By Ira Green for MSNsportsNET.com
February 18, 2010
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Incoming freshman Zachary Claudio has been named the 2009-10 Gatorade West Virginia Boys Soccer Player of the Year, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN Rise, announced today from its Chicago office.
The award is bestowed to student-athletes with outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field.
A four-year varsity starter at George Washington High in Charleston, W.Va., Claudio finished his senior season with three goals and a team-leading 17 assists. He guided his team to the Class AAA Region 3 final. Brother of current Mountaineer Nick Claudio, Zachary was tabbed the West Virginia High School State AAA Midfielder of the Year, while earning first team all-state, first team all-county and first team all-conference honors. In his first season in high school, Claudio was named the Kanawha/Putnam County Freshman of the Year in 2006.
Away from the field, Claudio has maintained a 4.62 grade-point average. He has worked as a chemistry tutor at his school, while also volunteering locally to serve meals to the homeless and delivering food baskets to needy families.
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 ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Claudio is part of the Mountaineers 2010 recruiting class, which consists of early enrollee and U.S. U-17 National Team standout Julio Arjona (Germantown, Md.), Brooks Nucilli (Fairmont, W.Va.), Travis Ives (Bridgewater, N.J.), Jay Williams (Raleigh, N.C.), Allan Flott (Arlington, Va.) and junior college transfers, brothers Franck Tayou (Douala, Cameroon) and Uzi Tayou (Bandjoun, Cameroon).