Grand Forks Red River's Gannon Brooks named North Dakota Boys Soccer Gatorade Player of the Year

Brooks is the first Roughriders player to win the honor in program history.

Grand Forks Red River players celebrate Gannon Brooks' goal with 14 seconds left to tie Fargo Davies 2-2 at Cushman Field Tuesday, September 21, 2021. Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

GRAND FORKS — Grand Forks Red River's Gannon Brooks became the school's first honoree of a major award this summer.

In 37 years of the award's existence, Brooks was named Red River's first North Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year in boys soccer.

According to Gatorade, the award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Brooks was a senior midfielder for the Riders. He had 15 goals and nine assists this past season in leading the Riders (10-7-3) to fourth place in the state tournament.

Brooks was also named the Eastern Dakota Conference Senior Athlete of the Year. He was a two-time first-team all-state choice.


According to Gatorade, Brooks is a senior mentor and a member of his school’s Leadership Council. He has participated in multiple service mission trips with his church and has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics.

Brooks, who has a weighted 4.17 grade-point average, will attend Concordia College in Moorhead, where he plans to play soccer.

Brooks also competed in track and field for the Roughriders.

Brooks joins recent Gatorade North Dakota Boys Soccer Players of the Year Nikko Helderop (2020-21, Bismarck Century), Mason Stotz (2019-20, Bismarck High), Telvin Vah (2018-19, West Fargo) and Tresor Mugwaneza (2017-18, Bismarck), among the state’s list of former award winners.

The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.

082021 S GFH RRBSOC NathanielKallod GannonBrooks01.jpg
Fargo North defender Nathaniel Kallod (22) and Red River midfielder Gannon Brooks (10) vie for possession of the ball in the first half of a N.D. East Region boys soccer match at Cushman Field on Thursday, August 19, 2021. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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