CHICAGO, Ill. --- Campbell men's soccer incoming freshman Josh Hughes has been named the 2016-17 Gatorade Louisiana Boys Soccer Player of the Year, as announced recently by the organization.
The award recognizes exemplary achievement on and off the field and distinguishes Hughes as Louisiana's top soccer player from the previous season. He is now a finalist for the Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year, which will be announced in late June.
"This is a prestigious award and our program is very excited for Josh and his family," said Campbell head coach Dustin Fonder. "Josh is the type of player and person that we need to recruit in order to drive this program forward. He is a talented soccer player, but more importantly he is a committed student and also wants to make a positive impact on the community. We look forward to seeing his career blossom here at Campbell."
Hughes, a graduate of Westminster Christian Academy in Opelousas, La., scored 28 goals and tallied 18 assists as a senior while leading the Crusaders (16-5) to the Division IV quarterfinals. The state's Division IV Offensive MVP each of the past two seasons, Hughes has also been recognized as an All-State, All-Parish and All-Acadiana honoree.
Off the field, Hughes maintained a 3.43 GPA in the classroom. A devoted member of his church youth group, he has volunteered locally on behalf of youth soccer programs and assisted with various flood relief efforts throughout Louisiana.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Hughes will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate to an organization of their choosing.
The award's 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.
Hughes, a 5-9, 170-pound forward, joins an elite group of former state player of the year award winners including United State Soccer standouts Alexi Lalas, Abby Wambach, Heather O'Reilly and Mallory Pugh.
He is also the first Camel to receive Gatorade state player of the year accolades since Pat Gross received the N.C. award back in 1991.