CHICAGO (May 23, 2012) — In its 27th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPNHS, today announced Emily Sonnett of Fellowship Christian School as its 2011-12 Gatorade Georgia Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Sonnett is the first Gatorade Georgia Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Fellowship Christian 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 Sonnett as Georgia’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, Sonnett 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-7 senior forward and midfielder scored 25 goals and passed for 12 assists this past season, leading the Paladins (14-3-1) to the Class A state championship game. A member of the U.S. Soccer Under-18 Women’s National Team and a 2011 Youth All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America for club play, Sonnett was also a 2011 ESPNHS First Team All-American. Sonnett concluded her prep soccer career with 113 goals and 41 assists.
Sonnett has maintained a 3.30 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally with a nursing home, as a youth soccer coach and on behalf of the Atlanta Union Mission.
“Emily Sonnett is a very dangerous attacking player, super creative and very mobile off the ball,” said Dave Smith, Sonnett’s club coach with NASA Elite. “She creates danger with her passing and dribbling and can finish with either foot. She holds herself to a very high standard, and she holds those around her to a high standard as well.”
Sonnett has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at the University of Virginia 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 ESPNHS and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, 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.
Sonnett joins recent Gatorade Georgia Girls Soccer Players of the Year Morgan Brian (2009-10 & 2010 – 11, Frederica Academy, Laura Eddy (2008–09 Marist School), Ashley Baker (2007-08, Parkview), and Marah Falle (2006-07, Parkview) among the state’s list of former award winners.
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