LOS ANGELES– The biggest names in high school and professional sports convened in Los Angeles recently as Gatorade honored the top prep male and female athletes at the 16th annual Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year awards. Gatorade National Football Player of the Year, JT Daniels (Mater Dei High School/Santa Ana, Calif.), was named the 2018 Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year and Gatorade National Girls Cross Country and Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year, Katelyn Tuohy (North Rockland High School/Thiells, N.Y.), received the 2018 Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year.
Daniels and Tuohy were honored at the awards dinner emceed by ESPN SportsCenter Host, Sage Steele and attended by Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timberwolves center and 2014 Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year), Abby Wambach (former U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team forward and 1997-98 Gatorade New York Girls Soccer Player of the Year), Todd Gurley (Los Angeles Rams Running Back and NFL Offensive Player of the Year), Sam Darnold (New York Jets Quarterback and No. 3 2018 NFL Draft pick), Travis Kelce (Kansas City Chiefs and Pro Bowl Tight End), and Sydney McLaughlin (U.S. Olympic Sprinter/Hurdler and 2016 and 2017 Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year).
Established in 1985, 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. One National Player of the Year is awarded in each sport. In addition to athletic excellence, the award recognizes academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field.
In 2003, the Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year awards were established to identify and honor the nation’s top overall male and female high school athletes from among the 12 Gatorade National Players of the Year recognized during the high school athletic season.
All Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year nominees walked The ESPYS red carpet and were featured as special guests during The ESPYS.
“For 33 years, Gatorade has had the privilege of honoring the best and brightest athletes in sport by awarding them the Gatorade Player of the Year not only for excelling on the playing field, but also in their classrooms and communities,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. “JT and Katelyn embody the true spirit of the Gatorade brand at its core and we’re excited to see what’s in store for their futures.”
2018 GATORADE HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS
JT Daniels: The returning state Gatorade Player of the Year led the Monarchs to a 15-0 record. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound quarterback managed to finish off the year with 52 passing touchdowns and just 4 interceptions. In three years as the starter, JT threw for a school-record 12,014 yards and 152 touchdown passes.
- Ranked No. 1 by Rivals, No. 1 QB by USA Today, MaxPreps, and PrepNation
- Passed for 4,124 yards and 52 touchdowns in 2017
- Led his team to an undefeated season, California Division 1 Southern Section Title, and CIF Crown
- Volunteered as part of Mater Dei’s Monarchs for Marines program supporting the troops and families of the First
- Marine Division stationed at nearby Camp Pendleton
- Donated his time locally delivering care backpacks to the homeless and as a youth football coach
- Committed to play football on scholarship at the University of Southern California in the fall of 2019.
Katelyn Tuohy: Katelyn Tuohy is the first athlete in the history of the Player of the Year program to hold the national title in two different sports: Girls Cross Country and Girls Track & Field. As just a sophomore, she already holds the record for the fastest 5K ever by a high school girl – indoors or outdoors – with a time of 15:37.12. Katelyn currently owns four national championships in track, including her second straight national title at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor, where she broke the U.S. prep record in the mile with her time of 4:33.87.
- First person in program history to win the Gatorade National award in two different sports
- Broke 36 year-old national record in the mile by 1.37 seconds (4:33.87)
- Broke previous national record in the 1500, 3000, 3200, and 5000m
- Nike Cross Nationals Champion
- Volunteered locally on behalf of youth soccer and running programs, and the Rose Memorial Library.
- Only entering her junior year of high school