High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Georgia

Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year nominees

July, 9, 2012
7/09/12
3:48
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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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Georgia Boys Track AOY: Jonathan Jones

June, 21, 2012
6/21/12
5:40
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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: Jonathan Jones

THE BASICS

School: Carrollton (Ga.)
Grade: Senior
Event(s): Hurdles/jumps
Height: 5-foot-10

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Jones won three individual state titles this spring and led the Trojans to the Class 3A state championship as a team. He won the 110-meter high hurdles with a time of 13.69 seconds, captured the 300-meter intermediate hurdles in 37.47 and leapt 23 feet, 11 inches to win the long jump.

Academic excellence: Jones has maintained a 3.78 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of an area soup kitchen and youth track programs.

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Georgia Girls Track AOY: Kendell Williams

June, 20, 2012
6/20/12
5:40
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: Kendell Williams

THE BASICS

School: Kell (Marietta, Ga.)
Grade: Junior
Event(s): Hurdles/jumps
Height: 5-foot-9

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Williams won three individual Class 4A state championships this spring and led the Longhorns to a fifth-place finish as a team. The state’s two-time returning Gatorade Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year, she won the 100-meter high hurdles with a time of 13.49 seconds, while clearing 5 feet, 8 inches to win the high jump and leaping 20 feet, 8.5 inches to capture the long jump. Her best marks in each of those events rank among the nation’s top three performances by prep competitors in 2012 at the time of her selection. She also set the national junior class record in the heptathlon.

Academic excellence: Williams has maintained a 3.71 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally on behalf of a school group that helps feed the homeless, and she participates in group activities with orphaned children in Cobb County.

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Glasco snares National Player of the Year

June, 13, 2012
6/13/12
10:45
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video Geri Ann Glasco thought she was recording an interview with television analyst and international softball legend Jessica Mendoza, but the only sound bite cameras captured was the stunned teen's gasp when the two-time Olympic medalist unveiled the Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year trophy.

Fittingly, Mendoza was the first to inform the Oconee County (Watkinsville, Ga.) standout that she'd joined softball royalty such as Alicia Hollowell and Cat Osterman, who have won the award previously. The surprise abruptly concluded the mock Q&A orchestrated at the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association North/South All-Star Softball Classic in Rome, Ga.

"I thought it was going to be a typical interview, and then Jessica Mendoza is the first person I see," Glasco said. "I recognized it was a bigger deal than I thought, so I got a little nervous and answered her questions as best I could. Then, she dropped the news. I had no idea I was being considered for this. It's really exciting, really surreal. It's awesome to receive such great recognition and be on a list with people I've grown up watching. It really shows hard work pays off, and I'm so grateful."

The 5-foot-6 senior right-handed pitcher led the Warriors (38-2) to the Class AAA state title this past season. Glasco posted a 19-0 record with a 0.50 ERA in the circle, while batting .564 with 62 RBI and a state single-season record 24 home runs. A four-time first-team all-state selection, she struck out 213 batters in 113 innings, firing 13 shutouts and four no-hitters. Glasco set the state career record for home runs (47) and doubles (58) in addition to finishing second in Georgia history with 207 career hits and fourth with 167 RBIs.

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Georgia Softball POY: Geri Ann Glasco

June, 6, 2012
6/06/12
5:38
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Softball 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 her 48 fellow Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Geri Ann Glasco

THE BASICS

School: Oconee County (Watkinsville, Ga.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Right-handed pitcher
Height: 5-foot-6

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Glasco led the Warriors (38-2) to the Class 3A state championship this past season. The Class 3A Player of the Year, she posted a 19-0 record with a 0.50 ERA in the circle, while batting .564 batting average with 62 RBI and a state-record 24 home runs. A four-time First Team All-State selection, Glasco struck out 213 batters in 113 innings and also broke the state record for home runs in a career (47).

Academic excellence: Glasco has maintained a B-plus average in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A devoted member of her church community, she has volunteered locally as a youth softball instructor and on behalf of an elementary school literacy-outreach initiative.

