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Global May 11, 2015

Marcel Berry of Albemarle HS and SOCA wins Gatorade VA Boys Player of the Year

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CHICAGO (Via Gatorade) — Marcel Berry of Albemarle High School and SOCA has been named the 2014-15 Gatorade Virginia Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Berry is the first Gatorade Virginia Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Albemarle High School.

VA_BerryThe 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 Berry as Virginia’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, Berry 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 5-foot-8, 145-pound senior forward had led the Patriots to an 11-0-1 record at the time of his selection. Berry scored 21 goals and passed for eight assists through 12 games. A member of the U.S. Youth Soccer Region I Olympic Development Program team, he was a 2014 Class 5A First Team All-State selection and the 2014 Conference 16 Player of the Year.

Berry has maintained a weighted 3.69 GPA in the classroom. A member of Albemarle High’s African-American Scholars Alliance, he has volunteered locally as an elementary school teaching assistant and as a youth soccer referee.

“Marcel Berry is very technical and possesses great pace with and without the ball,” said Andrew Offineer, head coach of Mountain View High. “He commands his opponents’ attention constantly and can punish them when they fail to account for his pace and technical ability.”

Berry has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the College of William & Mary 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 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.

Berry joins recent Gatorade Virginia Boys Soccer Players of the Year Peter Pearson (2013-14, Cape Henry Collegiate School), Suli Dainkeh (2012-13, South Lakes High School), Todd Wharton (2011-12, Deep Run High School), Luis Rendon (2010–11, Cosby High School), Ryan Zinkhan (2009-10, Riverbend High School), Will Bates (2008–09, Thomas Dale High School), Christian McLaughlin (2007-08, Herndon High School), and Uche Onyeador (2006-07, Potomac Falls High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

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