In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA High School Sports, announced Katie Stames of Peoples Academy as its 2012-13 Gatorade Vermont Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Stames is the first Gatorade Vermont Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Peoples Academy.
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 Stames as Vermont’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, Stames 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-4 junior forward scored 43 goals and passed for 20 assists this past season, leading the Wolves (18-0) to the Division 3 state championship. An All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Stames was also named the Times Argus Player of the Year and was a First Team All-State choice by the Burlington Free Press.
Stames has maintained an A average in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of a food pantry and youth soccer programs.
“Stames is an incredibly gifted attacking player,” said Jeff Burroughs, head coach at St. Johnsbury Academy. “She’s very creative and she’s the quickest offensive player we saw. She’s unpredictable and very good technically.”
Stames will begin her senior year of high school 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.
Stames joins recent Gatorade Vermont Girls Soccer Players of the Year Lauren Bernard (2011-12 & 2010 – 11, Colchester High School), Brittany Pfaff (2009-10, Rice Memorial), Natalie LeClair (2008–09 & 2007-08, Essex High School), and Emily Milbank (2006-2007, Champlain Valley Union) among the state’s list of former award winners.