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: Shane O'Neill
School: Fairview (Boulder, Colo.)
Height: 180 pounds
Athletic achievement: O'Neill scored 19 goals and passed for six assists this past season, leading the Knights (13-3-3) to the second round of the Class 5A state tournament. A First Team All-Colorado selection by the Denver Post, he was the West team MVP of December’s national High School All-American Game in Birmingham, Ala. The 2011 Front Range Conference Player of the Year, O'Neill concluded his prep soccer career with 48 goals and 27 assists.
Academic excellence: O’Neill has maintained a B average in the classroom.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally as a youth mentor and as an aide to the elderly.
“Shane O’Neill was absolutely the most dominant player in the Front Range this year, roaming through the midfield destroying oppositional play,” said James Hock, head coach of Mountain Range (Denver, Colo.). “We couldn’t win anything in the air through him nor could we find gaps on the ground. He is physically a man among boys in the state and has the playing ability to match.”
THE FUTURE: O’Neill has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the University of Virginia this fall.