In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Brandon Medina of St. Ignatius College Prep. as its 2012-13 Gatorade Illinois Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Medina is the first Gatorade Illinois Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from St. Ignatius College Prep.
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 Medina as Illinois’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 May, Medina joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook HS, Mich.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, East Brunswick HS, N.J.) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.).
The 5-foot-7, 130-pound senior midfielder scored 11 goals and passed for 17 assists this past season, leading the Wolfpack (20-4-1) to the regional semifinal in the Class 3A Hinsdale Central Sectional Tournament. An All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Medina participated in the High School Soccer All-American Game in Birmingham, Ala., in December. He concluded his prep soccer career with 37 goals and 41 assists.
Medina has maintained a weighted 3.94 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally as an elementary school tutor and youth soccer coach.
“Brandon Medina is technically amazing,” said Robert Watson, head coach of Fenwick High. “He has very good foot skill, awareness and technical ability. He is dangerous and a threat to score from anywhere. He is the field general for Ignatius and literally makes them tick.”
Medina has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Northwestern University 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. 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.
Medina joins recent Gatorade Illinois Boys Soccer Players of the Year Drew Conner (2011–12, Cary-Grove High School), Vince Cicciarelli (2010–11, Peoria Notre Dame High School), Bryan Ciesiulka, (2009-10, Neuqua Valley High School), Tim Zimmer (2008–09 Naperville Central), John Shakon (2007-08, Hinsdale Central), and Anthony Colaizzi (2006-2007, Warren Township) among the state’s list of former award winners.