FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Fairmont Senior all-state soccer player, Jonas Branch, has been named this year’s Gatorade West Virginia boys soccer Player of the Year.
Branch scored 30 goals and dished out 32 assists this season for a Polar Bears team that repeated as Double-A state champs.
Branch, who’s off to West Virginia Wesleyan in the fall to continue his soccer career with the Bobcats, spoke to 12 Sports about being named the top boys soccer player in the state.
“I’m honored, personally, because being a part of that, it’s just a great experience. Not many people get to experience it. Just me being able to have that is awesome. I mean, I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Branch said Friday. “I worked so hard in this offseason. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to go back and win another state championship, so in the offseason I worked my butt off and it paid off.”
It certainly did.
Branch had this to say about finding out he had been picked for the award Friday morning.
“My phone kind of started blowing up,” Branch said with a laugh. “It was great. I was ecstatic. … When I found out I was very excited.”
Branch is the third local player in a row to win the award.
Robert C. Byrd’s Khori Miles received the honor for the 2019-2020 season, and University’s Joseph Biafora won it in 2018-2019.
Branch is the first Fairmont Senior boys soccer player to ever win the award, which dates back to 1986.