BALTIMORE, June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- In its third decade of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in partnership with RISE Magazine, today announced senior forward Chris Agorsor of McDonogh School (Owings Mills, Md.) as its 2007-08 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Agorsor joins former MLS player Todd Haskins (1989-90, Howard HS/Ellicott City, MD) to become the only two athletes from Maryland ever to win Gatorade National Player of the Year honors in any sport. The award, which recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Agorsor as the nation's best high school boys soccer player. A national advisory board comprised of sportswriters and sport-specific experts from around the country helped select Agorsor from the more than 378,000 high school boys soccer players nationwide. Agorsor is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July. The 5-foot-9, 145-pound senior forward scored 24 goals and added eight assists in only 15 games this past fall, leading the Eagles (21-1-2) to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference Championship. Also the National Player of the Year as named by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Agorsor concluded his career with 55 goals and 22 assists. A standout in the United States Soccer Federation Under-18 Development Academy league and a multi-time travel squad invitee with the Under-20 Men's National Team, Agorsor recently spent three days in England playing against English Premier League reserve teams as a member of the Under-20 Men's National Team. During play, Agorsor one-timed a through ball from the endline past the Bolton keeper in the 73rd minute to put the icing on a 2-0 victory. He has also been invited to train with reserve squads for NACBreda (Dutch Premier League), Tottenham (English Premier League), Queens Park (English Premier League) and NY/NJ Red Bulls (MLS). After leading his club team, the Casa Mia Bays, to the 2006 United States Youth Soccer Under-16 National Championship and finishing as the national tournament's leading scorer with five goals, Agorsor capped the 2007 summer season by leading the Bays to the 2007 USYS Region I semifinals and a second straight State Cup title. A weekday boarder at McDonogh School who is graduating early this month after completing his junior and senior years between June 2007-June 2008, Agorsor has maintained a B average in the classroom. A member of McDonogh's Gospel Choir and a volunteer assistant to the school's athletic trainer, he also donates his time mentoring younger players in his soccer club. He has helped to organize and operate youth training sessions at Clarence "Du" Burns Arena, a nearby indoor/outdoor sports complex. "Chris is blazing fast, and he's got skills to go along with it," said Dave Greene, head coach of rival Walt Whitman High. "You've got to put two or three guys on him to stop him. And you can't stop him." Agorsor has verbally committed to a soccer scholarship at the University of Virginia this fall, but he is actively considering multiple elite professional league contract offers. "Without question, Chris is deserving of recognition as the nation's best high school boys soccer player based on his statistics on the field and the impact his play had on McDonogh School's success," said Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Jeff Urban. "But he is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young players of what a leader and a student-athlete should be. He represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient." The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by RISE Magazine, which works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include: -- MLS All-Star Alecko Eskandarian -- WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie -- NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith -- 2007 Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning -- Reigning 200-meter world champion Allyson Felix -- Two-time American League Most Valuable Player Alex Rodriguez -- Beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information and lists of past winners and future announcement dates, visit gatorade.com/playeroftheyear.
ALL-TIME GATORADE NATIONAL BOYS SOCCER PLAYER OF THE YEAR HONOREES Year Name High School Status 2007-08 Chris Agorsor McDonogh School/ High School Senior Owings Mills, MD 2006-07 Brayan Martinez West Orange HS/ Seton Hall Univ. West Orange, NJ 2005-06 Eric Alexander Portage Central/ Indiana Univ. Portage, MI 2004-05 Lee Nguyen Plano East Senior/ PSV Eindhoven Plano, TX 2003-04 Patrick Phelan Wilbraham & Monson Acad./ Wake Forest U. Wilbraham, MA 2002-03 Greg Dalby Poway/Poway, CA Colorado Rapids 2001-02 Jordan Harvey Capistrano Valley/ Colorado Rapids Mission Viejo, CA 2000-01 Ned Grabavoy Lincoln Way/ Columbus Crew New Lenox, IL 1999-00 Alecko Eskandarian Bergen Catholic/ Real Salt Lake Oradell, NJ 1998-99 Kyle Martino Staples, Westport/CT Los Angeles Galaxy 1997-98 Nick Downing Eastlake/ U. of Maryland Redmond, WA Grad 1996-97 Nick Garcia Bishop Lynch/ Kansas City Dallas, TX Wizards 1995-96 Andy Kirk Marquette University/ U. of Maryland Milwaukee, WI Grad 1994-95 Pierre Venditti Jonathon Law/ U. of Maryland Milford, CT Grad 1993-94 Andriy Shapowal Kenston High/ U. of Virginia Chagrin Falls, OH Grad 1992-93 Mike Fisher Batavia/ U. of Virginia Batavia, IL Grad 1991-92 Matt McKeon De Smet Jesuit/ Saint Louis U. St. Louis, MO Grad 1990-91 Claudio Reyna St. Benedict's Prep/ Manchester City FC Newark, NJ 1989-90 Todd Haskins Howard/ U. of N. Carolina Ellicott City, MD Grad 1988-89 Chris Henderson Cascade/Everett, WA UCLA Grad 1987-88 Lyle Yorks E.O. Smith/Storrs, CT U. of Virginia Grad 1986-87 John Gwin Boise/Boise, ID Duke U. Grad 1985-86 Kevin Hundelt Aquinas-Mercy/ So. Illinois U. Hazelwood, MO Grad
SOURCE The Gatorade Company