High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Paige Parker

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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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 ESPNHS recruit rankings.

That being said, the state’s returning First Team All-State selections are sure to enter the 2011-12 Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year conversation at some point. Here they are …

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Return of the POY: Missouri's Paige Parker

October, 5, 2011
The 2011-12 Gatorade State Softball Players of the Year selection process is underway, 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: Paige Parker

Position: Left-handed pitcher

Grade: Sophomore

School: Truman (Independence, Mo.)

College: HS Sophomore

Height: 5-foot-10

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Missouri Softball Player of the Year ... led the Patriots (27-6) to the 2010 Class 5A state championship game ... 2010 All-Metro Player of the Year as named by the Kansas City Star ... 2010 First Team All-State selection ... 2010 Co-Player of the Year as named by The Examiner

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