Claire Constant named Gatorade Virginia Girls Player of the Year
CHICAGO (Via Gatorade) — In its 32nd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Claire Constant of T.C. Williams High School as its 2016-17 Gatorade Virginia Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Constant is the first Gatorade Virginia Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from T.C. Williams High School.
The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Constant as Virginia’s best high school girls soccer player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Constant joins an elite alumni association of past state soccer award-winners, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook HS, Mich.), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel HS, Calif.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, 200203, East Brunswick HS, N.J.), Matt Besler (2004-04, Blue Valley West HS, Kans.), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire HS, Mass.), Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista HS, Colo.).
The 5-foot-8 junior forward and defender scored 16 goals and passed for 17 assists this past season, leading the Titans (13-4-3) to the Group 6A North Region quarterfinals. A member of the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Women’s National Team player pool, Constant was a First Team All-State selection in 2016 and is rated as the nation’s No. 47 recruit in the Class of 2018 by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Constant has volunteered locally for the Haiti Micah Project, a non-profit that feeds and educates impoverished children in Haiti. She has also donated her time as a youth soccer coach. “Claire is certainly a talented kid,” said Adam Soos, head coach of Lake Braddock High School. “If you don’t pay her the attention she deserves, she is more than likely going to hurt you one way or another. She can play a lot of different spots and impact the game.”
Constant has maintained a 3.34 GPA in the classroom. She has made a verbal commitment to play soccer on scholarship at the University of Virginia beginning in the fall of 2018.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Constant joins recent Gatorade Virginia Girls Soccer Players of the Year Tess Sapone (2015-16, Oakton High School), Kristina Diana (2014-15, South County High School), Katie Cousins (2013-14, Jefferson Forest High School), Brittany Basinger (2012-13, Woodgrove High School), Anna McClung (2011-12 & 2010–11, Gate City High School), Jenna Richmond (2009-10 & 2008–09, Centreville High School), Brook Chang (2007-08, Bishop O’Connell High School), and Liz Carroll (2006-07, Bishop O’Connell High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Claire will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.