The Gatorade State Fall Boys Soccer Players of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2015-16 fall season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
For the complete list of Gatorade State Fall Boys Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Leland Gazo
School: Rice Memorial (South Burlington, Vt.)
Weight: 180 pounds
Athletic achievement: He recorded seven shutouts this past season, leading the Green Knights (16-2) to the Division 1 state championship. An All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Gazo was also named the Burlington Free Press Player of the Year and the Lake Division Player of the Year.
Academic excellence: Gazo has maintained a B average.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of a retirement home, youth soccer teams and the U.S. Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program serving young athletes with disabilities.
“Gazo commands the box very well and he’s strong in the air,” said Reeves Livesay, head coach at Middlebury High. “He’s confident, understands the game and he’s a vocal leader on the field. He was, by far, the best goalie we faced all year.”
THE FUTURE: Gazo remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.