High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Missouri

Missouri Boys Track AOY: Dapo Akinmoladun

June, 21, 2012
6/21/12
5:25
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: Dapo Akinmoladun

THE BASICS

School: Grandview (Mo.)
Grade: Senior
Event(s): Hurdles/sprints
Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 178 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Akinmoladun won individual state titles in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.56 seconds and the 300-meter hurdles in 37.34 this spring and earned fifth place in the 200-meter dash, crossing the line in 22.41 to lead the Bulldogs to the Class 3 state championship as a team. A two-time First Team All-State honoree, he set a state record in the 110 hurdles at the Kansas Relays, breaking the tape in 13.75. His state title-winning time in the 110 hurdles ranked as the nation’s No. 5 performance among prep competitors in 2012 at the time of his selection.

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

Exemplary character: A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the debate team, he has served as the president of his school’s Technology Student Association and volunteered locally on behalf multiple community-service initiatives in association with the National Honor Society.

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Missouri Girls Track AOY: Tianna Valentine

June, 20, 2012
6/20/12
5:25
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: Tianna Valentine

THE BASICS

School: Hazelwood East (St. Louis, Mo.)
Grade: Senior
Event(s): Sprints
Height: 5-foot-2

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Valentine won the 100-meter dash with a time of 11:51 seconds and the 200-meter dash in 23.71 at the Class 4 state meet this spring. The 2012 St. Louis Post-Dispatch All-Metro Girls Track Athlete of the Year, she set a meet record in the 100 at the Kansas Relays, winning with a time of 11.66 seconds. Her effort in the 100 at the state meet ranked as the nation’s No. 27 time by a prep competitor at the time of her selection.

Academic excellence: Valentine has maintained a 3.1 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A devoted member of her church community, she has volunteered locally on behalf of multiple charity fund-raising initiatives and as a youth track and field coach.

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Missouri Softball POY: Emily Crane

June, 6, 2012
6/06/12
5:23
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: Emily Crane

THE BASICS

School: Troy Buchanan (Troy, Mo.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Shortstop
Height: 5-foot-7

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Crane led the Trojans (29-4) to the Class 4A state championship this past season. She batted .563 with five home runs, 52 runs scored, 28 RBI and 24 stolen bases, while setting a state single-season record with 63 base hits. The Gateway Athletic Conference South and All-Metro Player of the Year, Crane was also a three-time First Team All-State selection and broke state career records for hits (205) and runs scored (168).

Academic excellence: Crane has maintained a 3.92 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A devoted member of her church youth group and a volunteer math tutor in her school, she has also donated her time on behalf of local food and blood-donation drives.

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Missouri Baseball POY: Blake McFadden

May, 30, 2012
5/30/12
5:22
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: Blake McFadden

THE BASICS

School: Savannah (Mo.)
Grade: Senior
Position: RHP/OF
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 200 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: McFadden led the Savages (23-4) to the Class 3 state semifinals against Lutheran South (St. Louis, Mo.), scheduled for Friday. He owned a 9-0 record with a 0.16 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 57 innings through 27 games. A 2011 Under Armour All-American game selection, McFadden also batted .391 with 25 RBI and a 1.051 OPS.

Academic excellence: McFadden has maintained a 3.95 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Special Olympics and as part of a literacy-outreach program.

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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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Missouri Girls Soccer POY: Allie Stephenson

May, 23, 2012
5/23/12
5:11
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: Allie Stephenson

THE BASICS

School: Lee's Summit North (Lee's Summit, Mo.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-foot-2

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Stephenson led the Broncos to a 20-3 record entering the Class 3 state tournament, scheduled to begin May 22. She scored 25 goals and passed for seven assists through 23 games, scoring at least one goal in 17 of the 23 contests. A 2011 Youth All-American selection for club play by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Stephenson is a three-time Class 3 First Team All-State honoree and a three-time member of the Kansas City Star All-Metro First Team. Entering the state tournament, she had recorded 110 goals and 57 assists in her prep soccer career.

