CHICAGO (June 9, 2022) — In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Amber Reed of North Gwinnett High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade Georgia Softball Player of the Year. Reed is the first Gatorade Georgia Softball Player of the Year to be chosen from North Gwinnett 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 Reed as Georgia’s best high school softball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Reed joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Cat Osterman (2000-01, Cy Spring High School, Texas), Kelsey Stewart (2009-10, Arkansas City High School, Kan.), Carley Hoover (2012-13, D.W. Daniel High School, S.C.), Jenna Lilley (2012-13, Hoover High School, Ohio), Morgan Zerkle (2012-13, Cabell Midland High School, W. Va.), and Rachel Garcia (2014-15, Highland High School, Calif.).
The 5-foot-6 junior left-handed pitcher led the Bulldogs (30-5-1) to the Class 7A state championship this past season. Reed posted a 25-0-1 record with a 0.93 ERA, striking out 215 batters in 151.1 innings pitched while walking just 25. She also batted .443 with 12 home runs and 37 RBI. She was named the Class 7A Player of the Year by both the Georgia Dugout Club and the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association.
Reed has served as a peer tutor in her school and has volunteered locally on behalf of youth softball programs. “It’s hard to imagine anyone with a better resume than Amber Reed,” said Adam Newland, head coach at Collins Hill High School. “She was a dominant pitcher and the leading hitter for a team that won the state title in our highest classification. Some might have better hitting numbers and a few might have better pitching numbers, but no one has the combination of the two that she has.”
Reed has maintained a 3.97 GPA in the classroom. She 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 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.
Reed joins recent Gatorade Georgia Softball Players of the Year Megan Bloodworth (2020-21, Crisp County High School), Brooke McCubbin (2019-20, Locust Grove High School), and Kelley Lynch (2018-19 & 2017-18, East Coweta 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, Reed 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. Reed 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.comor follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.