A monumental portion of what the Liberty boys soccer team has done in recent years has started, and often ended, with senior Jeff Koch at the back of its formation.
Liberty's 6-foot-1, 175-pound field general led the Lancers on an undefeated run through the regular season and to the Class 5A state semifinals in Season C. He scored three goals and assisted on four more, all while serving as the linchpin for a Lancers (11-1) defense that shut out five opponents and allowed just nine goals.
That all-around impact has not gone unnoticed, as Koch has been named the Gatorade Colorado boys soccer player of the year.
“Jeff was the best defender we faced this year,” Rampart head coach Karl Anderson said in Gatorade's release. “He locked down the middle of the Lancers’ defense as well as being an offensive threat on set pieces.”
Koch, who has six goals and five assists in 28 high school games, will take his most recent award with him when he continues his soccer career at Southern Methodist University this fall. He is the third Gatorade Colorado boys soccer player of the year to be chosen from Liberty High School.
The Gatorade player of the year award recognizes not only outstanding athletic achievement, but also high standards for character and off-field accomplishment. Not only has Koch been named all-conference in the Pikes Peak League three times, as well as an all-state second teamer, he has maintained a 3.57 GPA and has also volunteered locally with several charitable organizations, schools and youth leagues.
Koch is now a finalist for the Gatorade national boys soccer player of the year award, which will be announced later in June.