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

Exemplary character: A member of her school’s Student Activity Advisory Council, she has volunteered locally with Project Uplift to help the homeless and needy, and she has served on a service-mission trip to Guatemala.

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Eye on POY: Missouri Baseball

May, 21, 2012
5/21/12
8:58
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.

Tate Matheny
Senior outfielder, Westminster Christian Academy (St. Louis)

2012 Team record: 24-3
2012 Team standing: Will begin Class 3 sectional tournament on May 22

2012 Batting average: .605
2012 RBI: 38
2012 Runs: 45
2012 OPS: 2.021

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Missouri State

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

2012 Conference Player of the Year; 2012 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American; 2011 First Team All-State; 2011 St. Louis Post Dispatch All-State selection

Blake McFadden
Senior RHP/shortstop, Savannah (MO)

2012 Team record: 21-4
2012 Team standing: Will begin Class 3 sectional tournament on May 22

2012 W-L record: 8-0
2012 ERA: 0.16
2012 Strikeouts: 102

2012 Batting average: .391
2012 Runs: 25
2012 OPS: 1.051

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Kansas State

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2012 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American; 2011 Under Armour All-American Team; 2011 First Team All-State; 2009 and 2010 All-State Honorable Mention

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.

Payton Scarbrough: Senior catcher, Scarbrough (MO)
Bralin Jackson: Senior outfielder, Raytown South (MO)
William DuPont: Senior third baseman Lafayette (MO)

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.

Eye on POY: Missouri girls soccer

May, 18, 2012
5/18/12
11:22
AM 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.

Allie Stephenson
Senior midfielder, Lee’s Summit North (Lee’s Summit, Mo.)

2012 Team record: 21-3 (Class 3)
2012 Team standing: Class 3 state tournament first round vs. Raymore-Peculiar on May 22

2012 Goals: 23
2012 Assists: 7
Career goals: 108
Career assists: 57

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Oklahoma State University

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Averaged 1.3 points per game through her first 21 games this season. Three-time Class 3 First Team All-State selection. 2011 NSCAA Youth All-American honoree. No. 48 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS.

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Missouri Boys Hoop POY: Cameron Biedscheid

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:25
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, Cameron Biedscheid, Cardinal Ritter College Prep, Missouri, boys
John Fedele/ESPNHSCardinal Ritter (St. Louis, Mo.) senior Cameron Biedscheid averaged 31.7 points and 9.6 rebounds this past season.
THE WINNER: Cameron Biedscheid

THE BASICS

School: Cardinal Ritter College Prep
(St. Louis, Mo.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Forward
Height: 6-foot-7
Weight: 195 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Biedscheid averaged 31.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.2 steals per game this past season, leading the Lions (21-5) to the first round of the Class 3 state tournament. A three-time First Team All-State selection, he led Cardinal Ritter to its third straight Class 3 district championship this winter, scoring 38 points in a win over Carnahan (St. Louis, Mo.).

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Eye on POY: Missouri boys basketball

March, 19, 2012
3/19/12
10:20
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.

Nolan Berry
Junior forward, DeSmet Jesuit (St. Louis, Mo.)

2011-12 Team record: 19-9 (Class 5)
2011-12 Team standing: Lost in Class 5 district finals

2011-12 Points per game: 19.5
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 9.2
2011-12 Assists per game: 3
2011-12 Blocks per game: 2.6
2011-12 Steals per game: 1.1

Academics: A-minus average
Collegiate destination: Butler (verbal)

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2011 First Team All-Conference. 2011 First Team All-State.

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Missouri Girls Hoop POY: Maddie Stock

March, 8, 2012
3/08/12
5:26
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.

