High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: New Mexico

New Mexico Boys Track AOY: Luis Martinez

June, 21, 2012
6/21/12
5:19
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Boys 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 his 50 fellow Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year winners, click here.


THE WINNER: Luis Martinez

THE BASICS

School: Cleveland (Rio Rancho, N.M.)
Grade: Junior
Event(s): Distance
Height: 5-foot-9
Weight: 130 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Martinez won an individual state title in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 9:41.66 this spring, leading the Storm to the Class 5A state title as a team. The 2011-12 Gatorade New Mexico Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, he also won the 1,600-meter run in 4:17.50 and the 3,200 in 9:13.16 at the Richard Harper Invitational.

Academic excellence: Martinez has maintained a 4.06 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Watermelon Mountain Ranch animal shelter and as a youth track and field coach.

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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 Softball POY: Katera Eltsosie

June, 6, 2012
6/06/12
5:17
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Softball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011-12 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For her 48 fellow Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Katera Eltsosie

THE BASICS

School: Volcano Vista (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Grade: Senior
Position: RHP/3B
Height: 5-foot-5

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Eltsosie led the Hawks (30-1) to the Class 5A state championship this past season. She posted a 16-0 record with a 1.51 ERA in the circle, and batted .496 with 12 home runs and 55 RBI at the plate. Eltsosie was named the District Player of the Year and the Albuquerque Journal Player of the Year.

Academic excellence: Eltsosie has maintained a 3.54 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics and fundraising to benefit a homeless shelter.

Read More »

The window on the Gatorade State Softball 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.

Katera Eltsosie
Senior Pitcher/Third Baseman, Volcano Vista High (Albuquerque, NM)

2012 Team record: 30-1
2012 Team standing: Won Class 5A state title

2012 Batting average: .496
2012 RBI: 55
2012 Runs: 52

2012 W-L record: 16-0
2012 ERA: 1.51
2012 Strikeouts: 131

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Lubbock Christian

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: District Player of the Year; Albuquerque Journal Player of the Year; First Team All-State; All-Metro; Hit 12 home runs.

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New Mexico Baseball POY: Shilo McCall

May, 30, 2012
5/30/12
5:17
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011-12 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For his 47 fellow Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Shilo McCall

THE BASICS

School: Piedra Vista (Farmington, N.M.)
Grade: Senior
Position: OF/RHP
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 205 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: McCall led the Panthers (28-3) to their third straight Class 4A state championship this past season. He batted .561 with seven home runs, 52 RBI and 46 runs scored, posting a .667 on-base percentage. A 2011 First Team All-State selection, McCall also compiled a 7-2 record on the mound with a 2.90 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 54 innings pitched.

Academic excellence: McCall has maintained a 3.68 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics and as a youth baseball coach.

Read More »

Eye on POY: New Mexico Baseball

May, 27, 2012
5/27/12
6:03
AM ET
The window on the Gatorade State Baseball 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.

Shilo McCall
Senior outfielder/RHP, Piedra Vista (Farmington)

2012 Team record: 35-4
2012 Team standing: Won Class 4A state title

2012 Batting average: .561
2012 RBI: 52
2012 Runs: 46

2012 W-L record: 7-2
2012 ERA: 2.90
2012 Strikeouts: 53
2012 Innings: 54

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Arkansas

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2011 First Team All-State; 2011 First Team All-District; Connie Mack World Series participant

Andre Vigil
Junior second baseman, Volcano Vista (Albuquerque)

2012 Team record: 22-11
2012 Team standing: Lost in Class 5A semifinals

2012 Batting average: .535
2012 RBI: 40
2012 Runs: 35

2012 W-L record: 8-2
2012 ERA: 3.32
2012 Strikeouts: 61

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: New Mexico (verbally committed)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2011 First Team All-State; 2011 District 1 Class 5A Player of the Year

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Baseball 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.

Reese Lucero: Senior catcher, La Cueva (Albuquerque)
Hunter Blaylock: Senior catcher, Belen (N.M.)
Cody Bower: Junior outfielder, St. Pius (Albuquerque)

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.

