June 2, 2009
PLANO, Texas – In its third decade of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in partnership with ESPN RISE, today announced senior midfielder Dillon Powers of Plano Senior High School (Plano, Texas) as its 2008-09 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Powers will begin playing for Notre Dame this fall.
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 Powers 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 Powers from more than 383,000 high school boys soccer players nationwide. Powers 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-11, 180-pound senior midfielder scored 16 goals and passed for 24 assists this past season, leading the Wildcats (23-3-5) to the Class 5A state championship. The Dallas Morning News All-Area Player of the Year, Powers completed his high school career with 39 goals and 57 assists. A 2008 All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Powers is the No. 6-rated recruit in the Class of 2009 by ESPNU and TopDrawerSoccer.com.
No stranger to international competition, Powers and the U.S. Soccer Men’s Under-18 National Team recently returned from the Lisbon International Tournament in Lisbon, Portugal. Powers was a standout on the U.S. U-18 gold medal squad at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in January. Last summer, Powers led his club team, Andromeda SC, to the US Youth Soccer Under-17 National Championship.
“Dillon is very quiet, very unassuming, very shy off the field, but on the field, he’s an impact player,” said Gary Williamson, the North Texas State Soccer Olympic Development Program Director of Coaching. “His range of passing and his pass selection is spot on. He can get out of tight spaces. He’s got a very powerful shot. He’s just on a different level. His soccer IQ is up there along with his natural ability. Technically, tactically, physically and mentally, he’s got the edge.”
Powers has maintained an A average in the classroom. He has served as a member of the Student Council at Plano High and has completed multiple community-service initiatives in association with the National Honor Society, including peer tutoring. He has also volunteered on behalf of his local church youth group.
“Without question, Dillon 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 Plano’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.”
Powers becomes the second Notre Dame men’s soccer player to be selected as the Gatorade Player of the Year. Greg Dalby, a 2007 Notre Dame graduate, received the distinction in 2003. Dalby went on to become a two-time first-team All-American with the Fighting Irish. He currently plays professionally for the Colorado Rapids (MLS).
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 PLAYERS OF THE YEARYear Player High School/Hometown Current Status2008-09 Dillon Powers Plano Senior/Plano, TX High School Senior2007-08 Chris Agorsor McDonogh School/Owings Mills, MD Univ. of Virginia2006-07 Brayan Martinez West Orange/West Orange, NJ Seton Hall Univ.2005-06 Eric Alexander Portage Central/Portage, MI Indiana Univ.2004-05 Lee Nguyen Plano East Senior/Plano, TX Hoang Anh Gia Lai2003-04 Patrick Phelan Wilbraham & Monson Acad./Wilbraham, MA Wake Forest Univ.2002-03 Greg Dalby Poway/Poway, CA Colorado Rapids2001-02 Jordan Harvey Capistrano Valley/Mission Viejo, CA Colorado Rapids2000-01 Ned Grabavoy Lincoln Way/New Lenox, IL Columbus Crew1999-00 Alecko Eskandarian Bergen Catholic/Oradell, NJ Real Salt Lake1998-99 Kyle Martino Staples/Westport, CT Los Angeles Galaxy1997-98 Nick Downing Eastlake/Redmond, WA U. of Maryland Grad1996-97 Nick Garcia Bishop Lynch/Dallas, TX San Jose Earthquakes1995-96 Andy Kirk Marquette Univ./Milwaukee, WI U. of Maryland Grad1994-95 Pierre Venditti Jonathon Law/Milford, CT U. of Maryland Grad1993-94 Andriy Shapowal Kenston High/Chagrin Falls, OH U. of Virginia Grad1992-93 Mike Fisher Batavia/Batavia, IL U. of Virginia Grad1991-92 Matt McKeon De Smet Jesuit/St. Louis, MO Saint Louis U. Grad1990-91 Claudio Reyna St. Benedict's Prep/Newark, NJ Retired from MLS1989-90 Todd Haskins Howard/Ellicott City, MD U. of N. Carolina Grad1988-89 Chris Henderson Cascade/Everett, WA Retired from MLS1987-88 Lyle Yorks E.O. Smith/Storrs, CT U. of Virginia Grad1986-87 John Gwin Boise/Boise, ID Duke U. Grad1985-86 Kevin Hundelt Aquinas-Mercy/Hazelwood, MO So. Illinois U. Grad