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Youth Boys Jun 13, 2018

Ousseni Bouda named Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year

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Millbrook, N.Y. (Via Gatorade) – In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced Ousseni Bouda of Millbrook High School, Millbrook, N.Y. as its 2017-18 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

Bouda was surprised with the news in front of family and friends while attending an event for the Right to Dream Academy in New York City.

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 Bouda as the nation’s best high school boys soccer player. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Bouda from nearly 432,000 high school boys soccer players nationwide. Bouda is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

The 5-foot-11, 165-pound junior forward scored 49 goals and passed for 4 assists this past season, leading the Mustangs (9-8-2) to the to the New England Prep School Athletic Council Class C finals this past season. A two-time prep school All-Star, Bouda already owns his school’s career scoring record for goals scored (92) and was named to the “Second XI” by the New England Soccer Journal. He tallied 80 percent of his team’s scores in his junior year.

A dorm leader at his school, Bouda has served as an advisor for international students at Millbrook and has collected used sports equipment to be sent to children in his country of origin, Burkina Faso.

“Ousseni Bouda is a rare combination of speed and skill,” says Sheldon Shealer, High School Soccer Editor for “An elite attacker, he’s able to create space with incredible footwork on the ball, or he can simply run right past defenders. No doubt, he’s one of the most exciting and talented players to watch in the high school game.”

Bouda has maintained a B-plus average in the classroom. He will begin his senior year of high school this fall.

“Ousseni is an exceptional student-athlete who has earned recognition as the nation’s best high school boys soccer player while also excelling in the classroom and making a difference in his native Burkina Faso,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. “Ousseni’s statistics on the field speak for themselves, but even more impressive is the impact he has had on his teammates and the example he sets for younger student- athletes. Ousseni represents everything we look to celebrate in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient.”

As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Bouda 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 win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for his organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.

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 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.