CHICAGO — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced June 13 Kristina Kelly of Camden Hills Regional High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Maine Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
Kelly is the first Gatorade Maine Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Camden Hills Regional 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 Kelly as Maine’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, Kelly joins an elite alumni association of past state soccer award-winners, 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 for 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-3 junior forward led the Windjammers to an 18-0 record and a third consecutive Class A state championship this past season.
Kelly netted 39 goals and passed for 10 assists, including 10 hat tricks, and scored in 17 of 18 games. A two-time United Soccer Coaches All-American selection, Kelly is also a two-time Class A State Player of the Year. She concluded her junior year with 110 goals and 39 assists in her prep soccer career.
A member of her school’s Latin Club, Kelly has volunteered locally on behalf of the Maine Lobster Festival and as part of multiple fundraising campaigns to benefit Multiple Sclerosis and Diabetes research.
“You cannot contain Kristina,” said Martyn Davison, head coach of Brunswick High. “She’s fast, skillful and scores with either foot. Kelly is the best player I have seen in 20 years of high school coaching and that is not an overstatement.”
Kelly has maintained a weighted A average in the classroom. She will begin her senior year of high school this fall.
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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Kelly joins recent Gatorade Maine Girls Soccer Players of the Year Sara D'Appolonia (2017-18 & 2016-17, Yarmouth High School), Opal Curless (2015-16, Mount Desert Island High School) and Cassie Symonds (2014-15 & 2013-14, Windham High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Kelly also 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.
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