The Gatorade State Boys Soccer Players of the Year were selected based on athletic production and impact in the 2015-16 season. Each winner also demonstrated high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership.
For a list of the other Gatorade State Boys Soccer Players of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Lucas Mendes
School: Washington-Lee (Arlington, Va.)
Weight: 125 pounds
Athletic achievement: He had led the Generals to a 9-0-2 record entering their recent regular-season finale. At the time of his selection, Mendes had scored 10 goals and passed for five assists in his first year playing high school soccer after previously playing with D.C. United in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Ranked as the No. 24 recruit in the Class of 2016 by College Soccer News, he attended a training camp with the U.S. Soccer Under-20 Men’s National Team in January.
Academic excellence: Mendes has maintained a weighted 3.22 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach. He has also donated his time to the Color of Leadership Conference, where he served as a mentor and participated in workshops to help middle school students of color discover and utilize resources to achieve their personal goals.
“Lucas Mendes is a great player,” said Dan Drickey, head coach of Hayfield High. “He changes the dynamic of that team. He’s tough on the ball and crafty 1-v-1. Despite his size, he is hard to separate from the ball.”
THE FUTURE: Mendes has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the University of Virginia beginning this fall.