Soccer player

Wagoner named National Football Player of the Year

June 17—Alex Wagoner continues to produce firsts for Santa Fe High School.

The rising senior led the Demons to their first state men’s soccer championship in November, was named Class 5A Player of the Year by the coaches and became the first Santa Fe High player to win the award. of The New Mexican’s NorthStars Male Athlete of the Year earlier this month. .

Add the Gatorade’s State Boys Football Player of the Year award to his growing list, as Wagoner took home the honor on Thursday. He becomes the first Santa Fe High footballer to earn this honor.

Wagoner led the state and was among the nation’s top scorers in 2021, hitting the back of the net 73 times. His last four goals led the Demons to a 4-3 win over Albuquerque Sandia in the Class 5A Championship game in November, including the golden goal in the ninth minute of overtime.

Wagoner said he’s known the price since he was in elementary school in Taos. He was good friends with Zoie Hensley of Taos, a 2014 graduate who won the state women’s soccer honor as a senior and played at Tennessee Tech. He added that he was honored to earn this honour, which not only recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.

“It’s a huge honor,” Wagoner said. “It’s really good to be one of the kids who get to experience this award and it’s pretty special, not only for me but also for the team.”

According to the press release, Wagoner has a 4.0 grade point average and has volunteered to coach youth football in the city. Wagoner said he would take four advanced placement classes at Santa Fe High for his senior year.

Rio Rancho Cleveland head coach Shaun Gill praised Waggoner’s scoring ability from just about anywhere on the court in the statement.

“Alex is really good on the ball and has a brilliant shot,” Gill said. “They wouldn’t have won the state championship without him.”

Wagoner was not only a Class 5A All-State selection, but he also earned an All-American United Soccer Coaches selection.

This is the 37th year that Gatorade has recognized the country’s top athletes in a variety of sports. In January, he honored St. Michael’s freshman Raylee Hunt as the state’s Female Cross Country Athlete of the Year, becoming the school’s first female runner to win the accolade.

By winning the state award, Wagoner becomes a finalist for the Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced later this month.

Wagoner said he will make a decision on his soccer future next week as he considers whether to play at the Colorado Rapids soccer academy and New Mexico United’s U-19 team or return for one more season at Santa Fe High.