RIO RANCHO, N.M. — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company on June 6 announced Gabe Legendre of Cleveland High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade New Mexico Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
Legendre is the first Gatorade New Mexico Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Cleveland 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 Legendre as New Mexico’s best high school boys soccer player.
Although soccer in New Mexico is played in the fall, in some other states it is a spring sport, hence the “late” acknowledgement by Gatorade of the states’ winners.
Legendre is a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced later this month. Legendre joins recent Gatorade New Mexico Boys Soccer Players of the Year Adam Foltz (2017, Alamogordo High School), Charles Touche (2016, Albuquerque Academy), Miguel Lucero (2015, Atrisco Heritage Academy High School), Sergio Rivas (2014, Cibola High School) and Guillermo Diaz (2013, Gadsden High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
The 5-foot-7, 152-pound junior forward and midfielder led the Storm to a 20-3 record and the Class 5A state championship this past season.
Legendre recorded 32 goals and 13 assists, including a hat trick in the state semifinals. He produced three hat tricks and 10 multi-goal games en route to earning Class 5A co-Player of the Year honors. Legendre is also a two-time first-team All-State selection. He concluded his junior year with 59 goals and 17 assists in his prep soccer career.
Legendre is a volunteer firefighter in the village of Corrales. He has also donated his time to community beautification projects.
“Gabe is an impactful player that finds a way to make things happen for his team,” said John Shepard, head coach at Rio Rancho High School. “He plays at full speed all the time, yet still makes good decisions. If he can’t score, he assists.”
Legendre has maintained a 3.32 GPA in the classroom. He will begin his senior year of high school 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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Legendre’s selection gives each of Rio Rancho’s two high schools a pair of Gatorade state winners: Storm running back Dorian Lewis won the honor in football, as did Rams David Patterson (boys basketball) and Briana Martinez (softball).
A virtual magician with the soccer ball, Gabe Legendre was a scoring machine for the 5A champion Storm in 2018.