CHICAGO (Via Gatorade) — In its 32nd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, has announced Nico Ubide of Washington International School as its 2016-17 Gatorade District of Columbia Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Ubide is the second Gatorade District of Columbia Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Washington International 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 Ubide as District of Columbia’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, Ubide joins an elite alumni association of past state soccer award-winners, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook HS, Mich.), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel HS, Calif.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, 2002-03, East Brunswick HS, N.J.), Matt Besler (2004-04, Blue Valley West HS, Kans.), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire HS, Mass.), Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista HS, Colo.).
The 5-foot-9, 175-pound senior forward led the Red Devils to a 17-0-1 record and the D.C. Scholastic Athletic Association championship this past season. Ubide scored 20 goals and passed for 10 assists, and had the lone tally in Washington International’s 1-0, overtime win over Bell High in the DCSAA title game. A First Team Washington Post All-Met selection, he was the DCSAA Player of the Year and concluded his prep soccer career with a school-record 66 goals.
The co-president of the WIS student government, Ubide has volunteered locally on a congressional campaign, and has completed a service-mission trip to Costa Rica. “Nico is a very good player and we had to make sure to know where he was at all times,” said Scott Waller, head coach of Gonzaga High. “He was always a scoring threat.”
Ubide has maintained an A average in the classroom. He has made a verbal commitment to attend the University of Pennsylvania, where he will play soccer, beginning 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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, 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.
Ubide joins recent Gatorade District of Columbia Boys Soccer Players of the Year Nate Johnson (2015-16, St. Albans School), Chris Fleischer (2014-15, St. Albans School), Nick Jackson (2013-14, Sidwell Friends School), Nicko Corriveau (2012-13, Gonzaga College High School), Ian Harkes (2011-12, Gonzaga College High School), Joey Wilkins (2010–11, Gonzaga College High School), Ben Norton (2009-10, Sidwell Friends School), Chris Perez (2008–09, Gonzaga College High School), Yoni Berhanu (2007-08, Sidwell Friends School), and Kieran Rice (2006-07, Gonzaga College High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Nico will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.