HOLLYWOOD, Calif. —
There will be no losers at the 12th annual Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year Awards.
That's not just a line — it's a fact.
All 12 of the those who will be honored at the swank Loews Hollywood Hotel are already Gatorade National Players of the Year in their respective sports. They have been selected based upon achievements both on and off the field or court.
On Tuesday night, a day before and in conjunction with the ESPYs, two from the 12 — a boy and girl — will emerge as the overall Athletes of the Year as voted on by a panel of national sports writers.
A scheduled list of former Gatorade winners will present the awards and they include U.S. women's soccer legend Mia Hamm, NFL running backs Steven Jackson and Eddie Lacy
, NBA standouts Bradley Beal
and Brandon Knight
and U.S. Men's National Team star Omar Gonzalez.
The event will be emceed by ESPN's Hannah Storm.
Interestingly, the first overall Male Athlete of the Year in 2003 was LeBron James, who has been in the news a little of late. And his new Cleveland Cavaliers teammate, Andrew Wiggins
, was the selection in 2013.
Other males who have been picked: Dwight Howard (2004), Greg Paulus
(2005), Greg Oden
(2006), Kevin Love
(2007), Matt Barkley
(2008), Garrett Gilbert
(2009), Knight (2010), Dylan Bundy
(2011) and Johnathan Gray
The previous Female Athletes of the Year: Allyson Felix (2003), Candace Parker (2004), Cynthia Barboza (2005), Tina Charles (2006), Maya Moore
(2007), Chanelle Price (2008), Skylar Diggins
(2009), Rebecca Woodberry
(2010), Morgan Brian (2011), Breanna Stewart
(2012) and Morgan Andrews
For the boys, basketball has dominated with six selections, followed by football (four) and baseball (one). On the girls side, basketball (six) is again queen, followed by track and field (two), soccer (two) and volleyball (one).
Who will be the 2014 winners? Earnestly, the races appear wide open. There are no clear-cut favorites.
Here are the nominations in alphabetical order and winners already in their respective sports.
BOYS WINNERS AND NOMINEES
FootballSchool: Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.)Year:
Ranked the No. 1 defensive tackle in the country by 247sports, Brown graduated from Oscar Smith early and enrolled at Virginia in January. … The 6-foot-4, 282-pounder had 95 tackles to go along with 18 sacks and 31 tackles for loss leading the Tigers to a 14-1 record the a Division 6 state final. … The MaxPreps first-team All-American
set a school weight-lifting record by bench pressing 430 pounds and squatting 535. … A 3.42 student, Brown was a member of the National Honor Society and volunteered for the Chesapeake Sheriff's Department Youth Football Camp. … He was a student ambassador for the OSHS peer-mentoring initiative. Abu DanladSport:
SoccerSchool: Dunn (Los Olivos, Calif.)Year:
Scored 25 goals and added 15 assists for Dunn (9-3-2) which reached the CIF Southern Section tournament. … A two-time Southern Section Division VI first-team selection. … Led Santa Barbara Soccer Club to a No. 6 national ranking. … A 3.05 student, he volunteered for numerous organizations including at orphanages in his native Ghana. Grant FisherSport:
Cross CountrySchool: Grand Blanc (Mich.)Year:
Won the national title at the Foot Locker Championships… Won the Foot Locker Midwest Regional. … Unbeaten in the 5K distance in 2013. … Unbeaten during the indoor season, including the mile run at the 2014 New Balance National Indoor championships. … A 3.95 student, Fisher is a youth soccer and youth cross-country instructor. … He also tutors. Trentavis FridaySport:
Track and FieldSchool: Cherryville (N.C.)Year:
Broke the national 100-meter record by blazing to a wind-legal 10.00 at Junior Nationals in Eugene, Ore. earlier this month. … Friday broke the record of 10.01 set by Jeff Demps in 2008. … Before July, he ran a 20.33 in the 200, which ranked No. 1 in the country. … Won the 100, 200 and 400 and anchored the winning 4x400 relay at the Class 1A state meet. … A 3.14 student, Friday has volunteered at the First Wesleyan Church's feed-the-homeless initiative. … Also has volunteered at Webb Street School working with special needs students.
