For a list of the other Gatorade State Boys Soccer POYs, click here.
THE WINNER: Ade Taiwo
School: Cardinal Gibbons (Raleigh, N.C.)
Weight: 180 pounds
Athletic achievement:He scored 12 goals and passed for 11 assists this past season, leading the Crusaders (18-5-3) to the Class 3A state semifinals. The 2012 North Carolina Soccer Coaches Association State Player of the Year, Taiwo was an All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and the Raleigh News & Observer All-Metro Player of the Year. He concluded his junior year with 47 goals and 25 assists in his prep soccer career.
Academic excellence: Taiwo has maintained a B average.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach and referee.
“Ade is a great player that can play multiple positions and take over a game,” said Travis Seese, head coach of Athens Drive (Raleigh, N.C.). “He is bigger and faster than most everyone on the field and he has the skills to go along with his athletic ability.”
THE FUTURE: Taiwo has verbally committed to N.C. State.