DALTON, Ga. – This summer, Omar Hernandez has been working toward his future as part of the roster of USL League Two’s Dalton Red Wolves SC.
On Tuesday, though, the future Wake Forest University midfielder received his reward for a standout career at Dalton High School as he was named the 2018-19 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year. With 16 goals and 17 assists, Hernandez led the Catamounts to the Class AAAAAA State Championship and the No. 1 ranking in the USA TODAY Super 25 and the TopDrawerSoccer.com FAB 50 to cap an outstanding youth career.
“Omar is the most dangerous player I have ever had to game plan against,” said Aaron Wessney, Head Coach of Sprayberry High, to Gatorade.com “His ability to use his left or right foot to strike the ball from distance, the power he has on his shot, his ability to shoot with very little space needed, his escapability from tight situations—I could go on and on.”
Hernandez’s award is the second consecutive National Player of the Year award earned by a League Two player after current Black Rock FC forward Ousseni Bouda was selected a year ago. The award also moves Hernandez into an elite class of players alongside previous winners Cristian Roldan, currently competing for the United States Men’s National Team at the Concacaf Gold Cup, and Claudio Reyna, one of the standouts in the current United States U-17 National Team.
The Red Wolves midfielder was a First Team All-State selection for a second time this year and was also named the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Co-Player of the Year for the state of Georgia. Hernandez finished his High School career with a total of 78 goals and 64 assists across his four years.
Hernandez will continue to play and train with the Red Wolves, who made their debut this season in USL League Two this season, for the next month as he continues his path toward the professional ranks before joining the Demon Deacons this fall.