: Plays Sandia in first round of state tourney, 3/2

2011-12 Points per game: 14.9
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 5.0
2011-12 Assists per game: 3.8
2011-12 Blocks per game: 1.3
2011-12 Steals per game: 3.1

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Washington State

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: First Team All-State; All-Academic Team; District MVP in 2011.

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Nevada Boys Soccer POY: Ruben Duran

February, 22, 2012
2/22/12
5:13
AM ET
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: Ruben Duran

THE BASICS

School: Eldorado (Las Vegas, Nev.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-foot-10

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Duran scored 30 goals and passed for 23 assists this past season, leading the Sun Devils (17-1-1) to the Class 4A state semifinals. The 2011 Las Vegas Review Journal Boys Soccer Player of the Year, he was also the 2011 Northeast League MVP. Duran spent his junior year with the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Men’s National Team Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., and concluded his prep soccer career with 42 goals and 31 assists.

Academic excellence: Duran has maintained a weighted 4.25 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach and on behalf of his church in addition to serving as a charitable fundraiser to help send fellow soccer players to camps and clinics.

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New Mexico Boys Soccer POY: Brad Carabajal

February, 22, 2012
2/22/12
5:10
AM ET
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: Brad Carabajal

THE BASICS

School: Eldorado (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 145 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Carabajal led the Eagles to an 18-3 record and the Class 5A state championship this past season. He scored nine goals and passed for 10 assists, including the assist on the game’s only goal in Eldorado’s 1-0 win over La Cueva (Albuquerque, N.M.) in the state title match. The Class 5A State Player of the Year and a two-time Albuquerque Journal First Team All-Metro selection, Carabajal concluded his prep soccer career with 23 goals and 31 assists.

Academic excellence: Carabajal has maintained a weighted 4.28 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally at a homeless shelter, the Ronald McDonald House and as part of a community-beautification project.

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Eye on POY: Nevada boys soccer

February, 15, 2012
2/15/12
3:46
PM ET
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.

Mike Tonetti
Senior forward, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)

2011 Team record: 18-2-1 (Class 4A)
2011 Team standing: Lost Sunset Region semifinals

2011 Goals: 23
2011 Assists: 12
2011 Points per game: 1.84
Career goals: 42
Career assists: 25

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Occidental College

How he’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Recorded a goal and assist in two Sunset Region tournament games. Netted one hat trick and six two-goal games. Scored a point in all but two games. Had a direct hand in 35 of his team's 99 goals (35.4 percent). 2011 First Team All-State selection. 2011 Las Vegas Review First Team selection.

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Eye on POY: New Mexico boys soccer

February, 15, 2012
2/15/12
3:10
PM ET
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.

Read More »

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