Washington-Lee’s Lucas Mendes Named Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year
|Photo courtesy of Gatorade
Washington-Lee High School senior Lucas Mendes was named the 2016 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year yesterday afternoon. Mendes was also named the Virginia Boys Soccer Player of the Year earlier in the day. The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. The award also recognizes Mendes as the nation’s best high school boys soccer player. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Mendes from nearly 432,000 high school boys soccer players nationwide. He is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award which will be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July. Mendes has led the Generals to a 9-0-2 record and the No. 1 slot in The Washington Post All-Met rankings as they head into the playoffs. In 10 games played this season, Mendes has scored 10 goals and passed for five assists. In addition, Mendes participated in a U.S. Soccer Under-20 Men’s National Team camp in January and was the only member of the 36-person roster who played high school soccer this year. He is ranked as the nation’s No. 24 recruit in the Class of 2016 by College Soccer News and is ranked No. 33 by TopDrawerSoccer.com. Mendes has maintained a weighted 3.22 GPA in the classroom. A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach. He has also donated his time to the Color of Leadership Conference, where he served as a mentor and participated in workshops to help middle school students of color discover and utilize resources to achieve their personal goals. He has committed to and received a full-ride scholarship to the University of Virginia. 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 high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, 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.