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2002 Athlete of the Year
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Boys Baseball -- Jeff Francoeur
Parkview High School - Lilburn, Georgia

"Athletes like Jeff Francoeur are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best baseball players not only in the state of Georgia, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him." One of the nation's top two-sport athletes, Francoeur earned a scholarship to Clemson University after intercepting a school-record 28 passes - 15 as a junior, also a record - as a football free safety and batting .500 both his junior and senior seasons on the diamond, hitting 20 home runs as a junior. Parkview High won Class 5A state titles in both sports his junior and senior years. Francoeur saved his best for last, going 6-for-7 with four home runs, including a grand slam, in the team's two-game state title series this spring and also was the winning pitcher in both games in relief. The Atlanta Braves made the 6-foot-4, 200-pound Francoeur their first-round pick (No. 23 overall) in this year's Major League Draft.    

Boys Basketball -- Nik Caner-Medley
Deering High School - Portland, Maine
"Athletes like Nik Caner-Medley are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best basketball players not only in the state of Maine, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him."A 6-foot-7 small forward, Caner-Medley was named his state's Mr. Basketball as well as its Gatorade Player of the Year after averaging 34.6 points and 15.4 rebounds per game this season. He led Deering High to a pair of Western Class A state titles and earned an invitational to the Capital Classic all-star game in Washington, D.C. After starring at the adidas ABCD Camp last summer, Caner-Medley earned plenty of scholarship offers, selecting reigning NCAA champion Maryland over Missouri, UConn, Kansas, and Virginia. Sports Illustrated magazine also recognized Caner-Medley's distinguished career with a mention in its "Faces in the Crowd" section this year.  

Boys Cross Country -- Timothy Moore
Novi High School - Novi, Michigan
"Athletes like Timothy Moore are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best runners not only in the state of Michigan, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him."Moore broke out of the shadow of last year's National High School Boys Cross Country Athlete of the Year, Dathan Ritzenheim of Rockford, to win his first Class A state title last fall. He also won the Foot Locker national championship race last December in 14:50, combining with Ritzenheim to push the Foot Locker winning streak posted by Michigan boys to three. After finishing eighth in the Foot Locker race as a junior, Moore anchored the 4x800 relay team that won the national high school championship last spring. He has accepted a scholarship to the University of Notre Dame.  

Boys Football -- Lorenzo Booker
St. Bonaventure High School - Ventura, California
"Athletes like Lorenzo Booker are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best football players not only in the state of California, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him."It is the second straight year that a running back from Ventura has been selected the NHSCA Athlete of the Year; Tyler Ebell of Ventura High received the award last year. Booker, who will attend Florida State University, was selected as the Gatorade National Player of the Year after becoming his state's all-time leading rusher with 8,269 yards, scoring 126 of his 132 career touchdowns on the ground. His 850 career points also are a state record. As a senior, he rushed for 2,869 yards, averaging more than nine yards per carry as he led St. Bonaventure to a third consecutive divisional title.Booker also was named the winner of the Ken Hall Trophy, the equivalent of college football's Heisman Trophy, by the San Antonio (Texas) Downtown Rotary Club, and participated in the inaugural U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January, leading the West squad to a 26-6 victory over the East. Sports Illustrated magazine also recognized Booker's distinguished career with a mention in its "Faces in the Crowd" section this year.  

Boys Golf -- James Frost
Calais High School - Calais, Maine
"Athletes like James Frost are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA Executive Directors Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best golfers not only in the state of Maine, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him."Frost, who will continue his golf career next year at Mississippi State University, won three Maine Class C state individual titles, shooting 73 last fall to win his third title, and helping his team to three state team crowns. He was coached at Calais High by the NHSCA's National High School Boys Coach of the Year, Mike Ellis. Frost also earned All-America status twice in the NHSCA National Open High School Boys Golf Championships. He scored 217 and finished 11th in the 2000 championships as a sophomore, following that performance with a 226 total and 24th place in 2001 as a junior. Frost is one of just six male golfers to earn All-America honors more than once.  

Boys Soccer -- David Walters
Lake Lehman High School - Lehman, Pennsylvania
"Athletes like David Walters are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA Executive Directors Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best soccer players not only in the state of Pennsylvania, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him."Walters, who will attend Penn State University, was a two-time First team All-America selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) as well as a three-time All-State selection. The runner-up in the NSCAAA Player of the Year balloting as a senior, Walters was selected to the East squad for the inaugural Powerade McDonald's All-America Games last month. He also has played on the under-16 and under-15 national teams,  

Boys Swimming -- Tyler DeBerry,
Sabino High School - Tucson, Arizona
"Athletes like Tyler DeBerryare among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best swimmers not only in the state of Arizona, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him."DeBerry successfully defended his Class 5A state championships in the 200-yard freestyle (1:38.26) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:28.59), setting state records in both events despite battling a shoulder injury much of the season. He also helped his 400-yard freestyle relay team set a state record (3:06.98), held since 1992 by a Phoenix Brophy Jesuit team that included Olympian Gary Hall, Jr.DeBerry, who will attend the University of Michigan, already has qualified for the 2004 Olympic Team Trials in the 1,500-meter freestyle. He will compete in this year's Phillips 66 National Championships in that event, as well as the 200-yard freestyle, the 400-yard freestyle, and the 800-yard freestyle.  

