Jesuit’s Christian Fairbanks and Berkeley Prep’s Carsyn Martz were named Alvarez award winners as the top boys and girls soccer players, respectively, in Hillsborough County.
The award presentation, now in its 38th year, was held during a dinner ceremony on Wednesday.
Fairchild became the ninth player from Jesuit to win the Jose A. Alvarez award as the top boys player.
A team captain, Fairchild decided to delay having surgery on his injured knee so he could play the Tigers as a senior. He finished the season with 16 goals and eight assists while leading Jesuit to the state semifinals.
This upcoming season, Fairchild will play for Malaga FC in Spain.
“It means a lot because of the thought that went into it, and the deep history behind it,” Fairchild said of winning the Alvarez award. “It was my last year, and I wanted to do everything I could for my team and help us try to win a state title.”
Martz, a Rice signee, is the sixth player from Berkeley Prep to win the Janet Alvarez award as the top player.
As a senior, she scored five goals and five assists. But it was the four-year captain’s ability to stop shots as a defender that made her really stand out. She also was stellar as a distributor and the target player in the box on direct kicks and set pieces.
Two years ago, Martz was at the ceremony when one of her best friends and former Buccaneer teammates, Makenzy Martin, took home the Alvarez award.
“After (Martin) I knew I had to work hard and do my best,” Martz said. “It was an honor for her to get it, and for me to receive the award, as well. People always ask me how many goals I scored each game. I tell them I saved a lot. Defenders do not get a lot of recognition, so it means even more to win this award.”
The awards are named in honor of Jose Alvarez, a businessman, civic leader and soccer advocate who wanted to do something to recognize the top players in Hillsborough County. The honorees are selected based on their athletic and academic excellence, as well as their leadership abilities.