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Georgia Baseball POY: Byron Buxton

May, 30, 2012
5/30/12
5:37
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: Byron Buxton

THE BASICS

School: Appling County (Baxley, Ga.)
Grade: Senior
Position: OF/RHP
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 175 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Buxton led the Pirates (33-2) to a berth in the Class AA state final against Pierce County (Blackshear, Ga.), scheduled for May 29. At the time of his selection, he owned a 9-0 record on the mound with five saves, a 1.78 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 67 innings. The No. 2 ranked prospect in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS, Buxton also batted .523 with three home runs, 31 RBI and 36 stolen bases through 35 games.

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

Exemplary character: A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered locally as a youth baseball coach.

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Georgia Girls Soccer POY: Emily Sonnett

May, 23, 2012
5/23/12
5:19
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: Emily Sonnett

THE BASICS

School: Fellowship Christian School
(Roswell, Ga.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Forward
Height: 5-foot-7

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Sonnett scored 25 goals and passed for 12 assists this past season, leading the Paladins (14-3-1) to the Class A state championship game. A member of the U.S. Soccer Under-18 Women’s National Team and a 2011 Youth All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America for club play, she was also a 2011 ESPNHS First Team All-American. Sonnett concluded her prep soccer career with 113 goals and 41 assists.

Academic excellence: Sonnett has maintained a 3.30 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally with a nursing home, as a youth soccer coach and on behalf of the Atlanta Union Mission.

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Eye on POY: Georgia girls soccer

May, 17, 2012
5/17/12
9:57
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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.

Savannah Jordan
Junior forward, Whitewater (Fayetteville, Ga.)

2012 Team record: 19-0-1
2012 Team standing: Class AAAA state final vs. McIntosh on Saturday

2012 Goals: 35
2012 Assists: 21
Career goals: 59
Career assists: 37

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: University Florida (verbal)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaging 3.7 points per game through 19 games this season. U.S. Soccer Under-17 Women’s National Team member. Amassed six goals and four assists through her first three postseason games. No. 119 ranked recruit in Class of 2013 as rated by ESPNHS.

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Eye on POY: Georgia Baseball

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
8:34
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.

Byron Buxton
Senior outfielder/RHP, Appling County (Baxley, GA)

2012 Team record: 29-2
2012 Team standing: Will play in Class AA quarterfinals on May 15

2012 Batting average: .552
2012 RBI: 24
2012 Runs: 56
2012 Stolen Bases: 34

2012 W-L record: 7-0
2012 ERA: 1.59
2012 Strikeouts: 105
2012 Innings: 52.2

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Georgia

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: No. 2 Ranked Prospect in the Class of 2012 by ESPNHS; No. 2 Ranked Prospect in the Class of 2012 by Baseball America; No. 3 Ranked Prospect in the Class of 2012 by Perfect Game No. 1 Ranked Draft Prospect by ESPN’s Keith Law; 2010 and 2012 Region Player of the Year; 2011 First Team All-State;

Matt Olson
Senior first baseman/RHP, Parkview (Liliburn, GA)

2012 Team record: 25-5
2012 Team standing: Will play in Class AAAAA quarterfinals on May 15

2012 Batting average: .386
2012 RBI: 42
2012 Runs: 25

2012 W-L record: 11-0
2012 ERA: 1.23
2012 Strikeouts: 70
2012 Innings: 68

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Vanderbilt

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2010-2011 Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year; 2011 First Team All-State; 2010 and 2011 Region Player of the Year; 2010 and 2011 First Team All-County

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Baseball 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.

Kyle Carter: Senior LHP/Outfielder, Columbus (GA)
Lucas Sims: Senior RHP/shortstop, Brookwood (GA)
Duane Underwood: Senior RHP/Outfielder, Pope (Marietta)

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.

