CHICAGO – Incoming William & Mary men's soccer freshman Michael Meese was named the 2019-20 Gatorade Virginia Boys Soccer Player of the Year, The Gatorade Company today announced on Monday. Meese is the first winner to be honored as the state's top boys soccer player from Jamestown High School in Williamsburg.
In its 35th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, the award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Meese is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced later in June.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior forward concluded his three-year prep soccer career with 103 goals which rank No. 6 in state history. A three-time Class 4A First Team All-State selection, Meese totaled 52 goals and 16 assists as a junior and was a USA TODAY Third Team All-American and the Daily Press Player of the Year. He was also named a First Team Spring All-American by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Meese has volunteered locally on behalf of an elementary school literacy-outreach program and as a youth tutor. He has also donated his time as a youth soccer coach and referee. Academically, Meese has maintained a 3.66 GPA in the classroom.
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. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Meese joins recent Gatorade Virginia Boys Soccer Players of the Year Clay Obara (2018-19, Frank W. Cox High School), Bryan Silver (2017-18, Oakton High School), Jacob Labovitz (2016-17, Langley High School), Lucas Mendes (2015-16, Washington-Lee High School), W&M alum Marcel Berry (2014-15, Albemarle High School), and Peter Pearson (2013-14, Cape Henry Collegiate School) among the state's list of former award winners.
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.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY [playeroftheyear.gatorade.com], on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY [facebook.com] or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade [twitter.com].
Meese was part of an eight-member class that was announced in April [tribeathletics.com]. Along with his incoming group, head coach Chris Norris [tribeathletics.com] returns six of its top seven scorers from last season and nine players that started at least 50% of the Tribe's games in 2019-20. W&M finished fourth during the regular season in the CAA standings and advanced to the semifinals of the league tournament for the fourth year in a row.