North Canton Hoover junior Jenna Lilley has been named the 2012-13 Gatorade Ohio Softball Player of the Year.
The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, has selected athletes for the past 28 years in various sports across the country. Lilley is the third Gatorade Ohio Softball Player of the Year to be chosen from Hoover.
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 Lilley as Ohio’s best high school softball player. She is a finalist for the Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award, which will be announced in later this month.
Lilley has led Hoover to a 32-0 record and to the Division I state tournament. The Vikings are two wins from winning their third state title in a row. Lilley enters this weekend with a .697 batting average with seven home runs, 53 runs batted in and 46 runs scored through 32 games. Lilley, a 2012 first-team All-Ohio selection, has an .804 on-base percentage and a 1.303 slugging percentage this season.
“Jenna Lilley is always encouraging, inspiring and motivating other players with her positive attitude and play,” Hoover coach Jerry Goodpasture said. “She is a great teammate and a joy to coach.”
Lilley has maintained a 3.91 grade-point average in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of the Humane Society of the United States, the YMCA and helped raise awareness of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.
Lilley has made an oral commitment to play softball on an athletic scholarship at the University of Oregon beginning in the fall of 2014.
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. There is then an award for one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, 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.