I absolutely love this award because it is not solely based on athletic abilities. The award honors a true student-ATHLETE by also evaluating academic achievement.
The Gatorade Company established this award in 1985 to honor America’s elite high school student-athletes. The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one award-winner in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, baseball, softball, boys and girls track & field, and boys and girls cross country. Then from the 51 state winners a national winner is announced. Then there is an Athlete of the Year award presented.
State Winners Selection Process
According to the Gatorade website, the selection process is administered by RISE Magazine, the nation’s leading sports and lifestyle magazine for teens. In narrowing and evaluating the list of candidates for Gatorade State Player of the Year honors, RISE works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists.
National Winners Selection Process
Following the announcement of the Gatorade State Players of the Year, RISE works with nationally-focused sport-specific experts to evaluate the athletic, academic and extra-curricular resumes of the 51 candidates in each sport.
Athlete of the Year Selection Process
A national panel of 300 sports journalists, prep sports authorities and commentators annually reviews each of the 12 Gatorade National Player of the Year resumes. Each National Player of the Year has demonstrated success in the classroom and impeccable character on and off the field.