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.
THE WINNER: Gabe Garbin
School: Lincoln East (Lincoln, Neb.)
Weight: 165 pounds
Athletic achievement: Garbin scored 14 goals and passed for seven assists this past season, leading the Spartans (12-6) to the District A-7 Tournament championship game. A 2011 First Team All-State selection as a defender, he has been a member of the U.S. Youth Soccer Region II Olympic Development Program. Garbin concluded his prep soccer career with 16 goals and 12 assists.
Academic excellence: Garbin has maintained a 3.67 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally as a youth coach and as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with the Salvation Army.
“Gabe Garbin has an incredible touch on the ball,” said Jim Ageton, head coach of rival Lincoln Southeast (Lincoln, Neb.). “The ball seems to be an extension of his body that he can move as easily as his own foot. He is so dangerous offensively that he can be used to draw two or three defenders and set up the rest of the team.”
THE FUTURE: Garbin has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Creighton University this fall.