CHICAGO (June 11, 2021) — In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Kadeem Agard of South Gwinnett High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade Georgia Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Agard is the first Gatorade Georgia Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from South Gwinnett 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 Agard 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, Agard 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, 155-pound senior forward scored 43 goals and passed for 12 assists this past season, leading the Comets (17-4-2) to the Class AAAAAAA state semifinals. The Class AAAAAAA Player of the Year, Agard recorded seven goals and four assists in four postseason games. A two-time Gwinnett County Super 6 selection, he recorded 14 multi-goal games including six hat tricks in his prep career.
Agard has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach. “Kadeem is a special player,” said Lee Duggan, head coach of Grayson High. “He has size, speed and an instinctive ability to find the goal. He has been head and shoulders above his peers since his freshman year—a clear talent that developed and improved, year over year.”
Agard has maintained a weighted 3.61 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at Mercer 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 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.
Agard joins recent Gatorade Georgia Boys Soccer Players of the Year Vedad Kovac (2019-20, Lassiter High School), Omar Hernandez (2018-19 & 2017-18, Dalton High School), and Jake Donaldson (2016-17, McIntosh High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Agard has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Agard 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.