Berkshire's Jacob Shaffelburg '19 has been named the 2017-2018 Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Soccer Player of the Year.
The annual award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, according to Gatorade.
Shaffelburg, a junior forward from Nova Scotia, Canada, scored 16 goals and recorded 12 assists for the Bears last fall while leading Berkshire (19-1-1) to the New England Prep School Athletic Council Class A Tournament championship game. He is ranked as the No. 10 recruit in the Class of 2019, according to TopDrawerSoccer.com.
"Jacob's speed and ability to burst past defenders and into the final third of the pitch is uncanny. Talent is something that Jacob certainly does not lack, but more importantly, he possesses the intangibles like a first-rate work ethic and solid relationships with his teammates," said Berkshire soccer coach Charlie Bour.
In addition to helping the Bears win a New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Class A championship in 2017, Shaffelburg is a six-time New England track and field champion and a member of the 2018 national championship winning boys squash team.
Shaffelburg is the second Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Berkshire. Jack Harrison '15 earned the award in 2014 and 2015, and was named Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year in 2015. Harrison, the former No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft played two seasons for New York City FC before signing a contract in January with the Premier League's Manchester City.
Shaffelburg has made a verbal commitment to play soccer on scholarship at the University of Virginia.
In addition to his athletic success, Gatorade recognized Shaffelburg for his work in the classroom and as a volunteer youth soccer coach in Canada.
"Berkshire is immensely proud of Jacob for this tremendous accomplishment. Not only is he an exceptional, talented soccer player, but Jacob is an inspiring role model to students in all areas of school life at Berkshire. His contributions to our classrooms, teams, and community set the standard by his positive outlook, kindness to others, and commitment to success at the highest level," said Pieter Mulder, Berkshire's Head of School.
Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year award, which will be announced later this month, Shaffelburg will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a $1,000 grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program.