MIDLOTHIAN, VA (WWBT) - An athlete is always striving to be #1. But Wednesday, one area athlete received a rare recognition, that actually confirmed he is the best of the best.
Cosby High School junior Luis Rendon was named the Gatorade High School Player of the Year for boys soccer. Rendon is the first Virginia native to win the award for boys soccer, and the first Richmond-area athlete to win for any sport.
Rendon was surprised at his high school by representatives from both Gatorade and ESPN. He was then honored in the auditorium by the entire junior and senior class at Cosby. Former UVA star and former Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year Alecko Eskandarian told Rendon he won the award during the school day today.
The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, as well as high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and journalists helped select Rendon from nearly 392,000 boys soccer players nationwide.
Rendon was named the Virginia State Boys Soccer Player of the Year award winner last week. He's now a finalist for the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, which will be presented in a special ceremony before The Espy Awards, in which Rendon will be a guest.
The junior forward led the Titans to the Dominion District regular-season title. Rendon scored 16 goals and made 13 assists this season. he owns the school record with 38 career goals.
Thursday, Rendon is headed to Portugal to play for with the Under 18 United States National Soccer team. He will return to play with his Titan teammates in the state tournament.
Rendon has a B+ average at CHS. he has volunteered locally at Richmond's Lynmore Nursing Home, and has donated his time on behalf of the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation. A native of Colombia, Rendon arrived at the U.S. at age 9, and earned his American citizenship last year.
Rendon still has another year left to play at Cosby. He has verbally committed to play soccer at Duke.