Calvert Hall senior midfielder Ben Bender and Gonzaga senior forward Ryan Elie were named 2019-20 Gatorade State Boys Soccer Players of the Year, it was announced Monday. Bender won the award for the state of Maryland, and Elie won for Washington, D.C. Additionally, Michael Meese, a senior forward from Jamestown High School, won the Virginia award.
According to the press releases, the awards not only recognize outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field.
Bender, a University of Maryland signee, wins the award after recording 14 goals and 4 assists last season and earning an invite to the High School All-American Game in December. In addition to his 3.45 GPA, he helped lead Calvert Hall to a 9-7-1 record and the semifinals of the Maryland Independent Athletic Association Class A Tournament. He's the third player from Calvert Hall to win the award.
Elie is a back-to-back winner of the award after recording 17 goals and 10 assists, and guiding Gonzaga to a 14-6-6 record with WCAC and DCSAA tournament championships. Elie, the eighth player from Gonzaga to be chosen for the award, was named the DCSAA Player of the Year and maintained a 3.68 GPA.
All state winners will now be in the running for Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year, which will be announced later this month. Also to be announced on June 18 are the Gatorade Girls State Soccer Players of the Year.
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