CHICAGO (January 13, 2020) — In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Savannah Bray of Etowah High School as its 2019-20 Gatorade Georgia Volleyball Player of the Year. Bray is the first Gatorade Georgia Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from Etowah 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 Bray as Georgia’s best high school volleyball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award to be announced in January, Bray joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including USA Volleyball players Kayla Banwarth (2006-07, Wahlert High School, Iowa), Alisha Glass (2005-06, Leland Public High School, Mich.), Jordan Larson (2004-05, Logan View High School, Neb.) and Foluke Akinradewo (2004-05, St. Thomas High School, Fla.).
The 5-foot-10 senior outside hitter amassed 734 kills, 705 digs, 53 blocks and 33 service aces this past season, leading the Eagles (35-14) to the Class 7A semifinals. The Class 7A Player of the Year, Bray posted a hitting percentage of .413 and broke the state’s career record for kills with 2,304.
A student ambassador and peer tutor in her school, Bray has volunteered locally on behalf of elementary school literacy initiatives and a food pantry. “Savannah Bray is a phenomenal player,” said Naomi Kirk, head coach at Roswell High School. “Her athleticism is unmatched and her ability to attack the opponents’ court is incredible. She has an amazing arm swing and outperformed every other outside hitter we saw this year.”
Bray has maintained an A average in the classroom. She will attend the United States Military Academy this fall, where she will play volleyball.
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 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.
Bray joins recent Gatorade Georgia Volleyball Players of the Year Gabby Gonzales (2018 – 19 & 2017-18, Walton High School), Gabby Curry (2016-17 & 2015-16, Buford High School), and Haley Templeton (2013-14, Chattahoochee High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Bray has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
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 www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.