In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA High School Sports, announced Libby Leedom of St. Henry District High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Kentucky Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Leedom is the first Gatorade Kentucky Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from St. Henry District 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 Leedom as Kentucky’s best high school girls soccer player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced in May, Leedom joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook HS, Mich.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, East Brunswick HS, N.J.) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.).
The returning Gatorade Player of the Year, the 5-foot-8 senior midfielder and forward scored 22 goals and passed for 10 assists, leading the Crusaders (15-6-2) to the 9th Region semifinals. A two-time Kentucky Enquirer Player of the Year, Leedom is a three-time First Team All-State selection and was the 2010 State Tournament MVP when she led St. Henry to the state title. She concluded her prep soccer career with 108 goals and 43 assists.
Leedom has maintained a 4.28 weighted GPA in the classroom. A Scholar All-America selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, she has volunteered locally at a nursing home, as a youth soccer coach and on behalf of a fundraising campaign to benefit breast cancer research.
“Libby Leedom has a great understanding of the game and makes everyone around her a better player,” said Mickey McCuiston, head coach of Murray High. “She is a definite challenge to defend in the attacking zone and is a very good defensive player as well.”
Leedom has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the University of Dayton beginning 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 high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA 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.
Two time winner Leedom joins Gatorade Kentucky Girls Soccer Players of the Year Arin Gilliland (2010–11, West Jessamine High School), Jackie Hafele, (2009-10, Sacred Heart Academy), Nikki Hafele (2008–09, Sacred Heart Academy), Jenna Goblirsch (2007-08, Elizabethtown High School), and Sydney Hiance (2006-2007, lands) among the state’s list of former award winners.