a history of honoring the future

The Gatorade Player of the Year award was established in 1985 to recognize and celebrate the nation's most outstanding high school talents for their athletic achievement, academic excellence and exemplary character. Now in its third decade, the Gatorade Player of the Year award has become one of the most prestigious accolades in high school sports.

selection process

USA TODAY High School Sports, in partnership with The Gatorade Company, administers the selection process for Gatorade State and National Player of the Year awards. All final selection decisions are the result of a collaborative effort between USA TODAY High School Sports and The Gatorade Company.

  • stateplayers of the year

    In every state that sanctions a given sport, one athlete is selected as Gatorade State Player of the Year in that sport.read more

    The Gatorade State Player of the Year award winners are evaluated and selected on the basis of three criteria: Athletic Achievement — success made at the club, national or international levels of competition, and standout performances in their respective sport. Includes statistical production, honors, skill-set evaluation, leadership ability, overall impact on team success and historical context of accomplishments. Academic Excellence — review of GPA and class rank, as well as SAT and ACT scores, academic honors and distinctions. Exemplary Character — overall sportsmanship, but also membership and participation in positive activities that demonstrate commitment to character and community. State Player of the Year award winners are eligible for the Gatorade National Player of the Year award in their respective sports. For complete program details, click here

  • nationalplayers of the year

    The Gatorade National Player of the Year in each sport is chosen from the pool of State Player of the Year honorees. read more

    After Gatorade State Player of the Year awards are announced, a Gatorade National Player of the Year is chosen. Each sport's pool of state winners is evaluated further on their athletic achievements, academic excellence and exemplary character. The 12 national winners selected represent the nation's best all-around high school student-athletes and are then eligible for Gatorade Male and Female Athlete of the Year.

  • athleteof the year

    The Gatorade male and female Athlete of the Year are elected from the pool of National Player of the Year honorees. read more

    Each year, a national voting panel consisting of approximately 400 sports journalists, coaches, prep-sports experts and analysts evaluates the 12 Gatorade National Player of the Year honorees. The male and female athletes receiving the highest rating from this panel are named Gatorade Athletes of the Year. The criteria remain the same as the Player of the Year requirements:

    • Athletic Achievement
    • Academic Excellence
    • Exemplary Character

    The Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year awards are presented in Los Angeles, California, at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards.

Key Dates

Sport Deadline State Announcement National Announcement
Football 11/04/2014 12/04/2014 Week of 12/08/2014
Volleyball 11/18/2014 12/11/2014 Week of 12/15/2014
Girls Cross Country 12/03/2014 01/08/2015 Week of 01/12/2015
Boys Cross Country 12/03/2014 01/15/2015 Week of 01/19/2015
Fall Girls Soccer 01/07/2015 02/05/2015 Week of 05/18/2015
Fall Boys Soccer 01/14/2015 02/12/2015 Week of 05/11/2015
Girls Basketball 02/18/2015 03/12/2015 Week of 03/16/2015
Boys Basketball 02/25/2015 03/19/2015 Week of 03/23/2015
Spring Boys Soccer 04/16/2015 05/12/2015 Week of 05/11/2015
Spring Girls Soccer 04/23/2015 05/19/2015 Week of 05/18/2015
Baseball 04/28/2015 05/26/2015 Week of 06/01/2015
Softball 05/12/2015 06/04/2015 Week of 06/08/2015
Girls Track & Field 05/26/2015 06/17/2015 Week of 06/22/2015
Boys Track & Field 05/26/2015 06/18/2015 Week of 06/22/2015

athlete award by sport and state

One award winner from each of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia that sanction the following high school sports: