For a list of the other Gatorade State Girls Soccer Players of the Year, click here.
THE WINNER: Toni Payne
School: Oak Mountain (Birmingham, Ala.)
Athletic achievement: She scored 47 goals and passed for 35 assists this past season, leading the Eagles (22-4-2) to the Class 6A state championship game. A member of the U.S. Soccer Under-20 Women’s National Team, Payne was the 2012 Birmingham News Player of the Year. She concluded her prep soccer career with 141 goals and 92 assists.
Academic excellence: Payne has maintained a 3.63 GPA.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally as a teacher in her church’s Children’s Ministry in addition to donating her time at a homeless shelter and food bank.
“What makes Toni so dangerous is her ability on the ball,” said Todd Schaefer, head coach of Hoover (Ala.). “It is extremely difficult to take the ball from her. Her foot skills allow her to really hold it. I think she is invaluable when it comes to their success.”
THE FUTURE: Payne has signed with Duke.