A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For her 49 fellow Gatorade State Volleyball Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Jordan Burgess
School: Berkeley Prep (Tampa, Fla.)
Position: Outside hitter
Athletic achievement: Burgess led the Buccaneers to a 30-2 record and a third consecutive state championship this past season. The state’s returning Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year, she amassed 553 kills, 366 digs, 48 service aces, 38 assists and 32 blocks while recording a .457 hitting percentage. Also the returning ESPNHS National Junior of the Year, Burgess produced 29 service receptions, 15 kills, 13 digs and four blocks in the 3-1 Class 4A state title win over Bishop Moore (Orlando, Fla.). A 2011 USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships All-Tournament selection and two-time Amateur Athletic Union Junior National Girls’ Volleyball Championships All-American, she is a member of the U.S. Girls’ Youth National Team.
Academic excellence: Burgess has maintained a 4.00 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: A founding director of the “Everyone Should Play” Foundation, a charitable initiative formed in 2009 to assist the area’s disadvantaged youth offset sports registration fees and equipment costs, Burgess has also volunteered locally as a youth volleyball coach. Team manager of the Berkeley Prep boys volleyball squad since 2009 and a participant in a community literacy-outreach program, she served as a team leader at a two-week youth business leadership summer camp in 2007 and 2008. Burgess has also donated her time fundraising on behalf of Heifer International.
“She’s not only a stellar player but also one with a great attitude and excellent character,” said John Babbitt, head coach of rival Tampa Catholic (Tampa, Fla.). “Burgess is an excellent all-around player and an obvious leader on and off the court. However, I would say her greatest strength is her knowledge of the game and putting that to work for her. She sees weaknesses or opportunities and exploits them to her advantage.”
Burgess has signed a National Letter of Intent to play volleyball on scholarship at Stanford University beginning in the fall of 2012.