In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA High School Sports, announced Summer Lanter of Soddy Daisy High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Tennessee Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Lanter is the first Gatorade Tennessee Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Soddy Daisy 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 Lanter as Tennessee’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, Lanter 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 5-foot-5 senior forward scored 32 goals and passed for 17 assists this past season, leading the Trojans (18-3-3) to the Class AAA state quarterfinals. The Region 3-AAA Player of the Year, Lanter had 13 goals and six assists in the postseason as Soddy Daisy reached the state tournament for a third straight year. She concluded her prep soccer career with 100 goals and 43 assists.
Lanter has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally with the Soddy Daisy High Beta Club and as part of multiple community service initiatives in association with her school’s National Honor Society chapter.
“Summer is lightning fast and finishes at speed with either foot,” said Josh Gray, Lanter’s club coach with FC Alliance. “If anyone loses the ball, she runs it down immediately. The problem she poses as a coach is she gets the ball and [her teammates] sometimes stop and watch.”
Lanter has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Lee University 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.
Lanter joins recent Gatorade Tennessee Girls Soccer Players of the Year Olivia Harrison (2011-12, Houston High School), Kat Nigro (2010 – 11 & 2009-10, Livingston Academy), Susannah Dennis (2008–09 & 2007-08, Battle Ground Academy), and Kelly Dyer (2006-2007, St. Agnes Academy) among the state’s list of former award winners.