High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Lexington

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.

Chris Shaw
Senior Pitcher/First Baseman, Lexington High (Lexington, MA)

2012 Team record: 10-6
2012 Team standing: Plays Winchester, May 18

2012 Batting average: .500
2012 RBI: 20
2012 Home runs: 7

2012 W-L record: 4-0
2012 ERA: 1.20
2012 Strikeouts: 76

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Boston College

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Boston Globe and Boston Herald All-Scholastic; Selected to Area Code Games; Three-time All-League.

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Eye on POY: Nebraska Girls Cross Country

January, 3, 2012
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The cross country season may have concluded, but the search for Gatorade State Girls Cross Country Runners of the Year is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated. These state meet winners made a case in their respective classifications, but did they do enough on and off the course this past season to capture the prestigious statewide honor?

Sidney Hirsch
Junior, Millard West (Omaha, NE)

2011 Team postseason standing: First (Class A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): Second—14:49.9

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 24th—18:56.3

Jeralyn Poe
Freshman, North Star (Lincoln, NE)

2011 Team postseason standing: Did Not Qualify (Class A)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—14:38.5

2011 Nike Cross Nationals regional (Place—time): 58th—19:31

Odaliz Santoya-Garcia
Sophomore, Lexington (NE)

2011 Team postseason standing: Third (Class B)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—15:07.2

Shannen Ramey
Senior, Fort Calhoun (NE)

2011 Team postseason standing: First (Class C)
2011 State meet finish (Place—time): First—15:23.4

Winning the state meet isn't a prerequisite for Gatorade State Cross Country Runner of the Year, so here are some more of many other harriers whose performances this past season vaulted them into the conversation during this 2011 campaign.

Marissa Dewispelare: Junior, Aquinas Catholic (David City, NE)
Megan Drozda: Junior, Pius X (Lincoln, NE)
Morgan Benesch: Junior, Scotus (Columbus, NE)

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

Eye on POY: South Carolina football

November, 14, 2011
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The window on the Gatorade State Football 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.

quinshad davis
file photo/ESPNHSQuinshad Davis is a top candidate for Gatorade South Carolina Football Player of the Year
Quinshad Davis
Senior wide receiver, Gaffney (Gaffney, S.C.)

2011 Team record: 12-0
2011 Team standing: Will play in Class 4A-I quarterfinals vs. Dorman on Friday

2011 Catches-YDs (AVG.)-TDs: 86-1,644 (19.1)-22

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: No. 67 WR in the Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNU. 2010 First Team All-State selection. 2011 South Carolina Mr. Football finalist. 2011 Shrine Bowl selection.

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POY Potential: Top 5 S.C. football recruits

October, 3, 2011
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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 ESPNU's recruit rankings.

That being said, the state’s top five football recruits as ranked by ESPNU are sure to enter the 2011-12 Gatorade Football Player of the Year conversation at some point. Here they are …

Shaq Roland
file photo/ESPNHSShaq Roland is South Carolina's No. 1 senior recruit.
1. Lexington High (Lexington, SC) athlete Shaq Roland

  • ESPNU 150 rank: No. 46
  • Height: 6-foot-1
  • Weight: 180 pounds
  • College: South Carolina (verbal)
  • Traits: Versatility, playmaker, ball skills
  • ESPNU scouting report: "There are not many athletes as tall, fast and smooth as Roland in 2012. This guy could be productive in all three phases of the game at the next level and get recruited at a few different positions. We feel he will either settle in at receiver or safety. Defensive back may be an easier transition but his upside is at receiver. Needs to continue filling out but has good height for a projected skill player and very good movement skills."

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