North Dakota Boys' Soccer POY

Updated: August 25, 2008, 4:44 PM ET
ESPNRISE.com

In its third decade of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, Gatorade joined with RISE Magazine to name senior forward ALEX PAULSON of CENTURY HIGH in Bismarck as its 2007-08 North Dakota Boys' Soccer Player of the Year.

The 6-foot-1 senior forward scored 18 goals and added eight assists this past fall, leading the Patriots (16-5-1) to the Class A state championship. A two-time First Team All-State selection, Paulson netted a hat trick in the second half of a 4-1, comeback victory against Bismarck in the state title game.

Paulson has maintained a 3.78 GPA in the classroom. In addition to donating his time as a soccer referee at the local Special Olympics and as a coach for a local girls' indoor youth soccer team, he participates in multiple community-service initiatives, volunteering at the Missouri Valley Montessori School day care center in Bismarck and helping to prepare gift baskets for overseas military personnel on behalf of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

"He's a player," said Dean Hasbarger, head coach of rival Fargo South High. "I didn't mark him man-on-man, but we certainly had to be aware of him. Alex is big, physical and has speed. Alex has a lot going for him."

Paulson remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.