Joseph Biafora Named WV Gatorade Player of the Year

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CHICAGO (June 6, 2019) — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade
Company today announced Joseph Biafora of University High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade West Virginia
Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Biafora is the first Gatorade West Virginia Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be
chosen from University 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 Biafora as West Virginia’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, Biafora joins an elite alumni association of past state soccer award-winners,
including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook High School, Mich.), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel High
School, Calif.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy School of Young Women, N.Y.), Heather O’Reilly
(2001-02, 2002-03, East Brunswick High School, N.J.), Matt Besler (2004-04, Blue Valley West High School, Kans.),
Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire High School, Mass.) and Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista High School,
Colo.).
The 5-foot-11, 180-pound senior forward scored 49 goals and passed for 13 assists this past season, leading the
Hawks (21-1-1) to the Class AAA semifinals. The West Virginia Sports Writers Association Player of the Year, Biafora
is a three-time All-State honoree and was selected as Class AAA Player of the Year by the West Virginia High School
Soccer Coaches Association.
A math tutor at his school, Biafora has volunteered locally assisting the elderly and coaching youth soccer players.
“Joe Biafora is one of the best players our state has ever had,” said Sam Snyder, head coach of Morgantown High. “He
works incredibly hard, he’s terrific on the ball and he can create chances from the smallest opening.”
Biafora has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on
scholarship at West Virginia University 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.
Biafora joins recent Gatorade West Virginia Boys Soccer Players of the Year Seth Jordan (2017-18 & 2016-17, Nitro
High School), Addison Luck (2015-16 & 2014-15, Morgantown High School), and Garrett Phillips (2013-14, George
Washington High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.