High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Walton

Georgia Boys Soccer POY: Holden Fender

May, 15, 2012
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.

For his 19 fellow Gatorade State Spring Boys Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.
For the 30 Gatorade State Fall Boys Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Holden Fender


School: Walton (Marietta, Ga.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 175 pounds


Athletic achievement: Fender scored 10 goals and passed for 13 assists this past season, leading the Raiders (12-6-1) to the Class AAAAA state quarterfinals. A member of the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Men’s National Team and a 2011 Youth All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, he was a Class AAA First Team All-State honoree as a junior. Fender concluded his prep soccer career with 22 goals and 32 assists.

Academic excellence: Fender has maintained a 3.56 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally with the US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program serving young athletes with disabilities in addition to donating his time as a youth coach and mentor.

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EYE on POY: Georgia boys soccer

May, 9, 2012
The window on the Gatorade State Boys Soccer 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.

Adrian Alabi
Senior forward, Brookwood (Snellville, Ga.)

2012 Team record: 17-3
2012 Team standing: Class AAAAA state quarterfinal vs. Lassiter (Marietta, Ga.) on Friday

2012 Goals: 15
2012 Assists: 14
Career goals: 43
Career assists: 25

Academics: A-plus average
Collegiate destination: Stanford University

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Averaging 1.93 points per game this season. 2011 Region 8-AAAAA Forward of the Year. 2011 Gwinnett County Scholar Athlete of the Year. No. 57 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS.

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