Return of the POY: R.I.'s McKenzie Meehan

The 2011-12 Gatorade State Girls Soccer Players of the Year selection process is underway, and what better way to kick off coverage than with profiles of returning underclassmen winners? Repeating is no guarantee, but here's a snapshot of what this year’s challengers can shoot for …

Name: McKenzie Meehan

Position: Forward

Grade: Senior

School: La Salle Academy (R.I.)

College: Boston College (verbal)

Height: 5-foot-5

Notes: 2009-10 and 2010-11 Gatorade Rhode Island Girls Soccer Player of the Year ... led the Rams (19-0-2) to the 2010 Division I state championship ... 2010 NSCAA All-American ... two-time First Team All-State selection as named by the Providence Journal ... 1994 Region I Olympic Development Program player pool member


Academics: A average

Extracurricular activities: member of La Salle's Pegasus Gifted Student Program ... peer Spanish tutor ... youth soccer coach ... area homeless shelter volunteer

Drea Harms, head coach of rival Bay View High: "I think McKenzie Meehan is at a different level than any other player. She's way beyond anyone else. She finds ways to score that I'm astounded by. I just see McKenzie as someone who looks like she's always had a ball at her feet. She's just very impressive to me."

Each Gatorade State Player of the Year is challenged by thousands of fellow high school athletes. These are a few of the returning girls soccer underclassmen that also contended in 2010-11 …

Stephanie Ribeiro SR F Cumberland; Megan Greineder SR M East Greenwich; Meagan Hallworth SR F East Greenwich; Skylar LeBlanc SO M East Greenwich; Alexis Clements SR M Exeter/West Greenwich; Courtney Maguire SR F Smithfield; Hannah Lee JR GK Bay View

A dedicated POY team at ESPNHS manages the Gatorade Player of the Year program selection process and oversees all research, reporting, comparative analysis and criteria-compliance on the award program’s behalf. Candidates are judged upon athletic production and impact in the current season. Contenders must also demonstrate high academic achievement and exemplary personal character, including volunteerism, sportsmanship and community leadership. Any class year is eligible, senior status has no bearing on a candidate’s merit and selections are made independent of ESPNU's recruit rankings.

To nominate a student-athlete for Player of the Year honors, contact the POY team at poy@risemag.com.