By WILL HIGHTOWER
Nathan Diehl has been named the Alabama Soccer Player of the Year, a prestigious honor that is awarded by Gatorade. But the announcement shouldn’t have been much of a surprise to the 18 year old. After all, he did the same thing last year.
The recent graduate of Mountain Brook High School became the third two-time winner of the Gatorade Alabama Boys’ Soccer Player of the Year, which has been given out since 1986.
“I had a feeling I would be in the running for the award again,” Diehl said.
Diehl, who played as a midfielder and defender for the Spartans, recorded eight goals and four assists this past season. The team finished with a record of 15-9-3.
The two Gatorade awards take a featured spot in a full trophy case for Diehl. He was also the 2010 Birmingham News Player of the Year and is a two-time First Team All-State selection.
Many of his awards came before his senior year, but Diehl said he kept a level head all season. “Honestly, I wasn’t feeling much pressure this year after winning the award last year,” he said. “True, I felt obligated to put in 100% effort every game, but that was inevitable whether or not I had won the award.”
Now that his illustrious high school career has ended, Diehl is preparing to go to Chapel Hill, N.C., to play for the Tar Heels. North Carolina is a prestigious soccer school that competes in the ACC. Diehl said it is unclear whether he will get playing time as a freshman.
The Mountain Brook High School soccer team will have some big cleats to fill next year now that Diehl is gone.