CHICAGO (June 16, 2022) — In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Quin DeLaMater of Hillgrove High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade Georgia Boys Soccer Player of the Year. DeLaMater is the first Gatorade Georgia Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Hillgrove 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 DeLaMater as Georgia’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, DeLaMater 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-2, 185-pound senior defender scored 12 goals and passed for five assists this past season, leading the Hawks (14-5-1) to the Class AAAAAAA state semifinals. The GeorgiaHighSchoolSoccer.com Class AAAAAAA Player of the Year, DeLaMater scored half of his goals off of free kicks and concluded his prep soccer career with a school-record 19 goals as a defender. He is a three-time Region 3-7A honoree.
DeLaMater helped lead a weekly team book study meeting that the players used to develop leadership skills. He has volunteered his time with the Hillgrove High Student Leadership Academy. “Quin is hands down the best defender I have ever coached in my club and high school career of 17 years,” said Heath Merrill, head coach of Hillgrove High School. “His free kick goals did not go in due to goalkeeper errors. Many were professional level. He was clutch, as he scored in the biggest moments against the best teams in the state.”
DeLaMater has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at Boston University 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 leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.
DeLaMater joins recent Gatorade Georgia Boys Soccer Players of the Year Kadeem Agard (2020-21, South Gwinnett High School), Vedad Kovac (2019-20, Lassiter High School), and Omar Hernandez (2018-19 & 2017-18, Dalton High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” platform, DeLaMater has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. DeLaMater is also eligible to submit a short 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 $3.5 million across more than 1,300 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.comor follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.
Photo by Cecil Copeland.