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Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Return of the POY: Virginia's Anna McClung

By Ben Rohrbach

The Gatorade State Girls Soccer Players of the Year spring selection process is in full swing, and what better way to kick off coverage than with profiles of returning underclassmen winners? Repeating is no guarantee, but here's a snapshot of what this year’s challengers can shoot for.

Name: Anna McClung
School: Gate City (Va.)

Grade: Junior
Position: Forward

2011 Goals: 62
2010 Goals: 65

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Virginia Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Led the Blue Devils (16-2) to the 2011 Group A state quarterfinals. Owns single-game and single-season state records for goals. U.S. Soccer Under-18 Women’s National Team memer. 2010 and 2011 Group A First Team All-State selection. No. 10 ranked recruit in Class of 2013 as rated by ESPNHS.

Academics: A average
College: Florida State University (verbal)

Extracurricular activities: An American Character Award winner as voted by Gate City High faculty, she has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach and on behalf of the Scott County Recreation Department. She has also donated her time to a local literacy-outreach program.

Campbell Chapman, director of coaching for McClung’s club team, the Gwinnett Soccer Association in Lilburn, Ga: “What makes Anna special is she’s always, always looking to score goals. Her scoring at every level is amazing. Everywhere she goes, she scores. She’s a special kid. She just has this mental approach of scoring goals which is what it’s all about.”

Each Gatorade State Player of the Year is challenged by thousands of fellow high school athletes. These are a few of the returning girls soccer underclassmen that also contended in 2010-11.

Caroline Casey: Senior goalkeeper, Grassfield (Chesapeake, Va.)
Ashley Herndon: Junior midfielder, Stonebridge (Ashburn, Va.)
Barbara Platenberg: Senior forward, Robinson (Fairfax, Va.)
Nicole Pond: Senior goalkeeper, Matoaca (Chesterfield, Va.)

A dedicated ESPNHS POY team manages the Gatorade Player of the Year selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the program’s behalf. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders 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 ESPNHS recruit rankings.

To nominate a student-athlete for Player of the Year honors, contact the POY team at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.