High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Florida

Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year nominees

July, 9, 2012
7/09/12
3:48
PM ET
A dozen exceptional student-athletes -- already honored as National Player of the Year in their respective sports -- are contenders for the 10th annual Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Award. On Tuesday in Los Angeles, one boy and one girl will be named prep sports’ Male and Female Athletes of the Year (ESPN3, 9:40 p.m. EDT), and both will be recognized at the ESPYS the following evening.

And the female nominees are (click here for the male nominees):

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Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year nominees

July, 9, 2012
7/09/12
3:00
PM ET
A dozen exceptional student-athletes -- already honored as National Player of the Year in their respective sports -- are contenders for the 10th annual Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Award. On Tuesday in Los Angeles, one boy and one girl will be named prep sports’ Male and Female Athletes of the Year (ESPN3, 9:40 p.m. EDT), and both will be recognized at the ESPYS the following evening.

And the male nominees are (click here for the female nominees):

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Florida Boys Track AOY: Arman Hall

June, 21, 2012
6/21/12
5:41
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year winners, click here.


THE WINNER: Arman Hall

THE BASICS

School: St. Thomas Aquinas
(Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Grade: Senior
Event(s): Sprints
Height: 6-foot-1

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Hall won the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.16 seconds and the 400-meter run in 47.08 at the Class 4A state championship meet, leading the Raiders to a fifth consecutive state title as a team. The reigning World Junior Champion in the 400 meters, he also anchored the 4x400-meter relay quartet to a state title in 3:14.46. Hall finished second in the 400 at this month’s USA Track and Field Junior Outdoor Championships and his best time at the distance ranked as the nation’s No. 2 performance among prep competitors in 2012 at the time of his selection.

Academic excellence: Hall has maintained a B average in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of the Florida Youth Track and Field Association.

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Florida Girls Track AOY: Shayla Sanders

June, 20, 2012
6/20/12
5:41
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For her 50 fellow Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year winners, click here.


THE WINNER: Shayla Sanders

THE BASICS

School: Boyd Anderson (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.)
Grade: Senior
Event(s): Sprints
Height: 5-foot-6

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Sanders won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.63 seconds and the 200-meter dash in 23.64 at the Class 4A state championship meet this spring, leading the Cobras to the state title as a team. She also anchored the victorious 4x100 relay quartet in 45.71 seconds. The Sun-Sentinel Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year, Sanders also won this month’s adidas Dream 100. She best performances in the 100 (11.33), the 200 (23.25) and as part of the 4x100 (45.66) all ranked as the nation’s No. 1 times among prep competitors in 2012 at the time of her selection. Her season-best 100 clocking ranks No. 21 in high school history.

Academic excellence: Sanders has maintained a 3.42 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally helping intellectually challenged students transition into the community.

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McCullers named National Baseball POY

May, 31, 2012
5/31/12
3:26
AM ET


Born 16 months after his dad’s last game in the big leagues, Lance McCullers Jr. never experienced a Major League Baseball clubhouse atmosphere firsthand with guys like Cy Young Award winners Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke or an MVP like Alex Rodriguez walking around.

But the Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.) senior joins that trio as a member of an elite alumni club after being named Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year. McCullers was duped Thursday into believing a staged sit-down interview with network analyst Sean Casey was about the forthcoming MLB first-year player draft until the former 12-year veteran revealed the Gatorade trophy.

“This is something I’ve wanted to win for so long,” said McCullers, 18, the oldest son of former major league right-hander Lance Sr. “I watched online last year when [Baltimore Orioles No. 1 prospect] Dylan Bundy won it. It’s mind-blowing really to be on a list with the guys who’ve won this. You’re talking about people I look up to and model my game after. Especially a guy like Greinke, a smaller-stature pitcher who I’m sure went through some of the things I’m going through. I’m just so blessed and so grateful for this honor.”

A 6-foot-2, 205-pound right-handed starter, McCullers posted a 13-0 record with a 0.18 ERA and 140 strikeouts against 30 walks in 77.1 innings pitched this past season, leading the Tigers (28-2) to the Class 5A state semifinals. The 2011 Jackie Robinson Award winner as the country’s top rising senior, McCullers, also a shortstop, batted .280 with two home runs and 21 RBIs, stealing 10 bases in 10 attempts. An All-American as named by ESPNHS, Baseball America, Perfect Game, MaxPreps and Louisville Slugger, he scored 27 runs while producing a .485 on-base percentage and .486 slugging percentage.

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Florida Baseball POY: Lance McCullers Jr.

May, 30, 2012
5/30/12
5:38
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011-12 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For his 47 fellow Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Lance McCullers Jr.

