Ousseni Bouda tabbed as Gatorade New York Boys Player of the Year
CHICAGO (Via Gatorade) — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Ousseni Bouda of Millbrook School as its 2018-19 Gatorade New York Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Bouda is the second Gatorade New York Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Millbrook 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 Bouda as New York’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, Bouda 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 2017-18 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year as a junior, the 5-foot-11, 165-pound senior forward scored 61 goals and passed for 12 assists this past season, leading the Mustangs (15-4) to the New England Prep School Athletic Council Class C championship. Bouda was named Player of the Year by the New England Soccer Journal and played in the High School All-American Game.
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, Burkino Faso. At the Right to Dream Academy (RTD) in Ghana, he served as a dorm prefect (the equivalent of a college RA), one of eight students so selected by faculty. Also a student ambassador at Millbrook, he serves as a client-facing resource at gatherings for both prospective students and alumni. “Ousseni Bouda is the most natural and prolific goal-scorer I’ve seen at his age,” said Danny Simpson, head coach at Brunswick School. “As a forward he has everything: strength, power, pace, first touch. He’s selfish at the right times and a good teammate at others. To say he’s one of the finest players I’ve seen in 25 years of coaching in the U.S. is an understatement.”
Bouda has maintained a B-plus average in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at Stanford University 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.
Two-time winner Bouda joins Gatorade New York Boys Soccer Players of the Year Jack Beer (2016-17, Byram Hills High School), Matt Vowinkel (2015-16, Chaminade High School), T.J. Butzke (2014-15, St. Anthony’s High School) and Dylan Klein (2013-14, Carle Place High School) among the state’ s list of former award winners.
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 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.