Central, SC (June 18, 2013) – In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Carley Hoover of D.W. Daniel High School (Central, SC) as its 2012-13 Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year.
Hoover was surprised with the news by Stanford alum and silver medalist Lauren Lappin.
“It felt great to surprise Carley with the news and invite her into one of the most prestigious legacy programs in high school sports,” said Lappin, a former US National Team elite member. “Gatorade has been on the sidelines fueling athletic performance for years, so to be recognized by a brand that understands the game and truly helps athletes perform is a huge honor for these kids.”
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Hoover as the nation’s best high school softball player. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Hoover from nearly 373,000 high school softball players nationwide. Hoover is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.
The 6-foot-2 senior right-handed pitcher led the Lions (24-4) to the Class 3A state championship this past season. The state’s returning Gatorade Softball Player of the Year, Hoover posted a 16-4 record in the circle with a 0.15 ERA and 338 strikeouts in 138 innings this past season. A four-time All-State selection and the High School Sports Report Class 3A Player of the Year, Hoover batted .500 with four home runs and 45 runs scored.
Hoover has maintained a 3.84 GPA in the classroom. Also a volleyball standout, she is president of her senior class and has volunteered locally delivering food to the needy and coaching youth softball players.
“I think she’s the next great pitcher at Stanford,” said Derek Allister of OnDeck Softball. “She’s the kid who can get them to the World Series. She throws gas. She’s one of the few kids legitimately in the upper 60s. I think she’s a great kid and she’s tough, too.”
Hoover has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at Stanford University this fall.
“Without question, Carley is deserving of recognition as the nation’s best high school softball player based on her statistics on the mound and the impact her accomplishments have had Daniel High School’s success,” said Gatorade Vice President, Global & Sports Marketing Andrea Fairchild. “But she is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete should be. She represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient.”
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:
• Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning
• WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie
• NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith
• Two-time beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh
• Three-time 200-meter World Champion Allyson Felix
For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year Web site at http://www.gatorade.com/poy