High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Wheatland

Eye on POY: Wyoming volleyball

December, 6, 2011
The window on the Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year race is closing, and time is running out for student-athletes to state their POY case. 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.

McKenzie Hellbaum
Senior middle blocker and outside hitter, Wheatland (Wyo.)

2011 Team record: 24-16 (Class 3A)
2011 Team standing: lost Class 3A state semifinal to Douglas (Wyo.), 3-0

2011 Kills: 475
2011 Digs: 304
2011 Assists: 116
2011 Blocks: 57.5
2011 Aces: 48

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: University of Wyoming

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Owned a .285 hitting percentage and .433 kill percentage. Averaged 4.1 kills, 2.6 digs and 1.0 assists per set. 2009, 2010 and 2011 Class 3A First Team All-State selection as named by the Wyoming Coaches Association. 2009 Class 3A state champion.

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POY Potential: Wyoming All-State volleyball

October, 31, 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 ESPNHS recruit rankings.

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

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