For a list of the other Gatorade State Girls Soccer Players of the Year, click here.
THE WINNER: Jaden DeGracie
School: Highland (Gilbert, Ariz.)
Athletic achievement: The state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, she scored eight goals and passed for 47 assists this past season, leading the Hawks (21-3-2) to the Division I state semifinals. DeGracie is a two-time First Team All-State selection and was a 2012 All-Region VIII honoree by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. She concluded her prep soccer career with 13 goals and 101 assists.
Academic excellence: DeGracie has maintained a 4.36 weighted GPA.
Exemplary character: A long-time piano player, she is the co-founder of J&J Pianist, which performs goodwill recitals at area retirement homes. She has also volunteered locally as part of a literacy-outreach initiative, as a youth soccer coach and on behalf of the U.S. Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program for athletes with physical or intellectual challenges.
“Jaden DeGracie’s (flip) throw-in is so dangerous that we didn’t have an answer for it,” said Greg Johnson, head coach of Basha (Chandler, Ariz.). “Besides that weapon, she is very dangerous in the midfield and has deceptive speed that she utilizes to make penetrating runs toward the 18 to set up her shot.”
THE FUTURE: DeGracie has signed with Arizona.