Peter Byrne of Missoula Hellgate was named the 2015-16 Gatorade Montana Boys Soccer Player of the Year, the organization announced Thursday.
The 5-foot-11, 160-pound senior goalkeeper led the Knights to a 14-1 record and the Class AA state championship this past season. Byrne allowed just two goals and notched 13 shutouts, including three clean sheets in the team’s trio of postseason matches. The Class AA State Player of the Year, he played in the state final with a cast to protect his broken right hand and saved a penalty shot in the final minutes of Hellgate’s 1-0 win over Helena High.
Byrne is the second Gatorade Montana Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Hellgate High School.
Byrne has maintained a 3.93 GPA in the classroom. A talented saxophonist who has played in competitions across the country, he has volunteered locally as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit a children’s shelter and he has also donated his time as a youth soccer coach and referee.
“Peter Byrne is one of the best goalkeepers that I have seen in Montana,” said Ryan Billiet, head coach of Glacier High. “He was very technically sound and provided such great vocal leadership which helped organize his well-balanced defensive unit.”
Byrne has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Carroll College beginning this fall.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport.
Byrne joins recent Gatorade Montana Boys Soccer Players of the Year Ben Hietala (2014-15, Bozeman High School), Alec Marshall (2013-14, Bozeman High School), Nick Downs (2012-13 & 2011–12, CM Russell High School), Anthony Keene (2010–11, Billings West High School), Zach Moyers, (2009-10, Billings West High School), Jack Pueringer (2008–09, Billings West High School), Garion Holian (2007-08, Hellgate High School), and Adam Clinch (2006-07, Capital High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
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