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: Jack Hopkins
School: Vestavia Hills (Ala.)
Weight: 170 pounds
Athletic achievement: Hopkins scored 29 goals and passed for 28 assists this past season, leading the Rebels (26-3) to the Class 6A state semifinals for a second straight year. The 2011 Birmingham News Boys Metro South Player of the Year, he recorded four goals and five assists in the Class 6A state tournament. Hopkins concluded his prep soccer career with 88 goals and 59 assists.
Academic excellence: Hopkins has maintained a 3.9 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A member of the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society, he has volunteered locally with Habitat for Humanity and as a youth soccer coach.
“Jack Hopkins dictates what other teams can and cannot do on the field because at any time he can become a threat that is very difficult to deal with,” said Joe Carter, head coach at rival Spain Park (Hoover, Ala.). “He can use both feet well and his body size deceivingly makes you believe he will be slow and unable to play quickly, but you will only make that mistake once.”
THE FUTURE: Hopkins has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Marshall University this fall.