Return of the POY: Louisiana's Sara Corbello

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: Sara Corbello

School: Barbe (Lake Charles, La.)

Grade: Senior

Position: RHP

2011 W-L: 26-3

2011 IP: 160.2

2011 ERA: 1.13

2011 K-BB: 177-37

2011 BA: .395

2011 HR: 9

2011 RBI: 34

2011 R: 27

Notes: 2010-11 Gatorade Louisiana Softball Player of the Year. Led the Bucs (26-3) to the 2011 Class 5A state semifinals. Recorded a .470 on-base percentage and .756 slugging percentage as a junior. Three-time Louisiana Softball Coaches Association Class 5A All-State selection. Two-time District 3-5A Most Valuable Player.

Academics: B-plus average

College: University of Louisana-Lafayette

Extracurricular activities: She has volunteered locally as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit cancer research and as a youth softball and volleyball coach, and she has donated her time to the Salvation Army and a literacy-outreach program.

Chris Stropolo, Corbello’s Amateur Softball Association coach with New Orleans Déjà Vu: “Sara Corbello has her eyes on college and she’s done diligent work to get herself ready to play college softball. She’s a power kid. She’s got a big swing and she can hit it anywhere. She can mash it.”

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.

Baylee Corbello: Junior pitcher, Sam Houston (Lake Charles, La.)

Katie Brignac: Sophomore pitcher, John Curtis Christian (River Ridge, La.)

Julienne Broussard: Senior pitcher, Teurlings Catholic (Lafayette, La.

Hannah Haydel: Senior pitcher, Hahnville (Boutte, La.)

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.