FRISCO, Texas (June 2, 2023) – US Youth Soccer (USYS) is pleased to announce Idaho’s Kai Hatten and Eastern New York’s Willa Pratt as the 2023 William J. “Billy” Goaziou Scholarship recipients.
For more than a decade, US Youth Soccer has honored the life of William J. Goaziou by awarding two individuals attending a post-secondary educational institution for the first time with a one-year scholarship. Hatten and Pratt have consistently displayed many of the same qualities as Goaziou and are the epitome of what the scholarship represents.
Hatten will attend Santa Clara University, where he plans to further his already-exceptional career on the playing field while remaining committed to his studies. Hatten’s experiences in soccer, including playing with the Boise Timbers Thorns and serving a five-year stint as team captain of the Idaho Olympic Development Program, have been decisive factors in his growth and contributed to the winning that Hatten’s high school, Timberline, became accustomed to. During his last three years of secondary school in southern Idaho, Hatten propelled his team to a district championship, state championship, and three academic state championships — while placing in the top five percent of his class.
Hatten’s academic standing is no surprise when reading off a list of his accolades, which include being an AP Scholar with Distinction, a National Merit finalist, a U.S. Presidential Scholar candidate, a Johnson Scholar candidate, and a member of the National Honor Society.
Hatten is also a successful referee and a frequent volunteer at local hospitals, food banks, assisted living centers, and domestic violence shelters.
Pratt will likewise continue her promising career as a student-athlete at the University of Delaware. The Blue Hens are optimistic that Pratt will bring the success she had at the high school level, which included Mohawk Valley Player of the Year recognition and a 2021 New York State Class A Championship with New Hartford Senior High School — to go along with four USYS Eastern New York State Championships with the Coliseum Inferno.
Pratt successfully navigated a rigorous schedule full of advanced placement classes at New Hartford while leading her team to consecutive state championship appearances, earning academic recognition by way of the President’s Award, AP Scholar status, and induction into the National Honor Society.
Pratt’s greatest impact, however, may be the many contributions she made in the Oneida County area. Pratt has long credited her Coliseum Inferno coaches, who were volunteers, as one of the reasons she started giving back. Her benevolent efforts, particularly with Little Kickers and in the creation of an annual STEM camp, have cemented Pratt’s legacy in central New York State.
Both begin their college careers in the fall.
About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer)
US Youth Soccer, the largest youth sport organization in the country, is on a mission to provide world-class support, resources, and leadership, helping every member fulfill their goals on and off the field of play. US Youth Soccer registers nearly 2.5 million players annually. Through its programming, resources and leadership, US Youth Soccer is advancing the game for its 54 Member State Associations, 10,000 clubs and leagues and one million administrators, coaches, and volunteers. US Youth Soccer connects families and communities to the power of sports and its shared love of soccer. US Youth Soccer provides a path for every player, coach and referee offering programs that provide a fun, safe and healthy environment at every level of the game.
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