High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: St. James Academy

Kansas Volleyball POY: Paige Brown

December, 14, 2011
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For her 49 fellow Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Paige Brown


School: St. James Academy (Lenexa, Kan.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Setter
Height: 5-foot-7


Athletic achievement: Brown led the Thunder to a 45-1 record and their fourth straight Class 4A state title this past season. She recorded 1,010 assists, 312 digs, 70 blocks, 59 kills and 45 service aces while posting a hitting percentage of .518. The 2011 Class 4A Kansas Volleyball Association Player of the Year and a 2011-12 American Volleyball Coaches Association Under Armour Honorable Mention All-American, Brown was also the 2011 Evelyn Gates Award recipient for the Kansas City area.

Academic excellence: Brown has maintained a 94.8 average in the classroom.

Exemplary character: Brown has volunteered locally on behalf of multiple community service initiatives in association with her church youth group and recently completed a service mission to New Orleans where she assisted in relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina.

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POY Potential: Top Kansas volleyball recruits

October, 20, 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 PrepVolleyball.com's Senior Aces rankings.

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

1. Bishop Miege High (Shawnee Mission, KS) right side hitter/setter Shelby Workman
  • PrepVolleyball Senior Aces rank: No. 65
  • Height: 6-foot
  • Club: KC Power
  • College: Kentucky (verbal)
  • John Tawa, publisher of PrepVolleyball.com: "One of the best all-around players in the 2012 class, Workman is your consummate winner. She was a primary passer and go to attacker on the KC Power team that won the 2009 16 Open USAV title and has been captain of the three-time defending Kansas 5A champions. Workman has a whip for a left arm, every shot in the book and is as steady of a passer as they come. Blessed with good block timing, Workman’s hands make her a fine secondary setter from the right side. A competitive player who thrives on the pressure of the moment, Workman proves time and again her immeasurable value to any team that she plays on. She should immediately play an important role when she puts on the Kentucky jersey in 2012."

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