Hoffman repeats Gatorade honor

Published 1:56 pm Thursday, May 14, 2009

Oak Mountain soccer forward Chandler Hoffman has been named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Alabama for the second-consecutive year, becoming one of four repeat award winner across the nation this season.

“It’s incredible. I had an AP (advanced placement) exam today, and the whole time I was waiting for them to announce Gatorade,” said Hoffman. He said he immediately pulled out his phone after leaving the macroeconomics test and saw that he had received the honor.

Hoffman, who signed to play at UCLA next season, lead Oak Mountain this season with a school record 44 goals. He finished his high school career with 121 goals and 17 hat tricks. He credits a lot of his success over the past three years to his Oak Mountain teammates and head coach Justin Pratt.

Also receiving the honor for the second-consecutive year is Stanford signee Adam Jahn of Carmichael, Calif., Indiana signee Kevin Bick of Louisville, Ky., and North Carolina signee Enzo Martinez of Rock Hill, S.C. All four were named All-Americans by the National Soccer Coaches of America Association in 2008.

“I’ve played against Enzo over the years, and he’s one of the best forwards I’ve ever seen. He’s unreal,” Hoffman said. “Those three players are incredible. To be one of the returning players in that group is unreal.”

Hoffman joins Spain Park goalkeeper Lauren Arnold as a 2008-09 Gatorade award recipient, as Arnold was named Alabama’s girls’ soccer Player of the Year Tuesday.

“We’ve grown up watching each other play … She’s an incredible goalkeeper,” Hoffman said. “It shows a lot of the development of players in the Birmingham area.”

Hoffman is undergoing physical therapy for a torn quadricep, which he injured in his final high school game May 5 against Hoover in the state quarterfinal. He will leave Brimingham on May 28 to play for the Panama City Pirates in the Premier Development League this summer.