CHICAGO — In its 32nd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Sydney Sherrill of Southmoore High School as its 2016-17 Gatorade Oklahoma Softball Player of the Year. Sherrill is the second Gatorade Oklahoma Softball Player of the Year to be chosen from Southmoore High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Sherrill as Oklahoma’s best high school softball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award announced in June, Sherrill joins an elite alumni association of past state softball award-winners, including Catherine Osterman (2000-01, Cy Spring High School, Texas), Kelsey Stewart (2009-10, Arkansas City High School, Kan.), Carley Hoover (2012-13 D.W. Daniel High School, S.C.), Jenna Lilley (2012-13, Hoover High School, Ohio), Morgan Zerkle (2012-13 Cabell Midland High School, W. Va.), and Rachel Garcia (2014-15, Highland High School, Calif.).
The 5-foot-8 senior third baseman led the Sabercats (36-2) to the Class 6A state championship this past season. Sherrill compiled a .611 batting average with 20 RBI, 65 runs scored and 23 stolen bases. A member of the USA Softball Junior National Team, she is an All-State selection, The Oklahoman Player of the Year and is ranked as the nation’s No. 30 recruit in the Class of 2017 by FloSoftball.
Sherrill has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics, an elementary school literacy-outreach initiative and tornado relief efforts. “Sydney Sherrill is one of the best softball players in the country, let alone the state of Oklahoma,” said Trey Palacol, head coach at Norman North High. “She can change the game at the plate, on the base paths and in the field.”
Sherrill has maintained a 3.77 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball on scholarship at Florida State University this fall.
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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, 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.
Sherrill joins recent Gatorade Oklahoma Softball Players of the Year Makenzie Flewellen (2015-16, Drumright High School), Jayden Chestnut (2014-15, Mustang High School), Katelyn Brown (2013-14, Southmoore High School), Jessica Walker (2012-13, Grove High School), Darcy Taylor (2011-12, Jenks High School), Whitney Robinson (2010-11, Carl Albert High School), Ashley Paxton (2009-10, Mustang High School), Chelsea Lyon (2008-09, Broken Arrow High School), Kasha Kolb (2007–08, Chelsea High School), and Misty Flesher (2006-07, Lone Grove High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Sydney will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.
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