Will Edwards Named Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Soccer Player of the Year
In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Will Edwards of Jenks High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Edwards is the seventh Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Jenks 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 Edwards as Oklahoma’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, Edwards joins an elite alumni association of past state soccer award-winners, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook High School, Mich.), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel High School, Calif.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy School of Young Women, N.Y.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, 2002-03, East Brunswick High School, N.J.), Matt Besler (2004-04, Blue Valley West High School, Kans.), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire High School, Mass.) and Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista High School, Colo.).
The 5-foot-8, 140-pound junior forward and midfielder scored 14 goals and passed for eight assists this past season, leading the Trojans (18-0) to the Class 6A state championship and the No. 2 ranking in the Top Drawer Soccer Fab 50. An Allstate All-American, Edwards is also a two-time Tulsa World First Team All-Metro selection.
A devoted member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Edwards has served in the student council and has volunteered locally on behalf of a summer camp. “Will Edwards reads the game so well and he makes great decisions with the ball,” said Shane Schwab, head coach at Broken Arrow High. “He’s a dual threat who can finish and can create. He isn’t very big physically, but he plays very big.”
Edwards has maintained a 3.66 GPA in the classroom. He will begin his senior year of high school this fall.
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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Edwards joins recent Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Soccer Players of the Year Daryl Dike (2017-18, Edmond North High School), Dante Brigida (2016-17, Edmond Santa Fe High School), Garrett McLaughlin (2015-16 & 2014-15, Heritage Hall), and Mauro Cichero (2013-14, Norman North High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Edwards also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year. Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.