On Tuesday afternoon in the gym at Garces Memorial, recent graduate Alex Halevy was honored with a ceremony to celebrate being named the 2021 Gatorade California Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
Halevy becomes the first boys soccer player from the Central Section to be named Gatorade State Player of the Year and just the 15th overall recipient in section history since the award began in 1985.
The award is presented annually to the top athlete in the state and Alex became the first Garces Memorial recipient in school history and just the seventh winner in Kern County history.
Halevy led the Rams with 43 goals this season in just 15 matches. That total equaled the program record for a single season and his 80 career goals is a program record, accomplishing that total in just 91 career matches.
The Rams won the Central Section Division IV championship last month, the third consecutive section title for the program. Garces also advanced to the CIF Southern California regional semifinals for the third consecutive season.
Halevy will attend South Kent Prep School in Connecticut in the fall.
Below is the press release from Gatorade, recognizing Halevy and his accomplishments.
CHICAGO (June 11, 2021) — In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Alex Halevy of Garces Memorial High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade California Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Halevy is the first Gatorade California Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Garces Memorial High School.
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 Halevy as California’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, Halevy joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, 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 (2004-05, 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-1, 170-pound senior forward led the Rams to a 14-1 record and a third straight Central Section, Division IV Tournament championship this past season. Halevy scored 43 goals and passed for 19 assists, tallying one of each in Garces’ 4-1 win over Lindsay High in the sectional final. The 2020 Central Section Player of the Year, he concluded his prep soccer career with 80 goals and 70 assists.
Halevy has volunteered locally on behalf of community beautification projects and for Meals on Wheels. He has also donated his time as a youth soccer coach and mentor. “Alex was definitely a problem for us offensively,” said Tony Godoy, head coach of Lindsay High. “He was very quick with and without the ball. A great leader.”
Halevy has maintained a weighted 3.26 GPA in the classroom. He is taking a post-graduate year and playing at the South Kent School in Connecticut 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. 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.
Halevy joins recent Gatorade California Boys Soccer Players of the Year Andrew Valverde (2019-20, North High School), Blake Bowen (2018-19, San Clemente High School), Tristan Weber (2017-18, San Clemente High School), and Rodney Michael (2016-17, Dunn School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Halevy has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Halevy is also eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $2.7 million across 1,117 organizations.
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 playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.