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Dutchtown’s Zayne Zezulka kicks the ball  in front of Episcopal’s Tochi Mbagwu on Jan. 15, 2020, at Episcopal High School.

Dutchtown High's Zayne Zezulka has earned respect as a prolific offensive threat on the soccer field throughout his high school career. Now the recent Griffin graduate has a lofty award to go along with it.

Zezulka was selected as the 2019-20 Gatorade Louisiana Boys Soccer Player of the Year, according a press release. A two-time All-Metro MVP for Division I-II, the 6-foot, 170-pound Zezulka led the Griffins (20-6-1) to the Division I semifinals.

The Gatorade honor punctuates a season in which the Furman signee also was voted the Division I Offensive MVP in Louisiana after scoring 43 goals and distributing seven assists.

“Zayne has been one of the top players in the state for a while, and the fact he has recognized with a several top awards as a senior is fitting,” Dutchtown coach Marcus Dyer said. “And for it to end with this award is a perfect way to end his high school career.

"Great players don't always become great team leaders. But the way Zayne assumed that role as a senior impacted the entire team, including guys who were not on the varsity."

Zezulka maintained a weighted 4.52 GPA in the classroom. He also volunteered locally at an animal shelter, a food bank and helped a soccer program for children with special needs. Winning the Louisiana Gatorade award makes Zezulka eligible to win the Gatorade National Player of the Year award to be announced later this month.

“Zayne Zezulka is an excellent player and this year was an exceptional one for him,” said Hubie Collins, head coach at Jesuit. “He can score goals at will with his left foot or right foot, and he’s especially dangerous in the air.”

Zezulka is the first Baton Rouge area player to win the Louisiana boys award in recent years. Five of the past six winners were from New Orleans metro schools.


Email Robin Fambrough at rfambrough@theadvocate.com