Christian Brothers College High School

AJ Palazzolo Wins Gatorade Player of the Year Award

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Contact: John Manzo (312-729-3656)
CHICAGO (February 11, 2016) — In its 31st year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced AJ Palazzolo of Christian Brothers College High School as its 2015-16 Gatorade Missouri Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Palazzolo is the fourth Gatorade Missouri Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Christian Brothers College 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 Palazzolo as Missouri’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 May, Palazzolo joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook HS, Mich.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, East Brunswick HS, N.J.) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.).
The 5-foot-11, 160-pound senior defender scored nine goals and passed for four assists this past season, leading the Cadets (23-5-1) to the Class 4, District 4 Tournament final. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s 2015 High School National Player of the Year, Palazzolo was a member of the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Men’s National Team in 2014. Rated as the No. 46 recruit in the Class of 2016 by College Soccer News, he participated in December’s High School All-American Game in North Carolina.
Palazzolo has maintained a 3.56 GPA in the classroom. A volunteer at a home for abused children and teenagers, he has donated his time as a CBC ambassador and as a soccer coach for special-needs children.
“AJ Palazzolo is a cut above the rest,” said Greg Koeller, head coach of St. Dominic High. “He’s a game-changer with versatile ability, great tactical insight and sublime technique. A true soccer personality!”
Palazzolo has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Indiana University beginning 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 high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Palazzolo joins recent Gatorade Missouri Boys Soccer Players of the Year Dalton Souder (2014-15, Lee's Summit High School), Keith Grieshaber (2013-14, Marquette High School), Tommy Barlow (2012-13, Chaminade College Preparatory School), Derek Schrick (2011–12, Rockhurst High School), Alec Cochran (2010–11, Christian Brothers College High School), Adnan Gabeljic, (2009-10, Mehlville High School), Alex Sweetin (2008–09, Rockhurst High School), Will Bruin (2007-08, De Smet Jesuit High School), and Mike Roach (2006-07, Chaminade College Preparatory School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
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