Boys Tennis -- Ryan McBride,
Corona del Sol High School - Tempe, Arizona
"Athletes like Ryan McBride are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best tennis players not only in the state of Arizona, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him."The top-ranked player in the United States Tennis Association's Southwest Section most of the year, McBride gave up his No. 1 ranking to return to high school tennis this year after finishing third in the state as a freshman and sophomore. McBride cruised to the Class 5A state singles title this year, going 30-0 overall. He did not lose a set all season, dropping just 10 games along the way. McBride became his school's first boys singles champion in 20 years, and will attend Arizona State University.  

Boys Track and Field -- Ryan Shields,
Leo High School - Chicago, Illinois
"Athletes like Ryan Shields are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best track athletes not only in the state of Illinois, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him."A native of Jamaica, Shields was sent to Chicago to live with his father at age 9, and he overcame the culture shock and the stress of learning English to become one of the outstanding sprinters in Illinois high-school history. As a sophomore, Shields became just the second runner in state history to sweep the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 400-meter dashes, and followed that with sweeps as a junior and senior as well. Though he competed in tiny Class A, his times were faster than the winning times in the big-school Class AA competition. He helped lead Leo to the Class A state title.  

Wrestling -- Nathan Galloway
State College High School - State College, Pennsylvania
"Athletes like Nathan Galloway are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best wrestlers not only in the state of Pennsylvania, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him."Galloway was a three-time Class 3A state champion at State College High, winning titles at 140, 145, and 152 pounds to lead his team to a second-place state finish. He also was the Cadet National Greco-Roman and freestyle champion in 2000 and was a Junior National Greco-Roman All-American in 2001.Galloway, who will attend Penn State University, also won the 145-pound championship in the 13th annual NHSCA National High School Seniors Wrestling Championships in April at Cleveland, Ohio, and was voted the winner of the Jeff Reese Memorial Award as the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler.  

Girls Basketball -- Ann Strother
Highlands Ranch High School - Highlands Ranch, Colorado  
"Athletes like Ann Strother are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best basketball players not only in the state of Colorado, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her."Strother, who earned a scholarship to NCAA champion UConn, was selected for every leading national award, including the Gatorade High School Player of the Year, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Year, and the James Naismith Award as the nation's top player. In the inaugural McDonald's Women's All-American game, Strother scored 21 points and was named the game's co-Most Valuable Player. This year, she will be a starter on the U.S. Junior National Team as it competes in the World Championships, the only high scool player ever to do so.In her high school career, Strother led Highlands Ranch to three consecutive Class 5A state titles, averaging 17.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game in her career. She also graduated with a 3.36 grade-point average and was a member of the National and Spanish Honor Societies. Sports Illustrated magazine also recognized Strother's distinguished career with a mention in its "Faces in the Crowd" section this year.  

Girls Cross Country -- Amber Trotter
Ukiah High School - Ukiah, Califorina
"Athletes like Amber Trotter are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best runners not only in the state of California, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her."Trotter's story is among the most unusual and heart-warming of any honoree this year, both on and off the course. She overcame an eating disorder that plagued her much of her junior year to post one of the most dominating cross country seasons ever in California as a senior. She won the girls title in the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships last December by 40 seconds, the second largest margin of victory in race history, after finishing seventh as a junior. She won all eight races she competed in last fall, by an average of 1 minute, 6 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor. Included were winning margins of 1:52 in the North Coast Section meet and 45 seconds in the California state meet.Instead of selecting one of the Division I powerhouses to pursue her college career, Trotter will travel all the way across the United States to attend Division III Middlebury College, located in scenic Middlebury, Vermont.  

Girls Field Hockey -- Lori Hillman
Eastern Regional High School -Voorhees, New Jersey
"Athletes like Lori Hillman are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best field hockey players not only in the state of New Jersey, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her."A three-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) First-Team All-American, Hillman, a midfielder, scored 22 goals and added 21 assists this season, and her 89 career goals are a school record. Hillman, who will attend the University of Michigan, led Eastern High to three consecutive Group 4 state titles, and the school's record during her four-year career was 80-2-2, with both of the losses coming in her freshman year. She played on the under-18 National Team last year and will compete on the under-19 National Team this year.  

Girls Golf -- May Wood
The Baylor School - Chattanooga, Tennessee
"Athletes like May Wood are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best golfers not only in the state of Tennessee, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her."Wood won Division II individual state titles in 1998, 1999, and 2000 after finishing third in the state as an eighth-grader in 1997. A wrist injury prevented Wood from trying for a fourth state title last fall. However, she competed in the Aerus Electrolux Tournament, the LPGA Tour's Nashville stop, this spring, and will continue her golf career in the fall as a freshman at Vanderbilt University.Wood also was a two-time All-American in the NHSCA National Open High School Women's Golf Championships. As a freshman in 1999, Wood finished second in the event to Natalie Gulbis, currently an LPGA Tour rookie, with a 311 total, when it was a 72-hole event. In 2000, Wood followed that up with a 221 total and a fourth-place finish.  

