In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Nolan DeWeese of Christian Brothers College High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Missouri Boys Soccer Player of the Year. DeWeese is the fifth Gatorade Missouri Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Christian Brothers College High School. He just completed his Club career playing with Lou Fusz Geerling in the Missouri State Cup and is committed to UMKC along with two teammates.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes DeWeese as Missouri’s best high school boys soccer player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced in June, DeWeese joins an elite alumni association of past state soccer award-winners, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook High School, Mich.), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel High School, Calif.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy School of Young Women, N.Y.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, 2002-03, East Brunswick High School, N.J.), Matt Besler (2004-04, Blue Valley West High School, Kans.), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire High School, Mass.) and Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista High School, Colo.).
The 6-foot-3, 175-pound senior defender led the Cadets to a 25-2-2 record and the Class 4 state championship this past season. DeWeese anchored a defense that allowed 15 goals in 29 games, including just two in six postseason matches. The Missouri High School Soccer Coaches Association Class 4 Player of the Year, he was a two-time All-State selection and also a 2018 United Soccer Coaches All-American honoree.
DeWeese has volunteered locally on behalf of Meals on Wheels, and he has donated his time to Team Activities for Special Kids (TASK), an instructional sports program that provides athletic and social opportunities to kids with special needs. “Nolan DeWeese was the best defender in the area,” said Brian Haddock, head coach of Vianney High. “He was the game-changer in all of their playoff games leading to a state championship.”
DeWeese has maintained a 3.33 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at the University of Missouri-Kansas City this fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
DeWeese joins recent Gatorade Missouri Boys Soccer Players of the Year Kyle Ruark (2017-18, Rockhurst High School), Billy Hency (2016-17, Rockwood Summit High School), AJ Palazzolo (2015-16, Christian Brothers College High School), Dalton Souder (2014-15, Lee’s Summit High School) and Keith Grieshaber (2013-14, Marquette High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” DeWeese also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.