High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Liberty

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.

Paige Parker
Sophomore Pitcher, Truman High (Independence, MO)

2012 Team record: 22-8
2012 Team standing: Lost to Liberty in first round of 4A state tournament

2012 Batting average: .469
2012 RBI: 23
2012 Runs: 28

2012 W-L record: 20-5
2012 ERA: 0.85
2012 Strikeouts: 298

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Oklahoma (verbal)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: First Team All-State; First Team All-Metro; First Team All-Region.

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POY Potential: Top 5 Ore. football recruits

October, 4, 2011
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 …

Isaac Seumalo
file photo/ESPNHSIsaac Seumalo is Oregon's No. 1 senior recruit
1. Corvallis High (Corvallis, OR) offensive guard Isaac Seumalo

  • ESPNU 150 rank: No. 64
  • Height: 6-foot-3
  • Weight: 280 pounds
  • College: Oregon State (verbal)
  • Traits: Run blocking, pass blocking, space blocking, toughness
  • ESPNU scouting report: "Seumalo is a coaches son and mixes a high effort and physical style of play with a good feel for the game. He plays on both sides of the ball in high school and could receive interest as a defensive tackle, but we feel his best fit and likely best upside is on offense. He plays tackle in high school, but at the next level will slide inside to guard. He has solid size. He will need to work to try and add some more good bulk to his frame, but does come across as a kid with a thick and sturdy build. He is a physical and tenacious run blocker."

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