n 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 Matthew Coffey of Brighton High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Utah Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Coffey is the third Gatorade Utah Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Brighton 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 Coffey as Utah’s best high school boys soccer player.
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound senior forward has scored nine goals and passed for 14 assists this season, leading the Bengals to a 15-1 record entering the Class 5A state playoffs, where they are scheduled to face Riverton on May 14. A two-time member of the U.S. Youth Soccer Region IV Olympic Development Program, Coffey was a First Team All-State selection by the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune.
Coffey has maintained a 3.74 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of a food bank, clothing drives, and a program to collect soccer equipment for refugee children.
“Coffey is a very good, very skilled player,” said Lee Mitchell, head coach at Alta High. “He demands a lot of attention, and he’s great at setting his teammates up for scoring opportunities.”
Coffey has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at the University of Portland 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.
Coffey joins recent Gatorade Utah Boys Soccer Players of the Year Taylor Fankhauser (2011-12, Brighton High School), Derek Boggs (2010–11, Alta High School), Thomas Loomis (2009-10, Brighton), James Rogers (2008–09, Highland High School), Jake Hustedt (2007-08, Jordan), and Jake Cook (2006-07, East) among the state’s list of former award winners.