Georgia Boys Soccer POY: Holden Fender

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
5:13
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: Holden Fender

THE BASICS

School: Walton (Marietta, Ga.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 175 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Fender scored 10 goals and passed for 13 assists this past season, leading the Raiders (12-6-1) to the Class AAAAA state quarterfinals. A member of the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Men’s National Team and a 2011 Youth All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, he was a Class AAA First Team All-State honoree as a junior. Fender concluded his prep soccer career with 22 goals and 32 assists.

Academic excellence: Fender has maintained a 3.56 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally with the US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program serving young athletes with disabilities in addition to donating his time as a youth coach and mentor.

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EYE on POY: Georgia boys soccer

May, 9, 2012
5/09/12
6:43
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.

Adrian Alabi
Senior forward, Brookwood (Snellville, Ga.)

2012 Team record: 17-3
2012 Team standing: Class AAAAA state quarterfinal vs. Lassiter (Marietta, Ga.) on Friday

2012 Goals: 15
2012 Assists: 14
Career goals: 43
Career assists: 25

Academics: A-plus average
Collegiate destination: Stanford University

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Averaging 1.93 points per game this season. 2011 Region 8-AAAAA Forward of the Year. 2011 Gwinnett County Scholar Athlete of the Year. No. 57 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS.

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Return of the POY: Georgia's Matt Olson

May, 3, 2012
5/03/12
4:16
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The Gatorade State Baseball Players of the Year 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: Matt Olson
School: Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.)

Grade: Senior
Position: 1B/RHP

Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 230 pounds

2011 BA: .471
2011 HR: 10
2011 RBI: 35
2011 R: 27

2011 W-L-S: 5-2-0
2011 IP: 41.1
2011 ERA: 3.72
2011 K-BB: 45-9

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year. Four-star prospect as rated by ESPNHS. Led the Panthers (27-9) to the 2011 Class 5A state championship. 2011 Under Armour All-American. 2010 and 2011 Region Player of the Year. 2011 USA Baseball Under-16 Junior Olympic team member.

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Georgia Boys Hoop POY: Tony Parker

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:40
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.

Gatorade POY, Tony Parker, Miller Grove, Georgia, boys
Ryan Gibson/ESPNHSTony Parker led Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.) to the Class AAAA state title this past season.
THE WINNER: Tony Parker

THE BASICS

School: Miller Grove (Lithonia, Ga.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Power forward/center
Height: 6-foot-9
Weight: 270 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Parker led the Wolverines to a 23-9 record and the Class AAAA state championship this past season. He averaged 16.2 points, 10.9 rebounds and three blocks per game. A 2012 McDonald’s All-American Game selection and a 2012 Jordan Brand Classic game invitee, Parker is the No. 21 ranked recruit in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU.

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Eye on POY: Georgia Boys Basketball

March, 8, 2012
3/08/12
5:36
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.

Evan Nolte
Senior forward, Milton (GA)

2011-12 Team record: 26-4
2011-12 Team standing: Will play in Class 5A semifinals on March 8

2011-12 Points per game: 17.5
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 8
2011-12 Assists per game: 2.5
2011-12 Blocks per game: 2
2011-12 Steals per game: 2

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Virginia
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Ranked No. 54 in ESPNU 100; 2012 Beach Ball Classic MVP; 2012 All-Metro; 2012 All-Region

Tony Parker
Senior power forward, Miller Grove (Lithonia, GA)

2011-12 Team record: 22-9
2011-12 Team standing: Will play in Class 4A state final on March 9

2011-12 Points per game: 16.2
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 10.9
2011-12 Assists per game: 0.8
2011-12 Blocks per game: 0.6
2011-12 Steals per game: 3.0

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2012 McDonald's All-American Game selection; 2012 Jordan Brand Classic selection; Ranked No. 21 on ESPNU 100; Led Miller Grove to three straight Class AAAA state championships.

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.

Shaq Goodwin: Senior power forward, Southwest DeKalb (Decatur, GA)
Kenny Gaines: Senior guard, Whitefield Academy (Mabelton, GA)
Tony Bagtas: Junior point guard, Westlake (Union City, GA)

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.

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