The Nation’s Most Outstanding High School Players Honored
Lucas Mendes is named Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year after concluding his youth career at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia. Mendes will attend the University of Virginia in the fall as his collegiate career begins at one of the top soccer universities in the country.
Youth Soccer News: Gatorade announced the winners of the 2015-2016 Boys State Players of the Year for the Winter and Spring High School seasons.
The Gatorade Player of the Year award was established in 1985 to recognize and celebrate the nation’s most outstanding high school talents for their athletic achievement, academic excellence and exemplary character. Now in its third decade, the Gatorade Player of the Year award has become one of the most prestigious accolades in high school sports.
Lucas Mendes, a 5-foot-5, 125-pound senior, is named the Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year after leading Washington-Lee High School out of Arlington, Virginia to a 9-0-2 record entering their recent regular-season finale. As a forward, Mendes scored 10 goals and accounted for five assists in his first year playing high school soccer after previously playing with D.C. United in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Mendes is ranked as the No. 24 recruit in the Class of 2016 by College Soccer News and attended a training camp with the U.S. Soccer Under-20 Men’s National Team in January.
Mendes maintained a 3.22 GPA in high school and has committed to the University of Virginia for the 2016/2017 season.
“Lucas Mendes is a great player. He changes the dynamic of that team. He’s tough on the ball and crafty 1-v-1. Despite his size, he is hard to separate from the ball,” stated Dan Drickey, head coach of Hayfield High.
According to Gatorade, USA TODAY High School Sports, in partnership with The Gatorade Company, administers the selection process for Gatorade State and National Player of the Year awards. All final selection decisions are the result of a collaborative effort between USA TODAY High School Sports and The Gatorade Company.
The Gatorade State Player of the Year award winners are evaluated and selected on the basis of three criteria:
- Athletic Achievement — success made at the club, national or international levels of competition, and standout performances in their respective sport. Includes statistical production, honors, skill-set evaluation, leadership ability, overall impact on team success and historical context of accomplishments.
- Academic Excellence — review of GPA and class rank, as well as SAT and ACT scores, academic honors and distinctions.
- Exemplary Character — overall sportsmanship, but also membership and participation in positive activities that demonstrate commitment to character and community. State Player of the Year award winners are eligible for the Gatorade National Player of the Year award in their respective sports. For complete program details, click here
The 12 national winners selected represent the nation’s best all-around high school student-athletes and are then eligible for Gatorade Male and Female Athlete of the Year. College commitments – when available – are listed.
2015/2016 National Winners
Alabama – JJ Williams, Alabama Christian Academy (Kentucky)
Alaska – Talon Stanley, South Anchorage
Arizona – Joshua Drack, Hamilton
Arkansas – Brady Rosenow, Conway
California – Elliot Smith-Hastie, Loyola (Boston College)
Florida – Esteban Calvo, Montverde Academy (Florida International)
Georgia – Josh Bronstorph, Dunwoody (Georgia Southern)
Hawaii – Tyler Ohata, Punahou School
Iowa – Leroy Enzugusi, Linn-Mar
Louisiana – Colin Ross, St. Paul’s School (University of Tampa)
Mississippi – Ridge Brohaugh, Madison Central
Nebraska – Ed Gordon, Creighton Prep
Oklahoma – Garrett McLaughlin, Heritage Hall School (SMU)
South Carolina – Marcelo Malpartida, River Bluff
Tennessee – Lucas Altman, Science Hill (Wofford)
Texas – Harris Partain, Wakeland (Central Arkansas)
Utah – Aidan Dayton, Maple Mountain
Virginia – Lucas Mendes, Washington-Lee (Virginia)
Washington – Bennett Lehner, Camas (Dayton)
Wyoming – Cameron Campbell, Laramie
Source/Photo Credit: Gatorade