The Gatorade State Girls Soccer Players of the Year spring selection process is in full swing, 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: Simone Charley
School: Spain Park (Hoover, Ala.)
2011 Goals: 31
2011 Assists: 16
Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Alabama Girls Soccer Player of the Year. 2011 Metro Player of the Year as named by the Birmingham News. 2011 First Team All-State selection. Led the Jaguars (25-3-1) to a third consecutive Class 6A state championship as a sophomore. 2011 Class 6A state triple jump champion. 2010 Honorable Mention All-State selection.
Academics: A average
Extracurricular activities: The 2011 Class 6A champion in the triple jump with a state-record leap of 40 feet, 3 inches, she has volunteered locally as a youth track coach and at a food bank in addition to assisting with relief efforts for Alabama tornado victims.
Robert Starr, head coach of Spain Park: “Simone Charley is a special athlete, for sure. She is incredibly quick and fine-tuning her skills every day. She’s had a big impact for us this year. She’s a difference-maker.”
Each Gatorade State Player of the Year is challenged by thousands of fellow high school athletes. These are a few of the returning girls soccer underclassmen that also contended in 2010-11.
Rachel Ames: Junior goalkeeper, Huntsville (Ala.)
Alli Cochran: Junior midfielder, Chelsea (Ala.)
Meghan Girken: Junior midfielder, Oak Mountain (Birmingham, Ala.)
Alicia Hereford: Junior midfielder, Huntsville (Ala.)
Toni Payne: Junior midfielder, Oak Mountain (Birmingham, Ala.)
A dedicated ESPNHS POY team manages the Gatorade Player of the Year selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the program’s behalf. Candidates are judged on athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders 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.
To nominate a student-athlete for Player of the Year honors, contact the POY team at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.