THE BASICS

School: Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.)
Grade: Senior
Position: RHP/SS
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 205 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: McCullers posted a 13-0 record with a 0.18 ERA and 140 strikeouts against 30 walks in 77.1 innings pitched this past season, leading the Tigers (28-2) to the Class 5A state semifinals. The 2011 Jackie Robinson Award winner as the country’s top rising senior, he batted .280 with two home runs and 21 RBI, stealing 10 bases in 10 attempts. An All-American as named by ESPNHS, Baseball America, Perfect Game, MaxPreps and Louisville Slugger, McCullers scored 27 runs while producing a .467 on-base percentage and .467 slugging percentage. In addition to making seven appearances for the 2010 USA Baseball 18-and-Under National Team, he also participated in the 2010 Under Armour All-America Game and 2011 Perfect Game All-American Classic.

Academic excellence: McCullers has maintained a B average in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A volunteer on behalf of Challenger Baseball, the Special Olympics, Metropolitan Ministries, the Head Start Program and as a Bakas Equestrian Center assistant for intellectually challenged children, he has also donated his time as part of a literacy-outreach program, as a motivational speaker for middle school children and as part of multiple food drives in association with Jesuit High.

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Florida Girls Hoop POY: Carson Pickett

May, 23, 2012
5/23/12
5:20
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed this spring's Gatorade Girls Soccer Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For her 27 fellow Gatorade State Spring Girls Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.
For the 22 Gatorade State Fall Girls Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Carson Pickett

THE BASICS

School: St. John’s Country Day School
(Orange Park, Fla.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-foot-8

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Pickett led the Spartans to a 23-2-2 record and the Class 1A state title this past season. She scored 52 goals and passed for 36 assists, including 11 goals and seven assists in St. John’s five-game postseason run. Pickett was the 2012 Florida Dairy Farmers Female Soccer Player of the Year and the Class 1A State Player of the Year. A six-year varsity player, she concluded her prep soccer career with 150 goals and 152 assists.

Academic excellence: Pickett has maintained a B average in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A member of her local Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, she has volunteered locally as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit diabetes research and as a youth soccer coach.

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Eye on POY: Florida baseball

May, 18, 2012
5/18/12
12:02
PM ET
The window on the Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Albert Almora
Senior centerfielder, Mater Academy (Hialeah Gardens)

2012 Team record: 21-6 (Class 6A)
2012 Team standing: Did not qualify for Class 6A state tournament

2012 Batting average: .603
2012 RBI: 34
2012 Runs: 42

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: University of Miami

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Produced a .667 on-base percentage and .977 slugging percentage. No. 11 ranked prospect in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS. 2011 USA Baseball Player of the Year. 2011 USA Baseball 18U National Team Most Valuable Player (Pan American Games gold medalist). 2011 All-American as named by Perfect Game and Louisville Slugger. 2011 Perfect Game All-American Classic participant.

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Eye on POY: Florida girls soccer

May, 17, 2012
5/17/12
9:48
PM ET
The window on the Gatorade State Girls Soccer Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Jessica Hoyt
Junior forward, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

2012 Team record: 24-1-1
2012 Team standing: Class 5A state champions

2012 Goals: 22
2012 Assists: 17
Career goals: 26
Career assists: 22

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaged 1.6 points per game this season. 2012 Class 5A State Player of the Year. 2012 Broward County Player of the Year.

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Florida Boys Soccer POY: Brian James

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
5:14
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed this spring's Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For his 19 fellow Gatorade State Spring Boys Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.
For the 30 Gatorade State Fall Boys Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Brian James

THE BASICS

School: American Heritage School
(Delray Beach, Fla.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 140 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: James scored 24 goals and passed for 55 assists this past season, leading the Stallions to the Class 2A state semifinals. A 2011 ESPNHS First Team All-American selection and a two-time Palm Beach Post Player of the Year, he has been a member of the U.S. Soccer Under-18 Men’s National Team player pool. James concluded his prep soccer career with 78 goals and 168 assists.

Academic excellence: James has maintained a weighted 4.52 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally at a retirement home, as a youth soccer coach and on behalf of the Easter Seals.

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Eye on POY: Florida boys soccer

May, 8, 2012
5/08/12
6:09
PM ET
The window on the Gatorade State Boys Soccer Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Luis Betancur
Senior midfielder, American Heritage School (Plantation, Fla.)

2012 Team record: 28-3-3
2012 Team standing: Class 3A state champions

2012 Goals: 35
2012 Assists: 17
Career goals: 59

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: University of Virginia (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Averaged 1.53 points per game this season. 2012 Florida Dairy Farmers State Player of the Year. 2012 Class 3A State Player of the Year. 2012 Sun-Sentinel Class 3A-2A-1A Player of the Year.

Brian James
Senior midfielder, American Heritage School (Delray Beach, Fla.)

