Danielle Brinckman named Gatorade Connecticut 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 Danielle Brinckman of Glastonbury High School as its 2016-17 Gatorade Connecticut Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Brinckman is the first Gatorade Connecticut Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Glastonbury 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 Brinckman as Connecticut’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, Brinckman 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, 2002-03, 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-5 senior defender led the Tomahawks to a 20-0 record and the Class LL state championship this past season. Brinckman scored nine goals and passed for 10 assists while anchoring a defense that allowed just six goals in 20 games. The Hartford Courant Player of the Year and an All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, she was a three-year varsity starter for a Glastonbury team that went 65-1 and won three state titles.
An avid baker, Brinckman has volunteered locally as a soccer coach and referee, and she has donated her time to a local homeless shelter and food bank as well as on behalf of multiple community-service initiatives with her church youth group. “Danielle was an outstanding defender for Glastonbury,” said Jim Murray, head coach of Avon High School. “She had great vision on the field and defended with poise. She was a stabilizing influence on their team when they were under pressure.”
Brinckman has maintained a weighted 4.27 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a national letter of intent to play soccer on scholarship at Seton Hall University beginning this fall.
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.
Brinckman joins recent Gatorade Connecticut Girls Soccer Players of the Year Jenna Bike (2015-16 & 2014-15, St. Joseph High School), Sarah McCauley (2013-14 & 2012-13, Chase Collegiate School), Paula Hagopian (2011-12, Kingswood Oxford School), Riley Houle (2010–11, Windham High School), Kate McCarthy (2009-10, The Loomis Chaffee School), Jessica Schloth (2008–09, St. Joseph High School), Alex Uscilla (2007-08, St. Joseph High School), and Bianca D’Agostino (2006-07, Loomis Chaffee School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Danielle 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.