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Youth Boys Feb 15, 2016

Michael DeShields named Gatorade Maryland Boys Player of the Year

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CHICAGO (Via Gatorade) — In its 31th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced Michael DeShields of McDonogh School as its 2015-16 Gatorade Maryland Boys Soccer Player of the Year. DeShields is the seventh Gatorade Maryland Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from McDonogh 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 DeShields as Maryland’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, DeShields 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.), CandaceParker (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 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior defender led the Eagles to a 21-0-1 record and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association Class A state championship this past season. DeShields scored nine goals, passed for four assists and anchored a defense that allowed just 10 goals and recorded 13 shutouts. A three-time Baltimore Sun All-Metro selection, he participated in December’s High School All-American Game in North Carolina.

+Read: Gatorade State Boys Soccer Players of the Year announced for fall season

DeShields has maintained a 3.33 in the classroom. He has volunteered locally as a youth mentor, a youth soccer coach and as a patient coordinator at health fairs.

“Michael DeShields has the pace and the ability to cover the entire defensive third which allowed McDonogh to use its flank defenders as attackers,” said Jon Seal, head coach of Gilman School. “Michael’s decision-making is excellent and Ihave not seen him get beat in 1-on-1 situations.”

DeShields has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Wake Forest University 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. DeShields joins recent Gatorade Maryland Boys Soccer Players of the Year Connor Smith (2014-15, McDonogh School), George Campbell (2013-14 & 2012-13, McDonogh School), Andrew Harris (2011–12, Gilman School), Cody Albrecht (2010–11, DeMatha Catholic High School), Marquez Fernandez, (2009-10 & 2008–09, McDonogh School), Chris Agorsor (2007-08, McDonogh School), and B.J. Quigley (2006-07, Archbishop Curley High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

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