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Youth Girls Jun 20, 2017

Maliah Morris named Gatorade D.C. Girls Player of the Year

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CHICAGO (Via Gatorade) — In its 32nd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Maliah Morris of St. John’s College High School as its 2016-17 Gatorade District of Columbia Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Morris is the third Gatorade District of Columbia Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from St. John’s College 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 Morris as District of Columbia’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, Morris 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-4 sophomore forward led the Cadets to a 14-2-1 record and the District of Columbia State Athletic Association championship this past season. Morris scored 15 goals and passed for 15 assists, including a two-goal, one-assist effort in a 6-0 win over Wilson High in the DCSAA tournament final. A Washington Post First Team All-Met selection, she is rated as the No. 31 recruit in the Class of 2019 by TopDrawerSoccer.com.

Morris has volunteered locally as part of multiple fundraising campaigns to benefit Alzheimer’s Disease and at a homeless shelter and food bank. She has also donated her time sending care packages to troops overseas in addition to paying for the education of a child in India with her allowance money. “Maliah Morris has the ability to absolutely take over games,” said Danielle Malagari, head coach of National Cathedral School. “Her speed and athleticism alone are amazing, but her technical ability on the ball is really fun to watch.”

Morris has maintained a B average in the classroom. She will begin her junior year of high school 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.

Morris joins recent Gatorade District of Columbia Girls Soccer Players of the Year Kaili Gregory (2015-16, Woodrow Wilson High
School), Marta Sniezek (2014-15, National Cathedral School), Maddie Kulik (2013-14, Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School), Emily Hester (2012-13, National Cathedral School), Kara Wilson (2011-12 & 2010–11, Sidwell Friends School), Taylor Bryant (200910, Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School), Bailey Bodell (2008–09, St. John’s College High School), and Tiffany McCarty (200708 & 2006-07, St. John’s College High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Maliah 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.

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