CHICAGO (June 5, 2014) — In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Vada Sherrill of Alexander Central High School as its 2013-14 Gatorade North Carolina Softball Player of the Year. Sherrill is the second Gatorade North Carolina Softball Player of the Year to be chosen from Alexander Central 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 Sherrill as North Carolina’s best high school softball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award announced in June, Sherrill joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Alicia Hollowell (2000-01, Fairfield HS, Calif.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.), Angela Tincher (2002-03, James River HS, Va.) and Kenzie Fowler (2006-07, Canyon del Oro HS, Ariz.).
The 5-foot-8 junior second baseman has led the Cougars to a 33-0 record, a No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 and a berth in the Class 4A state finals against Cape Fear, scheduled for June 6. Entering the state championship series, Sherrill was hitting .555 with three home runs, 40 RBI and a state-record 59 runs scored. The North Piedmont Conference Player of the Year and an All-State selection, she has also contributed 17 doubles, three triples and 48 stolen bases in 50 attempts.
Sherrill has maintained a 3.94 GPA in the classroom. A talented singer and a devoted member of her church youth group, she has volunteered locally on behalf of a nursing home and a food pantry.
“Sherrill is a phenomenal leadoff hitter,” said Carlee Carpenter, head coach at North Lincoln High. “She not only does a great job of getting on base, but nine times out of 10, when she gets on, she will score. She also drives in runs as well or better than most clean-up hitters. She’s the total package.”
Sherrill will begin her senior year of high school this fall.
Sherrill joins recent Gatorade North Carolina Softball Players of the Year Lexi Shubert (2012-13, Fred T. Foard High School), Lexi Davis (2011-12, Porter Ridge High School), Chelsea Wilkinson (2010-11 & 2009-10, Alexander Central High School), Tisha Mahon (2008-09, North Davidson), Chelsea Leonard (2007-08, Central Davidson), and Ashton Ward (2006–07, Butler) among the state’s list of former award winners.