Each season, Gatorade recognizes one student-athlete from each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., who embodies its Player of the Year program’s three pillars: athletic production, academic achievement and exemplary character.
Each week during its Gatorade State Player of the Year selection process, USA TODAY surfaces one candidate who meets those criteria and deserves recognition as a serious Gatorade State Player of the Year contender.
Name: Mark Moulton
School: Creighton Prep (Omaha, Neb.)
Sport: Boys soccer
Athletic Production: In just 14 games so far this spring, the 5-foot-7 Moulton has already amassed 24 goals and nine assists for the Junior Jays (12-2) heading into the final week of the regular season.
In a 5-3 win over Millard North (Omaha, Neb.) last week, Moulton netted a hat trick, including the overtime game-winner, and then scored another game-winner in a 4-3 victory against Omaha Westside on Saturday in a rematch of the 2012 Class A state final. Of course, Moulton scored a goal in a 2-0 victory as a junior in that game, too.
Academic Achievement: He has maintained an A average and has signed with the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
Exemplary Character: Moulton has volunteered as a peer mentor at his school and has participated in several community service projects through his church’s youth group.