Return of the POY: Mississippi's Emily Davis

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: Emily Davis

School: Newton County (Decatur, Miss.)

Grade: Senior

Position: RHP/3B

2011 BA: .504

2011 HR: 8

2011 RBI: 45

2011 R: 54

2011 W-L: 18-0

2011 IP: 107

2011 ERA: 1.76

2011 K-BB: 53-23

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Mississippi Softball Player of the Year. Led the Cougars (34-2) to the 2011 Class 4A state championship. Owned an .832 slugging percentage and .559 on-base percentage as a junior. 2011 Miss Softball as named by the Clarion-Ledger. 2011 PopStar Award winner as named by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame & Museum. Three-time Clarion-Ledger Class 4A All-State selection.

Academics: A average

College: Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

Extracurricular activities: A member of the school’s choir and student newspaper, she has donated her time as a youth softball instructor and on behalf of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Justin Chaney, head coach at Newton County: “I’ll take Emily Davis any day. She’s the best all-around athlete I have ever coached, and she’s just a great person.”

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.

Kelly Young: Senior pitcher/shortstop, Madison Central (Madison, Miss.)

Kaitlin Moore: Senior outfielder, DeSoto Central (Southaven, Miss.)

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.