In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA High School Sports, announced Audrey Thomas of Issaquah High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Washington Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Thomas is the second Gatorade Washington Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Issaquah 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 Thomas as Washington’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, Thomas 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 4-foot-11 senior midfielder scored 17 goals and passed for 11 assists this past season, leading the Eagles (19-3-1) to the Class 4A state title game. A two-time All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Thomas is a two-time Seattle Times First Team All-Area honoree and a two-time KingCo Class 4A Player of the Year. She concluded her prep soccer career with 35 goals and 27 assists.
Thomas has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. A Scholar All-America selection by the NSCAA, she has volunteered locally as a peer tutor, a youth soccer coach and as a mentor to the Issaquah freshman class.
“Audrey Thomas is the engine of her team. She never stopped,” said Don Braman, head coach of Skyline High. “She is both quick and able to take players on. And her team could not have done it without her.”
Thomas has verbally committed to attend Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., where she will play soccer 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.
Thomas joins recent Gatorade Washington Girls Soccer Players of the Year Isabel Farrell (2011-12, Interlake High School), Brooke Gilbert (2010 – 11, Glacier Peak High School), Lindsay Elston (2009-10, Eastlake), Emily Hurd (2008–09, Eastlake High School), and Kate Deines (2007-08 & 2006-2007, Issaquah High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.