Why he won: Game-winning field goals. Walkoff home runs. Buzzer-beating three-pointers. James combined all these dramatic elements with a little chutzpah all his own when he unleashed a surprise 55-yard scoring strike to begin — and quickly end — the sudden-death overtime in the Class 1A boys’ soccer state tournament title game. The sophomore used his right leg to drive the ball from midfield at U.S. Bank Stadium into the upper-right corner of the Bemidji net for a 1-0 victory.
What was said: James can’t recall scoring the miraculous goal because it caused a blur of joy. But there’s always YouTube. “It’s been probably hundreds, maybe even thousands of times,” James said of his rewatch count. “It was a goal to remember, and I’ll definitely remember it for a long time.”