The Gatorade Player of the Year Program honors athletes who meet comprehensive and exacting criteria in high school sports. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders also must demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of PrepVolleyball.com's Senior Aces rankings.
That being said, the state’s top three recruits as ranked by PrepVolleyball.com are sure to enter the 2011-12 Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year conversation at some point. Here they are …
1. Lee's Summit West High (Lee's Summit, Mo.) middle blocker Megan McGehee
PrepVolleyball Senior Aces rank: 10
College: Stanford (verbal)
John Tawa, publisher of PrepVolleyball.com: "One of the most entertaining players to watch in the 2012 class, McGehee is all effort. When she’s in the front row, opponents had better match her intensity or suffer the consequences. Very athletic and with a competitive spirit to match, McGehee is an explosive middle with a dynamic arm who is sensational on the slide but can score at will in front of the setter as well."
2. Kickapoo High (Mo.) setter/right side Kinsey McCarter
PrepVolleyball Senior Aces rank: 87
Club: Midwest Xplosion
College: Missouri State (verbal)
John Tawa, publisher of PrepVolleyball.com: "An athletic build on a 6-1 frame, coupled with a competitive mindset, make McCarter the complete package as a volleyball player. A four-year high school starter, McCarter has led Kickapoo both in kills and assists over the past three years."
3. Nixa High (Mo.) middle blocker Regan Peltier
PrepVolleyball Senior Aces rank: 98
Club: Midwest Xplosion
College: Missouri (verbal)
John Tawa, publisher of PrepVolleyball.com: "A member of the 2010 USA Youth National team, Peltier is an offensive force on the court and an opponent’s defensive nightmare. She is a strong and swift athlete with extreme command of the court every time she steps on it. A versatile middle, Peltier led Nixa in kill and blocks and was second in digs in 2010."
Each Gatorade State Player of the Year is challenged by thousands of fellow high school athletes. These are a few of the returning volleyball underclassmen that also contended in 2010-11 …
Lydia Ely SR MB Rosati-Kain; Haley Pouliezos SR LIB Windsor; Emily Meitz SR MB Nerinx Hall; Krissi Fitzpatrick SR OH St. Francis Borgia; Taylor Migliazzo SR LIB St. Teresa's; Carly Ochs SR OH St. Joseph's
A dedicated POY team at ESPNHS manages the Gatorade Player of the Year program selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the award program’s behalf.