CHICAGO (June 15, 2021) — In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Henley Tippins of Westminster School as its 2020-21 Gatorade Georgia Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Tippins is the second Gatorade Georgia Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Westminster 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 Tippins 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 June, Tippins joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook High School, Mich.), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel High School, Calif.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy School of Young Women, N.Y.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02 & 2002-03, East Brunswick High School, N.J.), Matt Besler (2004-05, Blue Valley West High School, Kans.), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire High School, Mass.) and Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista High School, Colo.).
The 5-foot-10 junior forward led the Wildcats to a 21-0 record and the Class AAA state championship this past season. Tippins scored 31 goals, including four hat tricks and nine multi-goal games. Named to the 2021 Super 11 First Team by GeorgiaHighSchoolSoccer.com, Tippins was one of 28 players invited to attend a Youth National Team Regional Identification camp in April. She concluded her junior year with 49 goals in her prep soccer career.
A member of the Westminster Student Alumni Council, Tippins is the student-manager for her school’s football team. She has volunteered locally as part of community beautification projects. “Henley’s importance to this team goes far beyond her goal-scoring exploits,” said Clark Meyer, head coach of Westminster School. “She is the most complete center forward we have ever had in terms of her ability to lead our possession play, her tenacious defending from the front and, of course, her finishing.”
Tippins has maintained an A average in the classroom. She has made a verbal commitment to play soccer on scholarship at Georgetown University beginning in the fall of 2022.
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 works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Tippins joins recent Gatorade Georgia Girls Soccer Players of the Year Nieva Gaither (2019-20, 2018-19 & 2017-18, Parkview High School) and Rachel Jones (2016-17, Collins Hill High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Tippins has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Tippins is also eligible to submit a 30-second 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 $2.7 million across 1,117 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, on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.