Rush Wisconsin West Soccer

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Aug, 2018

GATORADE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Rush is honored to announce our seven Gatorade State Player of the Year winners for the 2017-2018 season. Since 1985, Gatorade has awarded outstanding high school students from each state this prestigious honor for their athletic excellence, academic achievement, and exemplary character.

A diverse range of states are represented in this year’s winner pool, as well as various backgrounds and experiences that soccer has brought each individual player. What these winners communicate, after a lifetime of the sport they adore and the sacrifices they have made, is true gratefulness.

“Winning this award means so much to me because it’s not purely about soccer, but about a player’s character as well. Even being considered for this award was a great honor,” exclaimed Melina Hegelheimer of Iowa Rush.  


“I can’t thank the people who’ve helped me get to this point enough. I owe everything to my parents, coaches, teammates, and teachers because they made me the person and player I am today,” Hegelheimer commented.


These players have developed with Rush to standout on a national stage, and have not forgotten the process it took to get here.

Winner Alex Liu spoke of his learning curve with Hawaii Rush,

 “I learned to step out of my comfort zone. With things like Rush Select, mainland tournaments, and the men’s league we have here on Oahu, you are given so many opportunities to play against better competition and push yourself. It isn’t always easy, but one thing my coach always told me was that if it was easy, everybody would do it. Those words really stuck with me and ever since I’ve had motivation to challenge myself and play to my full potential.”

Within the process of becoming a great player, is first recognizing the importance of becoming the best teammate. Liu continued,

“Without my teammates I am nothing. I suffered and triumphed with the same groups of boys for several years. To be a part of a community where everyone has bought into the same goal and loves the game as much as you do is one of the most beautiful things. I am so thankful to have been blessed with teammates who pushed me day in and day out to be the best player I can be.”

In addition to the teammates, there will always be memorable coaches who bring the game to life.

“Daouda Kante, he brought knowledge, passion, and showed me how to enjoy the game, as well as my father coaching me from a young age,” Kyle Ruark of Kansas Rush commented.

Ruark added what this award has meant to him personally,

“When I was younger and thought about high school soccer, my goal was to be an All-American. This was something I never expected. It was a complete surprise. It completed everything.”

These winners serve as a statement of the success of Rush’s players, and the impact they would like to leave behind as role models.

“The impact I would like to leave is that even if you aren’t the best player when you were younger, like me, it only matters what you do about it and where you end up. I would say there isn’t a path set for you; you are in control of your own destiny,” said Colorado Rush’s Hailey Stodden.

Rush wishes each of these players well on they head into the next chapter, whether that is finishing high school or beginning to compete in college soccer.

We congratulate winners Hailey Stodden, Alex Liu, Tay Collum, Jenna Kemp, Bryce Wallace, Brianna Martinez, Kyle Ruark, and Melina Hegelheimer on this award and thank them for the joy and pride they have brought to Rush Soccer across the country.


Contact

Rush Wisconsin West
PO Box 2714 
La Crosse, Wisconsin 54602

Email: rushwiwest@gmail.com

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