In its third decade of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, Gatorade joined with RISE Magazine to name senior pitcher WHITNEY CANION of ALEDO HIGH as its 2007-2008 Texas Softball Player of the Year.
The 6-foot senior left-handed pitcher finished 31-0 with a 0.07 ERA, recording 382 strikeouts in 198 innings this season to lead the Ladycats (38-1-1) to the Class 4A state championship. Also the Player of the Year as named by the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Canion produced a .350 batting average, 26 runs scored, 26 RBI and three home runs this spring. The two-time District 8-4A Most Valuable Player and a returning First Team All-State selection, she earned state postseason Tournament Most Valuable Player honors after striking out 22 batters in 15 innings as Aledo beat Nederland, 4-0, for the title.
Canion has maintained an A average in the classroom. A Who's Who in English Award winner at Aledo High, she volunteers on behalf of multiple community-service initiatives, developing a recycling program at the high school on behalf of the National Honor Society and volunteering for the local Special Olympics.
"All I know is this: this team wouldn't be No. 1 in the state and tops in the country without her," said Aledo athletic director Tim Buchanan. "She's quite an athlete but the leadership she provided was unbelievable. In that 15-inning state title game she kept fighting and kept her teammates and the defense behind her incredibly focused."
Canion has signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball at Baylor University this fall.