Return of the POY: Oklahoma's Liz Keester

The Gatorade State Girls Soccer Players of the Year spring selection process is in full swing, 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: Liz Keester

School: Jenks (Okla.)

Grade: Junior

Position: Forward

2011 Goals: 24

2011 Assists: 13

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Oklahoma Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Led Trojans (12-3) to the 2011 Class 6A state quarterfinals. 2011 All-Metro Player of the Year as named by the Tulsa World. Set school freshman scoring record in 2010. Most Valuable Player of the 2011 Heart of America Classic in Missouri. Region 3 Olympic Development Program team member. 2011 U.S. Soccer Under-17 National Team member. Leading scorer for top-ranked Hurricane FC club. No. 38 ranked recruit in Class of 2013 as rated by ESPNHS.

Academics: A average

College: Texas A&M (verbal)

Extracurricular activities: She has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics and a youth anti-drug initiative.

Sam Bowers, head coach of rival Owasso (Okla.): “Keester can be a game-changer at any time. She’s athletic, fast and can really strike a ball well.”

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.

Elyse Hight: Senior goalkeeper, Bishop McGuinness Catholic (Oklahoma City, Okla.)

Krissi Killion Junior forward, Broken Arrow (Okla.)

Kaela Little: Junior goalkeeper, Bishop Kelley (Tulsa, Okla.)

Madison Mercado: Senior midfielder, Sapulpa (Okla.)

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

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