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 Eli Troutman of Ocean Springs High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Mississippi Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Troutman is the third Gatorade Mississippi Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Ocean Springs 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 Troutman as Mississippi’s best high school boys soccer player.
The 6-foot, 175-pound senior midfielder scored 24 goals and passed for 19 assists this past season, leading the Greyhounds (21-3-2) to the Class 6A state championship game. The 2013 Clarion Ledger Player of the Year and Sun Herald Player of the Year, Troutman is a two-time First Team All-State selection. The brother of 2010-11 Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year Ducky Troutman, he concluded his prep soccer career with 56 goals and 40 assists.
Troutman has maintained a weighted 3.87 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally at a homeless shelter and food bank and has completed a service mission to Mexico, where he helped build a school for orphans.
“Eli Troutman is very knowledgeable about the game,” said Justin Cates, head coach of St. Martin High. “He has a straightforward approach to scoring goals. He anticipates where to be and where to play the ball before he receives or passes it.”
Troutman is currently receiving pro contract interest from both European and North American clubs in addition to considering multiple college scholarship offers.
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.
Troutman joins recent Gatorade Mississippi Boys Soccer Players of the Year Jake Files (2011-12, Clinton High School), Derrick “Ducky” Troutman (2010–11, Ocean Springs High School), Jarred Arde (2009-10, Gulfport), Dillon Walker (2008–09, Pearl High School), Chris Williams (2007-08, Pearl), and Barry Prather (2006-07, Clinton) among the state’s list of former award winners.