Return of the POY: Idaho's Casey Stangel

The Gatorade State Softball Players of the Year 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: Casey Stangel

School: Lake City (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho)

Grade: Junior

Position: LHP/1B

2011 W-L: 25-0

2011 IP: 149

2011 ERA: 0.33

2011 K-BB: 283-31

2011 BA: .590

2011 HR: 11

2011 RBI: 52

2011 R: 36

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Idaho Softball Player of the Year. Led the Timberwolves (26-0) to the 2011 Class 5A state championship. 2010 and 2011 Class 5A Inland Empire League Most Valuable Player. 2010 adidas “Futures” All-Star Game selection. 2010 ESPNHS National Fastpitch Championships fifth-place finisher. 2009 Amateur Softball Association Gold 18U national champion.

Academics: A average

College: University of Missouri (verbal)

Extracurricular activities: In addition to donating her time as a leader of her church’s youth group, she has volunteered as a youth softball instructor.

Dave Garrett, head coach of rival Lewiston (Idaho): “I’ve been in softball for a lot of years, and she’s the best pitcher I’ve ever seen come through the state of Idaho. Against us, she was dominating. She pretty much kept our offense in check for the four games we faced her. She has the ability to rear back and get the strikeout when she needs to. She can get those extra few miles per hour on her pitches -- and locate them wherever she wants to.”

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

Kayla Anderson: Senior shortstop, Centennial (Boise, Idaho)

Erica Dick Junior pitcher/shortstop, Boise (Idaho)

Toni Erwin: Junior shortstop, Skyline (Idaho Falls, Idaho)

Cortni Pena: Senior pitcher/first baseman, Meridian (Idaho)

Lindsie Scholwinski: Junior pitcher, Couer d’Alene (Idaho)

Elli Tindall: Senior second baseman, Couer d’Alene (Idaho)

Destiny Turner: Junior center, Mountain View (Meridian, Idaho)

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.