THE WINNER: Maddie Stock

THE BASICS

School: St. Joseph’s Academy (St. Louis, Mo.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Guard
Height: 6-foot-1

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Stock averaged 17.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.0 steals, 3.2 assists and 2.3 blocks per game this past season, leading the Angels (25-6) to the Class 5 state quarterfinals. A three-time Class 5 All-State selection and a three-time St. Louis Post Dispatch All-Metro pick, she connected on 99 attempts from 3-point range as a senior. Stock concluded her prep basketball career with 1,800 points.

Academic excellence: Stock has maintained a 3.88 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A member of the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society, she has volunteered locally at an area food bank and as a youth counselor.

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Eye on POY: Missouri girls basketball

March, 1, 2012
3/01/12
10:02
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.

Taylor Manuel
Senior forward/center, Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis)

2011-12 Team record: 24-6
2011-12 Team standing: Play St. Joseph's Academy in Class 5 state quarterfinals March 3; ESPNHS ranking No. 32

2011-12 Points per game: 15.4
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 9.8
2011-12 Assists per game: 4.6
2011-12 Blocks per game: 3.0
2011-12 Steals per game: 2.1

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Purdue (NLI)

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: McDonald's All-American Game nominee; WBCA honorable mention All-American; 2011 Class 5 All-State selection; quadruple-double (27 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, 10 blocks) in 70-49 win over Cor Jesu.

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Missouri Boys Soccer POY: Derek Schrick

February, 22, 2012
2/22/12
5:15
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed this past fall'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 29 fellow Gatorade State Fall Boys Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Derek Schrick

THE BASICS

School: Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 170 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Schrick scored 10 goals and passed for 24 assists this past season, leading the Hawklets (22-4-1) to the Class 3, District 13 championship match. An All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, he was the Missouri Soccer Coaches Association Class 3 Player of the Year and the Kansas City Star High School Player of the Year. Schrick concluded his prep soccer career with 45 goals and 67 assists.

Academic excellence: Schrick has maintained a 3.08 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A member of the Rockhurst Honors Choir, he has volunteered locally as a youth mentor to special-needs students, at a local hospice and as a youth soccer coach.

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Eye on POY: Missouri boys soccer

February, 15, 2012
2/15/12
4:07
PM ET
The fall soccer season may have concluded, but the search for Gatorade State Boys Soccer Players 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 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.

Louie Berra
Senior midfielder, DeSmet Jesuit (St. Louis, Mo.)

2011 Team record: 25-4-1 (Class 3)
2011 Team standing: Class 3 state champions

2011 Goals: 19
2011 Assists: 14
2011 Points per game: 1.10
Career goals: 47
Career assists: 38

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Ohio State University

How he’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Scored six goals in DeSmet's six-game run to the state championship. Netted the insurance goal in a 2-0 win over Oakville (Mo.) in the state final. 2011 NSCAA All-American. 2011 First Team All-State selection. Two-time St. Louis Post-Dispatch All-Metro selection. No. 95 ranked recruit in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS.

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Missouri Boys XC ROY: Zach Herriott

January, 23, 2012
1/23/12
5:25
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runner 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 Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.


THE WINNER: Zach Herriott

THE BASICS

School: Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.)
Grade: Senior
Height: 6-foot-2

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Herriott raced to a ninth-place finish at the Nike Cross Nationals Final this past season with a time of 15:37.24. The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, he placed fourth at the Nike Cross Nationals Midwest Regional championships in 16:00.60. Also the Runner of the Year as named by Mo.MileSplit.com and the Kansas City Star, Herriott finished 13th at the Class 4 state meet in 16:34.26, leading the Hawklets to second place as a team. Herriott won the Kansas City Metro Championships in a course-record time of 15:21.30 this past fall. He won the 2010 Class 4 individual state championship as a junior.

Academic excellence: Also an accomplished singer as part of two performance choirs at his school, Herriott has maintained a 3.87 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society, he has volunteered more than 200 hours of community service on behalf of Rockhurst High in addition to donating his time as a peer tutor.

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