High school playoff soccer

Jenks midfielder Will Edwards is shown in action against Norman in a 2019 playoff match. On Monday, he was named Gatorade player of the year for the second straight season. JOEY JOHNSON/for the Tulsa World

Jenks senior Will Edwards had a fantastic junior soccer season, but the coronavirus cheated him out of an encore.

The Gatorade Company helped make up for it Monday by naming Edwards as its Oklahoma male soccer player of the year for the second straight season.

Edwards had 14 goals and eight assists last year, helping lead the Trojans to an 18-0 record, the 6A state championship and the No. 2 final ranking in the USA Today/United Soccer Coaches’ Super 25.

He had four goals and four assists in the Trojans’ four 2020 games before the coronavirus pandemic struck, ending his senior year. He totaled 40 goals and 27 assists over four varsity seasons.

“Will is the type of player who can turn a game on its head,” Jenks coach Eric Marshall said in a Gatorade news release.

“He can take on players in and around the box to score a goal. He can start a counterattack with a well-placed through ball, or penetrate on the dribble to open up space for other players. He’s a very intelligent player who has been a leader on and off the field.”

Edwards also helped lead the Trojans to a state runner-up finish as a sophomore and was part of 40 wins over four seasons. He is a two-time All World selection by the Tulsa World.

He is the seventh Jenks player to receive the Gatorade Award but the first two-time recipient. Other Trojans winners were Eric Littlepage (1997); Hudson Blake (1996); Robbie Burns (1993); Gary Graham (1991); Mark Haston (1990) and David Gordon (1989).

Gatorade is in its 35th year of honoring the best high school athletes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The award recognizes athletic performance, academic excellence and exemplary character on and off the field.

Edwards served on his school’s student council and volunteered locally on behalf of the Make-a-Wish Foundation as well as a youth summer camp. He maintained a 3.71 GPA and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

He is now eligible for selection as national male soccer player of the year, an award which will be announced later this month.

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Mike Brown

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