Girls Soccer -- Jill Oakes
Harvard-Westlake High School - North Hollywood, California
"Athletes like Jill Oakes are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best soccer players not only in the state of California, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her."Oakes was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year after scoring 21 goals and adding 13 assists this season as a defender, leading Harvard-Westlake High to its second consecutive CIF Southern Section Division IV title. She was named the Division IV Defensive Player of the Yerar as a junior and the Mission League's Most Valuable Player this season. Oakes, also the captain of the school's cheering squad, holds a 3.17 grade-point average and earned a scholarship to UCLA.  Girls

Softball Alicia Hollowell
Fairfield High School - Fairfield, California
"Athletes like Alicia Hollowell are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best softball players not only in the state of California, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her."Hollowell, who will attend the University of Arizona, became the first pitcher in national high school history to record 2,000 career strikeouts, finishing her career with 2,127 strikeouts overall. Her career record was 126-15, and in four years allowed just one earned run, for an earned-run average of 0.08. The 6-foot-2 Hollowell became the first player to record back-to-back seasons with 600 strikeouts or more, and once fanned 61 batters in a 30-inning game. Her record this spring was 24-7, with five of the losses by 1-0 scores. Sports Illustrated magazine also recognized Hollowell's distinguished career with a mention in its "Faces in the Crowd" section this year.  

Girls Swimming -- Mary Descenza,
Rosary High School - Aurora, Illinois
"Athletes like Mary Descenza are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best swimmers not only in the state of Illinois, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her."Descenza set a national high school record (53.11) earlier this year in her specialty, the 100-meter butterfly, and is ranked No. 6 nationally in that event. She won her third state title this year to go along with a pair of state championships in the 200-meter freestyle. Also an established national and international veteran, Descenza finished fourth in the 100-meter butterfly in the FINA World Long Course Championships and second-, third-, and fourth-place finishes in the FINA World Short Course Championships this year. She also competed in the 2000 Olympic Trials as a 15-year-old - the youngest competitor to qualify for the finals by six years - and finished sixth. She already has qualified for the 2004 Olympic Trials, and earned a scholarship to the University of Georgia.  

Girls Tennis -- Rankin Williams
Needham Broughton High School - Raleigh, North Carolina
"Athletes like Rankin Williams are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best tennis players not only in the state of North Carolina, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her."Coached by Steve Spivey, the NHSCA National High School Girls Tennis of the Year in 2000, Williams became one of the most dominating players in state history. She was undefeated in 94 singles matches during her career, helping lead Broughton High to four consecutive Class 4A dual state titles. After winning Class 4A state singles titles as a sophomore and junior, Williams elected to pass up a bid for a third singles title in favor of teaming with her sister, Hampton, a freshman, to play in the state doubles tournament (North Carolina does not permit players to play both singles and doubles in the individual state tournament series). The sisters went on to win the doubles title.A finalist in the Gator Bowl Festival Tournament's under-16 division as a junior and a quarterfinalist in the under-18 division as a senior, Williams was selected to the First Team by the National High School Tennis All-American Foundation. Also an outstanding student, she will attend Princeton University in the fall. Sports Illustrated magazine also recognized Williams' distinguished career with a mention in its "Faces in the Crowd" section this year.  

Girls Track and Field -- Sally Meyerhoff
Mountain Pointe High School - Tempe, Arizona
"Athletes like Sally Meyerhoff are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best track athletes not only in the state of Arizona, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her."Meyerhoff excelled in both cross country and the distance track events during her career at Mountain Pointe. She was a two-time Class 5A state cross country champion, leading Mountain Pointe to the state team title last fall, and won back-to-back state crowns in the 800-meter, 1,600-meter, and 3,200-meter runs as well. Also an outstanding student, Meyerhoff earned a scholarship to Duke University. Sports Illustrated magazine also recognized Meyerhoff's distinguished career with a mention in its "Faces in the Crowd" section this year.  

Girls Volleyball -- Bre Ladd
Canyon del Oro High School - Tucson, Arizona
"Athletes like Bre Ladd are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best volleyball players not only in the state of Arizona, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her."A 6-foot-1 outside hitter, Ladd piled up national honors while rewriting her school's record books. This season, she piled up 428 kills, breaking her own school record by more than 100, and added 110 blocks, 163 digs, and 58 service aces to lead Canyon del Oro to the Class 5A state quarterfinals. She had 21 kills in a match, also a school record, and her career totals include 971 kills, 280 blocks, and 146 aces.A member of the U.S. Junior National Team, Ladd was selected as the Gatorade National Player of the Year and as the National Player of the Year by SchoolSports.com. Ladd also was an outstanding student with a 3.4 grade-point average, and earned a scholarship to the University of Arizona. Sports Illustrated magazine also recognized Ladd's distinguished career with a mention in its "Faces in the Crowd" section this year.

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