Arkansas Boys' Soccer Player of the Year

Updated: August 25, 2008, 5:48 PM ET
ESPNRISE.com

In its third decade of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, Gatorade joined with RISE Magazine to name junior goalkeeper STEPHEN MAXWELL of CONWAY HIGH as its 2007-08 Arkansas Boys' Soccer Player of the Year.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior goalkeeper recorded 17 shutouts and allowed just four goals this season, leading the Wampus Cats (21-0-0) to the Class 7A state championship and a No. 6 ranking in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Top 25 poll. A Class 7A First Team All-State selection and a First Team All-Tournament honoree, Maxwell posted a shutout in the state quarterfinals, allowed just one goal to Rogers in the the semifinals and blanked Fort Smith Southside in the 1-0 state title victory. He has totaled 27 shutouts and surrendered only 20 goals in his career.

Maxwell has maintained a B average in the classroom. An active member of the New Life Church youth group, he donates his time to the Toad Jam 3-on-3 basketball tournament to benefit children and adolescents at the Margie's HAVEN House domestic abuse shelter. Maxwell also volunteers as part of multiple community-service initiatives on behalf of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

"He just stands out," said Conway head coach Robert Irons. "When you watch him play, he's so active and passionate. That kind of intensity and energy adds motivation and inspiration to the entire team. And he's extremely athletic. A lot of times, goalkeepers make saves by guessing. He makes them by reading the player. He just has a tremendous amount of quickness."

Maxwell will begin his senior year of high school this fall and remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.