Raiders’ Anderson earns USA Today Player of the Year honor
QUINCY — Seth Anderson received an email in advance of the recent state-by-state unveiling of the USA Today High School Sports Awards requesting biographical information.
The correspondence revealed little else.
“I had no idea who was going to win,” Anderson said.
The Quincy Notre Dame graduate and all-time leading scorer for the boys soccer program was one of 12 players in Illinois nominated as the state’s top soccer player. During the 75-minute internet show, Anderson was named one of three finalists, joining Streamwood’s Jose Ibarra and Gurnee Warren’s Max Floriani.
Moments later, Alex Morgan, star of the U.S. women’s national team, announced Anderson as the Player of the Year.
“It was really cool to see my name come up there and then to have Alex Morgan say it like that,” Anderson said. “It’s awesome.”
Anderson will be on the ballot for the USA Today National Player of the Year, which will be announced August 5 during a streamed broadcast at sportsawards.usatoday.com.
“It’s really something surreal and something I really never thought of until it happened,” Anderson said. “It’s definitely an honor to go and get an award like that.”
It’s just another major honor the Saint Louis University-bound playmaker received this year.
He was named an all-stater by the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association for the second consecutive year. He finished his career with 79 goals, breaking Gary Koetters’ career record. He totaled 35 goals and 14 assists in 15 games this spring, leading the Raiders to a 13-2 record.
He scored a goal in 14 of the 15 games and had a 14-game goal-scoring streak dating back to his junior year, breaking the school record of nine. He was invited to play in the High School All-American Game, held in late May at Chaminade High School in St. Louis.
“You want to go and be proud of yourself for getting things done and receiving those honors, but at the same time, you always have to be hungry for more and keep on adding them up because that’s not the end of the road,” Anderson said. “You still have a lot left to do.”
Each honor he receives fuels his desire to be great.
“It makes you want to work harder,” Anderson said.
That is why Anderson drove to St. Louis a minimum of two or three times per week for at least the last two months to practice with the St. Louis Scott Gallagher Elite ’02 team. Depending on his team’s schedule, Anderson might have been in St. Louis four or five days in a week.
“I love the game,” Anderson said. “So it’s been great.”
Such effort from everyone involved has led to a spot in the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships this week in Florida. SLSG Elite ’02 is in the U19 division, which begins play Tuesday.
The trip has afforded Anderson a momentary breather as well. He played golf on the first day in Florida and is anticipating some beach time.
It will be one of the last hurrahs before beginning his college career at SLU, where expectations will be high.
“We have a good chance to win a national championship and bring something special home to St. Louis,” Anderson said.
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