CHICAGO — Beckett Arthur of Missoula Hellgate is the 2020-21 Gatorade Montana boys soccer player of the year.
Arthur is the fourth Knight to earn the award, joining Hellgate graduates Matt Baldridge (2017-18 and 2016-17), Peter Byrne (2015-16) and Gario Holian (2007-08) as award winners.
A 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior midfielder, Arthur helped Hellgate to a 17-0-1 record and the Class AA state championship in the fall. He scored 29 goals and passed for 20 assists, including one of each in Hellgate's 3-1 win over Bozeman High in the state championship match. He was named the Western AA player of the year and a United Soccer Coaches All-Central Region selection. Arthur recorded 63 total goals and 32 total assists during his high school career, and Hellgate won three state championships.
“Beckett is one of the best players that I’ve coached against in my 20-year career,” Kalispell Glacier coach Ryan Billiet said in a media release. “He complemented Hellgate’s style of play and was dangerous at any given moment. I saw him take over games in an instant.”
Arthur has committed to play soccer at Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash.
The Gatorade award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence as well as "high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field," according to the release. Arthur maintained a 3.85 grade-point average and volunteered at the Poverello Center, a non-profit that provides food, shelter and clothing for those in need. He also donated time as a youth soccer and basketball coach as well as through community service initiatives through his church.
Arthur is now a finalist for Gatorade national boys soccer player of the year, which will be announced later in June. He also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing, and is eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization he chose is deserving of one of 12 $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year.
Zach Springer of Bozeman High won the 2019-20 award. A player from either Hellgate or Bozeman has been named the Gatorade Montana boys soccer player of the year each of the past eight years.