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.

Read More »

Eye on POY: New Mexico Boys Basketball

March, 19, 2012
3/19/12
6:53
AM ET
The window on the Gatorade State Boys 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.

Bryce Alford
Junior guard, La Cueva (Albuquerque, NM)

2011-12 Team record: 25-6
2011-12 Team standing: Next game; ESPNHS ranking

2011-12 Points per game: 24.6
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 4.1
2011-12 Assists per game: 5.2
2011-12 Steals per game: 2

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: New Mexico (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2011 and 2012 All-Tournament selection; 2011 Second Team All-State; 2011 First Team All-Conference; 2011 First Team All-Metro;

Cullen Neal
Junior guard, Eldorado (Albuquerque, NM)

2011-12 Team record: 22-8
2011-12 Team standing: Won Class 5A state title

2011-12 Points per game: 27.7
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 5
2011-12 Assists per game: 4.5
2011-12 Blocks per game: 0.4
2011-12 Steals per game: 1.1

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: St. Mary's (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation:

2012 District Player of the Year; 2011 and 2012 All-Tournament selection; 2011 First Team All-District; 2011 Second Team All-State;

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Boys Basketball 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.


Arren Wells: Senior forward/center, Hope Christian (Albuquerque, NM)
Mando Marshall: Senior forward, Las Cruces (NM)
Matthew Barela: Junior forward, St. Michaels (Santa Fe, NM)

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.

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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 »

New Mexico Girls Soccer POY: Erika Nelson

February, 9, 2012
2/09/12
5:09
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed this past fall's Gatorade State Girls 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 her 21 fellow Gatorade State Fall Girls Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Erika Nelson

THE BASICS

School: Hope Christian (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-foot-9

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Nelson scored 15 goals and passed for 22 assists this past season, leading the Huskies (17-5) to the Class A-AAA state semifinals. The 2011 Class A-AAA State Player of the Year, she is a two-time Class A-AAA District 4 Player of the Year. In her final two years of prep soccer, Nelson recorded 30 goals and 40 assists.

Academic excellence: Nelson has maintained a 4.23 unweighted GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A member of the Hope Christian School student council, she has volunteered locally at an animal shelter and as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with her church youth group.

Read More »

Eye on POY: New Mexico girls soccer

February, 6, 2012
2/06/12
9:56
AM ET
The fall soccer season may have concluded, but the search for Gatorade State Girls 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.

Erika Nelson
Senior midfielder, Hope Christian (Albuquerque, N.M.)

2011 Team record: 17-5 (Class A-3A)
2011 Team standing: Lost Class A-3A state semifinals

2011 Goals: 15
2011 Assists: 22
2011 Points per game: 1.68
Career goals: 30
Career assists: 40

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: University of Maryland

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Recorded a goal and an assist in a 2-0 quarterfinal win over Bosque Prep (Albuquerque, N.M.). In nine Hope Christian games decided by two goals or fewer, totaled four goals and six assists (1.11 points per game), giving her a direct hand in 71.4 percent of the Matadors’ 14 goals in those nine games. 2011 Class A-AAA State Player of the Year. Two-time Class A-AAA District 4 Player of the Year.

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New Mexico Boys XC ROY: Luis Martinez

January, 23, 2012
1/23/12
5:19
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runner 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 Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.


THE WINNER: Luis Martinez

THE BASICS

School: Sue Cleveland (Rio Rancho, N.M.)
Grade: Junior
Height: 5-foot-9

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Martinez raced to the Class 5A individual state championship this past season with a time of 15:41.4, leading the Storm to the state title as a team. He won the Nike Cross Nationals Southwest Regional championships in 15:08.8 and finished 30th at the NXN Final. He also earned victories at the Clovis Invitational, the Lobo Invitational, the Rio Rancho Jamboree, the Albuquerque Academy Invitational, the Volcano Vista Invitational, the Santa Fe Capital Invitational and the Los Alamos Invitational.

Academic excellence: Martinez has maintained a 4.07 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered locally on behalf of an animal shelter and youth track programs.

Read More »

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