CHICAGO  — In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Michael Tahiru of Hebron Academy as its 2017-18 Gatorade Maine Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Tahiruis the first Gatorade Maine Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Hebron Academy.

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 Tahiru as Maine’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 June,

The 5-foot-8, 155-pound senior midfielder scored 42 goals and passed for 20 assists this past season, leading the Lumberjacks (15-0-3) to the New England Prep School Athletic Council Class C championship this past season. The New England Soccer Journal Prep School Player of the Year, Tahiru is a two-time NEPSAC All-Star and a veteran of Ghana’s Youth National Team.

A devoted member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Tahiru has served as a Sunday school teacher and has volunteered locally on behalf of youth soccer clinics. “Michael Tahiru definitely makes an impact on the game,” Millbrook School coach John Siegenthaler said. “He’s very creative on offense and he’s willing to backtrack into the midfield too. He’s a dynamic player.”

Tahiru has maintained a 3.40 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at Lehigh University this fall.

Tahiru joins recent Gatorade Maine Boys Soccer Players of the Year Carson Atherley (2016-17, Bangor High School), Abdi Shariff-Hassan (2015-16, Lewiston High School), Stephen Ochan (2014-15, Deering High School), Wyatt Omsberg (2013-14, Scarborough High School), Matt Saunders (2012-13, Lawrence High School), Robby Lentine (2011-12, Windham High School), Fazal Nabi (2010–11, Portland High School), Gabe Hoffman-Johnson (2009-10 & 2008–09, Falmouth High School), Oliver Blum (2007-08, Greely High School), and Jordan Hale (2006-07, Falmouth High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

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