KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Nolan DeWeese and Roderick Orellana, freshmen-to-be on the UMKC men's soccer team, were recently honored as their respective state 2018-19 Gatorade Boys Soccer Players of the Year. Both players step foot on campus with highly-decorated prep careers, ready to contribute immediately this fall for the Roo soccer program.
UMKC Head Coach Rick Benben describes each player's abilities.
"Nolan is a very gifted player. He is a leader who has a great understanding of the game. Nolan is an excellent defender and passer coming out of the back. He is going to add a lot to our group. Roderick is an excellent player with a wealth of technical ability. He is a versatile midfielder who is equally effective in both offensive and defensive roles. We expect Roderick to have an immediate impact on our team."
Deweese, a 6-3, 175-pound defender playing at Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis, was tabbed as the Gatorade Missouri Boys Soccer Player of the Year. He led the Cadets to a 25-2-2 record and the Class 4 state championship this past season. DeWeese anchored a defense that allowed 15 goals in 29 games, including just two in six postseason matches.
Orellana, a 5-10, 170-pound defender playing at Abraham Lincoln High School in Des Moines, was honored as the Gatorade Iowa Boys Soccer Player of the Year. He scored six goals and passed for one assist this past season, leading the Railsplitters (13-4) to the Class 3A Substate championship game. A three-time First Team All-Conference selection, Orellana was a 2018 Second Team All-State honoree. He concluded his prep soccer career with 31 goals and 14 assists.
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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Some information courtesy of The Gatorade Company