2012 Team record: 22-4-2
2012 Team standing: Lost Class 2A state semifinals

2012 Goals: 24
2012 Assists: 55
Career goals: 78
Career assists: 168

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: University of Virginia

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: No. 49 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS. Averaged 2.82 points per game this season. 2011 ESPNHS First Team All-American selection. Two-time Palm Beach Post Player of the Year.

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Boys Soccer Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.

Martin Giordano: Senior midfielder, Cypress Bay (Weston, Fla.)
David Graydon: Senior midfielder, Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
Jordan Hayes: Senior forward, Tampa Prep (Tampa, Fla.)
Miguel Morales: Senior forward, Fort Pierce Central (Fort Pierce, Fla.)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.

Florida Boys Hoop POY: Joel Berry

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:41
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Joel Berry

THE BASICS

School: Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.)
Grade: Sophomore
Position: Point guard
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 195 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Berry averaged 23.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 3.1 assists per game this past season, leading the Highlanders to the Class 4A state final. The 2011 Winter Park Rotary Tip-Off Classic MVP, he averaged 26.6 points per game in the state tournament, including a game-high 26 in the state final against Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.).

Academic excellence: Berry has maintained a 3.27 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally as a peer leader in his school community in addition to donating his time as a youth basketball coach and camp counselor.

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Eye on POY: Florida Boys Basketball

March, 10, 2012
3/10/12
9:11
AM ET
The window on the Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Joel Berry
Sophomore point guard, Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, FL)

2011-12 Team record: 29-4
2011-12 Team standing: Lost in Class 4A state final

2011-12 Points per game: 23.1
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 5.6
2011-12 Assists per game: 3.1
2011-12 Blocks per game: 0.8
2011-12 Steals per game: 3.2

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: HS Sophomore

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2011 MaxPreps.com Freshman All-American; No. 8 ranked point guard in the Class of 2014 by Scout.com; 2011 Winter Park Rotary MVP; 2012 Kingdom of the Sun Holiday Tourney All-Tournament Team

Michael Frazier
Senior guard, Montverde Academy (Montverde, FL)

2011-12 Team record: 21-3
2011-12 Team standing: Will play in ESPNHS National Invitational on March 29

2011-12 Points per game: 16
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 8
2011-12 Assists per game: 3
2011-12 Steals per game: 1.5

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Florida

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2012 Montverde Academy Tournament MVP; 2012 Kingdom of the Sun Holiday Tourney All-Tournament Team

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.

Kasey Hill: Junior guard, Montverde Academy (Montverde, FL)
Traveon Henry: Senior point guard, Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Joel James: Senior center, Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, FL)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.

Florida Girls Hoop POY: Alexis Prince

March, 8, 2012
3/08/12
5:10
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For her 50 fellow Gatorade State Girls Basketball Player of the Year winners, click here.

Gatorade POY, Alexis Prince, Edgewater, Florida, girls
HoopGurlz/ESPNHSAlexis Prince led Edgewater (Orlando, Fla.) to the Class 6A state title this past season.
THE WINNER: Alexis Prince

THE BASICS

School: Edgewater (Orlando, Fla.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Wing
Height: 6-foot-2

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Prince led the Fighting Eagles to a 28-4 record and the Class 6A state championship this past season. She averaged 19.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 3.6 steals, 3.1 blocks and 2.6 assists per game. A McDonald’s and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-American selection, Prince shot 51.7 percent from the field, 37.9 percent from 3-point range and 72.6 percent from the free throw line. An invitee to the 2010 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team trials, she helped her Essence Amateur Athletic Union squad to the semifinals at this past summer’s Nike Nationals.

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Eye on POY: Florida girls basketball

February, 28, 2012
2/28/12
5:00
PM ET
The window on the Gatorade State Girls Basketball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Eye on POY, Niya Johnson, P.K. Yonge, girls, Florida
Glenn Nelson/ESPNHSSenior point guard Niya Johnson led P.K. Yonge (Gainesville, Fla.) to the Class 3A state championship.
Niya Johnson
Senior point guard, P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School (Gainesville, Fla.)

2011-12 Team record: 30-1
(Class 3A)
2011-12 Team standing: Class 3A state champions

2011-12 Points per game: 19.9
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 6.4
2011-12 Assists per game: 5.7
2011-12 Blocks per game: 0.2
2011-12 Steals per game: 4.7

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Baylor University

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Totaled 24 points, six steals, five assists and four rebounds in a 58-43 win over Parkway Academy (Miramar, Fla.) in the Class 3A state title game. Shot 50 percent from the field, 30 percent from 3-point range and 73 percent from the free throw line. No. 43 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS. 2012 McDonald’s All-American. 2012 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association High School All-America Honorable Mention. 2010 USA Basketball Women’s U17 World Championship Team trials roster. 2011 Nike National All-Tournament Second Team selection as named by ESPNHS.

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