Andrew Kanarr Named NCCAA National Player of the Year

Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications

Andrew Kanarr (Left) Culminated his Collegiate Playing Career with a NCCAA National Championship and By Being Named the NCCAA National Player of the Year. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards. Andrew Kanarr (Left) Culminated his Collegiate Playing Career with a NCCAA National Championship and By Being Named the NCCAA National Player of the Year. Photo Courtesy of: Lori Richards.

GREENVILLE, S.C.- To go out on top is seemingly the ideal scenario for any athlete with the ultimate goal of winning their organization’s national championship. For Palm Beach Atlantic’s Andrew Kanarr, the goal of a national championship was realized when he helped lead the Sailfish men’s soccer team to the NCCAA National Championship. Although maybe not a personal goal, Kanarr claimed the top individual award as announced on Friday as well by being named the NCCAA National Player of the Year.

A four-year starter at defender for the Fish, Kanarr came to Palm Beach Atlantic after a solid career at Durant High School in Valrico, Florida. Although a solid collegiate prospect, it was the hard work that he would put in while playing out his career in a Sailfish uniform that would lift him to such standards as the NCCAA National Player of the Year.

“Andrew has been a blessing to this program, on and off the field,” said head coach Jose Gomez.

“He represents the ministry side of our team and also the soccer commitment we are looking for out of our players as we strive towards championships.  Andrew’s hard work, dedication, and discipline have landed him this honor and I am extremely excited about his future,” continued Gomez.

Playing a key role in PBA’s backline defense, Kanarr was part of a group that posted 12 shutouts on the season including three during their postseason run that ended with hoisting the NCCAA Championship banner in Kissimmee, Florida.

To the casual soccer fan a defender’s play or skills can sometimes go unnoticed because they don’t record lofty statistics or put many goals on the scoreboard. However with the case of Kanarr and other players of his caliber, the goals they prevent are just as important as the goals scored as they often times keep their teams in close games with their strategic play and game-saving tackles.

Like many athletes, Kanarr has faced some adversity during his playing career that required perseverance and a strong desire to play the game. After becoming a regular starter midway through his freshman season and into the next year, Kanarr and the Fish were dealt a serious blow six games into his sophomore campaign when Kanarr was lost for the season with a torn ACL that would require season-ending surgery and a long rehab process.

Determined to get back on the field the following year, Kanarr put in the many hours of rehab and rest required to come back stronger than ever in 2009. As a junior that year, Kanarr started all 20 games back at his customary defensive back position then followed that up by playing in every game as a senior as well this season.

Not only a strong and athletic player, Kanarr matured into a solid leader as well as he joined up with three other seniors on this years PBA men’s soccer team to provide the team a strong nucleus as the team inherited a large and talented incoming freshman class.

After the team graduated nine seniors from the previous season some may have speculated that the 2010 campaign would be one of a rebuilding year. After a 3-3 start it looked as if that might be the case. But given time, the young players would begin to mesh with the veterans and the team would close out the season in dominating fashion as they won their final eight matches on their way to a new team record of 15 wins on the season.

Kanarr will receive his recognition for the NCCAA National Player of the Year Award at the NSCAA Convention in Baltimore in January.

Although replacing Kanarr and his three other senior teammates in Kyle Crouse, Juan Villagrana, and Josh Sharpe may be a tough task for Gomez and his staff, if 2010 is any proof of what a “rebuilding year” may look like, then Sailfish soccer fans have a lot to be excited for in 2011.

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