Conner Walmsley of St. Paul’s named Gatorade Louisiana Soccer Player of the Year
CHICAGO — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Conner Walmsley of St. Paul’s School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Louisiana Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Walmsley is the third Gatorade Louisiana Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from St. Paul’s 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 Walmsley as Louisiana’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 June, Walmsley joins an elite alumni association of past state soccer award-winners, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook High School, Mich.), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel High School, Calif.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy School of Young Women, N.Y.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, 2002-03, East Brunswick High School, N.J.), Matt Besler (2004-04, Blue Valley West High School, Kans.), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire High School, Mass.) and Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista High School, Colo.).
The 5-foot-9, 155-pound senior midfielder scored 14 goals and passed for 17 assists this past season, leading the Wolves (25-1-4) to the Division 1 state championship. The state Division 1 Offensive MVP, Walmsley was also a two-time All-State honoree and was named All-Metro Player of the Year.
A tutor for younger students, Walmsley has volunteered locally on behalf of Habitat for Humanity and has raised funds to benefit childhood cancer research. “Conner Walmsley can change the momentum of a game like no one I’ve ever seen,” said Ryan Lazaroe, head coach at Northshore High School. “There are very few times you come across a player you can’t categorize, but he is one of those. Wherever you put him on the field, he affects the game.”
Walmsley has maintained a weighted 4.42 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at the College of Charleston 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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Walmsley joins recent Gatorade Louisiana Boys Soccer Players of the Year Shane Lanson (2017-18, Jesuit High School), Josh Hughes (2016-17, Westminster Christian Academy), Colin Ross (2015-16, St. Paul’s School), Colin Hanley (2014-15, St. Paul’s School) and Andrew Malinich (2013-14, Lusher Charter School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Walmsley also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.
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