CHICAGO (January 11, 2022) — In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Cheridyn Leverette ofEagle's Landing Christian Academy is the 2021-22 Gatorade Georgia Volleyball Player of the Year. Leverette is the first Gatorade Georgia Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from Eagle's Landing Christian 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 court, distinguishes Leverette as Georgia’s best high school volleyball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award to be announced in January, Leverette joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners, including USA Volleyball players Kayla Banwarth (2006-07, Wahlert High School, Iowa), Alisha Glass (2005-06, Leland Public High School, Mich.), Jordan Larson (2004-05, Logan View High School, Neb.) and Foluke Akinradewo (2004-05, St. Thomas High School, Fla.).
The 6-foot senior outside hitter amassed 564 kills and 370 digs along with 72 service aces this past season, leading the Chargers (39-6) to the Class 1A Private semifinals. Leverette also posted a .416 hitting percentage. A Second Team Under Armour All-American, she was selected as the Class 1A Private Player of the Year.
Vice president of her school’s Beta Club, Leverette has volunteered locally on behalf of Operation Christmas Child, Jack and Jill of America and her church’s food and clothing pantry. “There are several other high level players in the state, but Cheridyn Leverette is the most dynamic and impactful,” said Bill Schmitz, head coach at Our Lady of Mercy High School. “She was a major factor in every game. Her impact at the net, passing, blocking and attacking were just overwhelming.”
Leverette has maintained a weighted 4.26 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at UCLA 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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.
Leverette joins recent Gatorade Georgia Volleyball Players of the Year Ngozi Iloh (2020-21, McIntosh High School), Savannah Bray (2019-20, Etowah High School), and Gabby Gonzales (2018-19 & 2017-18, Walton High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” platform, Leverette has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Leverette is also eligible to submit a short video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.