High-SchoolConnecticut: Gatorade POY

Glastonbury senior Reid Watson has been named the girls' cross country Gatorade State Runner of the Year for Connecticut. The senior won state open and Class LL titles in the fall, then ran 15th at the New England Cross Country Championships.

Watson's coach is quoted in the official Gatorade announcement:
“Having Reid on the team is like having another coach,” said Glastonbury head coach Brian Collins. “She’s been a great inspiration to all levels of runners. She took over a young and inexperienced team and helped guide them to a very successful season.”

To read the entire announcement, click here.

To see the winners in all 50 states, click here.

Follow Mike Grimala on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).

Reed wins Gatorade Volleyball POY

December, 14, 2011
The Gatorade State Players of the Year were announced for volleyball, and Connecticut's winner is Rocky Hill senior Kyley Reed.

Reed, an outside hitter, recorded 578 kills and 460 digs while leading Rocky Hill to the Class M state championship.

To read more about Reed's credentials, click here.

To see all the Gatorade State Players of the Year, click here.

Cochran wins Gatorade POY

December, 1, 2011
The Gatorade State Players of the Year for football have been announced, and there was not much suspense when it came to the Connecticut race. Masuk quarterback Casey Cochran has claimed the award for the second straight season after throwing for 2,801 yards and 36 touchdowns. Cochran, a senior, has Masuk at 11-0 heading into this weekend's Class L semifinal game against Daniel Hand.

Personally, I can't think of one argument against Cochran. Sure, other players have had great seasons, but none can match Cochran's combination of career achievements, great numbers, team success and overall value to his team. Masuk is ranked No. 1 in the state and two wins away from a second consecutive championship, and Cochran is the guy most responsible for that.

I think the Gatorade guys got this one very right.

To read the complete rundown of Cochran's credentials, click here.

To see all the winners for every state, click here.
With just two weeks left in the regular season, football awards are starting to come into focus. The Gatorade State Player of the Year award is the most prestigious, as Masuk quarterback Casey Cochran can tell you — he won it last year as a junior. Eric Snyder is part of the ESPNHS team that researches and analyzes potential Gatorade POY candidates, and he's on the record naming Cochran and Cromwell senior quarterback Anthony Morales as the frontrunners right now.

Cochran is having another unbelievable season, with 2,123 passing yards and 29 touchdowns (against just three interceptions). The UConn recruit is also leading the No. 1 team in the state.

Morales is right up there with Cochran in terms of stats — he's passed for 2,376 yards and 30 TDs (four INTs).

Both guys have good cases, but in my opinion it's going to be hard to unseat Cochran. Not only is he the defending POY, but he became the state's all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns this season. That kind of stuff can end up being a tiebreaker if the race is close at the end of the year.

To read the full breakdown, which includes other top Gatorade POY candidates, click here.

Cochran out to prove himself in 2011

August, 22, 2011
ValueChristopher Beauchamp/ESPNHSCasey Cochran
Casey Cochran is no stranger to Connecticut football fans — the reigning Gatorade State Player of the Year is a favorite to win the award again as a senior, and he's got Masuk at No. 1 in the ESPNHS preseason rankings. But Cochran doesn't get the same kind of respect on the national level, and that's something he's looking to change this season, as detailed in this Pulitzer-worthy cover story in the September issue of ESPNHS.
If the rankings seem low to you, you’re not alone. Everyone who has worked with Cochran or observed him on a daily basis seems to agree he should be in the discussion for the nation’s best quarterback.

Cochran himself is one of the believers.

“I like to think I belong up there with the best guys,” he says. “I try not to worry too much about where I’m ranked. I know it’s somewhere in the 30s, but that’s motivated me to work hard, and that’s made me a better player.”

For the complete story, click here.