Eli Nixon Layton boys soccer 2020

In this undated photo from the 2020 season, Layton forward Eli Nixon moves the ball up the field.

Despite his final high school boys soccer season being cut to four games due to cancellations caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Layton High graduating senior Eli Nixon got some good news this week.

Nixon has been named the Gatorade Utah Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

Nixon totaled 13 goals and four assists as a junior last season to be named to the Standard-Examiner All-Area Second Team. He concluded his high school career with 24 goals.

The award that honors the nation’s best high school athletes is in its 35th year. It recognizes “not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field,” a news release from Gatorade said.

“Eli is truly an outstanding soccer player and one of the best forwards to ever play for Layton High,” said Layton coach Derek Amano in a statement. “He’s extremely athletic with loads of speed, an eye for slotting passes and a natural instinct for scoring goals. He’s always been one of the top players in the state in his age group.”

Nixon carries a 3.54 GPA and is signed to play college soccer at Utah Valley University. The announcement says Nixon is an Eagle Scout and has collected soccer equipment to donate to refugee children.

He participated in U.S. Youth Soccer’s west region Olympic development program and, according to the news release, was a standout at the group’s national training camp in January.

Nixon is the first Northern Utah boys soccer player to win Gatorade POY honors since Viewmont’s Lucas Cawley in 2014.

Nixon is the ninth from Northern Utah to be so honored, joining Cawley, Tyrell Farnes (Weber, 2005), Josh Robbins (Bountiful, 1999), Nate Davis (Bear River, 1997), B.J. McNichol (Viewmont, 1996), Gary Olson (Bountiful, 1990), Tommy Angelos (Woods Cross, 1988), Henry Ihrig (Woods Cross, 1987) and Chris Agnello (Woods Cross, 1986).

Contact Brett Hein at bhein@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter @bhein3 and @WeberHQ.

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