Day named Gatorade POY for Alabama

The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced in a press release May 20 Briarwood’s Claudia Day as its 2013-14 Gatorade Alabama Girls Soccer Player of the Year. (FILE)

The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced in a press release May 20 Briarwood’s Claudia Day as its 2013-14 Gatorade Alabama Girls Soccer Player of the Year. (FILE)

FROM STAFF REPORTS

In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced in a press release May 20 Briarwood’s Claudia Day as its 2013-14 Gatorade Alabama Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Day is the fourth Gatorade Alabama Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Briarwood Christian 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 Day as Alabama’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 May, Day joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, Ill.), Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook HS, Mich.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, East Brunswick HS, N.J.) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, Calif.).

The 5-foot-11 senior midfielder scored 40 goals and passed for 18 assists this past season, leading the Lions (14-5-1) to the Class 5A state quarterfinals. She recorded eight hat tricks, including six goals in a 7-2 win over Benjamin Russell High in the first round of the state tournament.

Day has maintained an “A” average in the classroom. The secretary of the Briarwood Christian School senior class, she has volunteered locally as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit cancer research and as a youth soccer coach.

“Claudia is as complete a player as you will see in high school soccer,” Briarwood head coach Ryan Leib wrote in a release. “She is good with her feet, has great vision with her passes, can score goals, can set up goals and is great in the air.”

Day has signed a national letter of intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Wake Forest University this fall.