BaseballSchool: Tullahoma (Tenn.) Year:
Picked 31st overall in the June draft, Sheffield decided to sign with the Indians rather than play for the reigning national champions. He went 10-0 as a left-handed pitcher with a 0.34 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 61.2 innings. … He batted .405 with three homers, 13 doubles, 16 RBIs and 22 runs scored. … Owned a 3.95 ERA, was Homecoming King and tabbed school ambassador at one local elementary school and was a student teacher at another. … Nephew of former Major Leaguer Gary Sheffield. Karl Towns Jr.Sport:
BasketballSchool: St. Joseph (Metuchen, N.J.)Year:
The 7-foot, 250-pound post averaged 20.9 points, 13.4 rebounds and 6.2 blocks per game while leading the Falcons to a 30-2 record and NJSIAA TOC championships. A MaxPreps first-team All-American
, Towns recorded three triple-doubles and one quadruple-double in 2013-14. Towns made the Dominican Senior National Team as a 16-year-old. … A 3.50 student, Towns does volunteer work for Parents of Autistic Children, the Mary Kline Classic, benefiting cancer research and the Scholarship Fund for inner-city children.
GIRLS WINNERS AND NOMINEES Katie CousinsSport:
SoccerSchool: Jefferson Forest (Forest, Va.)Year:
Scored 14 goals and added six assists, leading Jefferson Forest (23-2-1) to a state 4A championship game. … Ranked the 2015 No. 1 recruit by TopDrawerSoccer.com. … Made the U.S. Soccer Under-18 Women's National Team. … Also two-year varsity basketball player. … A 3.72 student, Cousins has helped raise funds for Relay for Life and Autism Awareness 5K races. Alexa EfraimsonSport:
Cross CountrySchool: Camas (Wash.)Year:
Won the Nike Cross Nationals championship with a time of 16:50.10, shattering the old record by 37 seconds. … Broke the national prep record in the 1,600 (4:33.29) to take the state 4A track and field title. … She won the mile at the 2014 New Balance National indoor championships. … Clocked the nation's No. 1 3,000 (9:23.24) and No. 2 800 (2:04.10). … A 3.90 student, she is a member of DECA, is a volunteer referee in local youth leagues and is a member of the National Honor Society. Alexa FilleySport:
VolleyballSchool: Assumption (Louisville, Ky.)Year:
She led the Rockets to four straight state titles for the Rockets, who were No. 4 in the MaxPreps national computer rankings and 15th in the Xcellent 25. … The 5-10 setter finished with 1,248 assists to go along with 334 digs, 102 kills and 41 aces. … Two-time state MVP. … Possessing a 3.83 GPA, Filley donated time for Special Olympics, a local soup kitchen and as volunteer at youth environmental camp. Taylor McQuillinSport:
SoftballSchool: Mission Viejo (Calif.)
Posted a 25-1 record with a 0.69 ERA, leading the Diablos to a Southern Section Division II title and the No. 1 spot in the MaxPreps national computer rankings. … McQuillin struck out 316 and walked just 18 in 173.2 innings and recorded four no-hitters and two perfect games. … Batted .323… In five postseason games, pitched five shutouts over 38 innings, when she struck out 72 and walked two. … A 3.45 student, volunteers with various organizations including at Lake Forest Elementary School and youth softball and soccer camps. … Diagnosed as infant with Duane Syndrome, a congenital condition that renders her blind in her left eye and well as with partial hearing loss on the same side. Brianna TurnerSport:
BasketballSchool: Manvel (Texas)Year:
The 6-3 forward averaged 20.8 points, 11.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 3.9 blocks and 3.7 steals per game, leading the Mavericks to a 38-2 record and surprising state 5A state championship. … Turner had 17 points and 17 rebounds as Manvel snapped Duncanville's 105-game win streak in the state finals 58-53. Duncanville entered as the top team in the nation and had won two straight state titles. … A first-team MaxPreps All-American, Turner was the MVP of the McDonald's All-American Game. … Her four-year career averages: 20.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.8 blocks, 3.0 assists and 3.1 steals. … A 3.78 student, Turner volunteered at the Houston Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity, among numerous organizations.
Track and FieldSchool: Burke (Charleston, S.C.)Year:
Set a national outdoor record with a shot put heave of 56 feet, 8 1/4 inches at the Taco Bell Classic in April. .. It broke the previous mark, set 11 years earlier, by nearly two feet. … Also captured the New Balance National Outdoor championship with a mark of 56-7 1/2 and won the South Carolina state record by 11 feet, with a mark of 55-8 1/4. … Discus best of 159-11 ranked 10th best in the country in 2014. … Saunders was the President of her senior class and is also active in DECA for emerging business leaders. … Also volunteered as the Burke Bulldogs mascot for two years.