High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: La Cueva

The window on the Gatorade State Softball 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.

Katera Eltsosie
Senior Pitcher/Third Baseman, Volcano Vista High (Albuquerque, NM)

2012 Team record: 30-1
2012 Team standing: Won Class 5A state title

2012 Batting average: .496
2012 RBI: 55
2012 Runs: 52

2012 W-L record: 16-0
2012 ERA: 1.51
2012 Strikeouts: 131

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Lubbock Christian

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: District Player of the Year; Albuquerque Journal Player of the Year; First Team All-State; All-Metro; Hit 12 home runs.

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Eye on POY: New Mexico Boys Basketball

March, 19, 2012
3/19/12
6:53
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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.

Bryce Alford
Junior guard, La Cueva (Albuquerque, NM)

2011-12 Team record: 25-6
2011-12 Team standing: Next game; ESPNHS ranking

2011-12 Points per game: 24.6
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 4.1
2011-12 Assists per game: 5.2
2011-12 Steals per game: 2

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: New Mexico (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2011 and 2012 All-Tournament selection; 2011 Second Team All-State; 2011 First Team All-Conference; 2011 First Team All-Metro;

Cullen Neal
Junior guard, Eldorado (Albuquerque, NM)

2011-12 Team record: 22-8
2011-12 Team standing: Won Class 5A state title

2011-12 Points per game: 27.7
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 5
2011-12 Assists per game: 4.5
2011-12 Blocks per game: 0.4
2011-12 Steals per game: 1.1

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: St. Mary's (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation:

2012 District Player of the Year; 2011 and 2012 All-Tournament selection; 2011 First Team All-District; 2011 Second Team All-State;

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.


Arren Wells: Senior forward/center, Hope Christian (Albuquerque, NM)
Mando Marshall: Senior forward, Las Cruces (NM)
Matthew Barela: Junior forward, St. Michaels (Santa Fe, NM)

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.

New Mexico Volleyball POY: Julia Warren

December, 14, 2011
12/14/11
5:18
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A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For her 49 fellow Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Julia Warren

THE BASICS

School: La Cueva (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Grade: Junior
Position: Outside hitter
Height: 6-foot-1

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Warren recorded 618 kills, 455 digs, 78 blocks, 78 service aces and 57 assists this past season while posting a hitting percentage of .445 and leading the Bears (18-4) to the Class 5A state semifinals. The state leader in both kills and digs, she is a Class 5A First Team All-State selection and was one of 33 players invited to the USA Volleyball High Performance Women’s Junior A2 Team’s summer camp in July, 2011. Warren has collected 1,035 kills and 807 digs in her prep volleyball career.

Academic excellence: Warren has maintained a 3.0 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: Warren has volunteered locally with a literacy-outreach program, as a Special Olympics coach and as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with the Young Life ministry.

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Eye on POY: New Mexico volleyball

December, 8, 2011
12/08/11
5:17
PM ET
The window on the Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year race is closing, and time is running out for student-athletes to state their POY case. 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.

Sara Hattis
Senior middle blocker, Cleveland (Rio Rancho, N.M.)

2011 Team record: 19-6
2011 Team standing: Lost in Class 5A state championship

2011 Kills: 289
2011 Blocks: 131
2011 Digs: 12
2011 Aces: 2
2011 Assists: 4

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Texas (verbal)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Under Armour Honorable Mention All-American selection. PrepVolleyball.com No. 9 Senior Aces.

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