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 Mac Steeves of Needham High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Steeves is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Needham 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 Steeves as Massachusetts’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, Steeves 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 6-foot-3, 195-pound senior forward led the Rockets to a 21-1-3 record and the Division 1 state championship this past season. Steeves scored 20 goals and passed for 25 assists, including the only goal in Needham’s 1-0 win over Amherst High in the state title game as well as both goals in the team’s 2-1 win over Somerville High in the state semifinals. The Boston Globe Division 1 Player of the Year and the Division 1 Tournament MVP, he concluded his prep soccer career with 67 goals and 51 assists.
Steeves has maintained a 3.06 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit breast cancer research and as a youth soccer coach.
“Mac Steeves was the most dominant high school player I have seen over the last three years,” said Roy Dow, head coach of Newton North High. “With every team he played this year putting its best defenders on him, he was able to still get his goals and find other ways to contribute. Without him, Needham would not have won a state championship.”
Steeves has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Providence College 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.
Steeves joins recent Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Soccer Players of the Year Oliver White (2011–12, Noble & Greenough School), Cole DeNormandie (2010–11, Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School), Leon Brown, (2009-10, The Roxbury Latin School), Charlie Rugg (2008–09 The Rivers School), Jan Trnka-Amrhein (2007-08, Noble & Greenough School), and Ben Slingerland (2006-2007, St. John’s Prep School) among the state’s list of former award winners.