CHICAGO (June 12, 2017) — In its 32nd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Nick Richardson of Archbishop Curley High School as its 2016-17 Gatorade Maryland Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Richardson is the second Gatorade Maryland Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Archbishop Curley High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Richardson as Maryland’s best high school boys soccer player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Richardson joins an elite alumni association of past state soccer award-winners, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook HS, Mich.), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel HS, Calif.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, 2002-03, East Brunswick HS, N.J.), Matt Besler (2004-04, Blue Valley West HS, Kans.), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire HS, Mass.), Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista HS, Colo.).
The 5-foot-9, 145-pound junior defender scored four goals and passed for six assists this past season, leading the Friars (19-4-2) to the MIAA Class A state tournament championship game. The Varsity Sports Network’s Defender of the Year, Richardson was a Baltimore Sun First Team All-Metro honoree and an All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. He also attended a training camp with the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Men’s National Team in February.
Richardson has volunteered locally at a camp for autistic children and as an Archbishop Curley school ambassador. “Nick had an unbelievable year,” said Jon Seal, head coach of the Gilman School. “He controlled the defensive third by himself and allowed Curley to send numbers forward.”
Richardson has maintained a 3.8 GPA in the classroom. He has made a verbal commitment to play soccer on scholarship at the University of Maryland beginning in the fall of 2018.
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 the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Richardson joins recent Gatorade Maryland Boys Soccer Players of the Year Michael DeShields (2015-16, McDonogh School), Connor Smith (2014-15, McDonogh School), George Campbell (2013-14 & 2012-13, McDonogh School), Andrew Harris (2011-12, Gilman School), Cody Albrecht (2010–11, DeMatha Catholic High School), Marquez Fernandez (2009-10 & 2008–09, McDonogh School), Chris Agorsor (2007-08, McDonogh School), and B.J. Quigley (2006-07, Archbishop Curley High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Nick will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.
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