Each season, Gatorade recognizes one student-athlete from each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., who embodies its Player of the Year program’s three pillars: athletic production, academic achievement and exemplary character.
Each week during its Gatorade State Player of the Year selection process, USA TODAY surfaces one candidate who meets those criteria and deserves recognition as a serious Gatorade State Player of the Year contender.
Name: Taylor Cabe
School: Boiling Springs (S.C.)
Athletic Production: Athletics may take a back seat to academics in Taylor Cabe’s life, but it sure seemed like she’d been practicing softball 24 hours a day in the off-season.
The 5-foot-11 right-handed pitcher went 29-1 this past season and led the Bulldogs to the Class 4A state championship. She posted an ERA of 0.48 with 267 strikeouts and just 22 walks in 175.1 innings pitched.
The South Carolina Coaches Association of Women’s Sports Class 4A Player of the Year, Cabe won both games in a two-game state championship sweep of Summerville (S.C.), 4-3 and 11-0. The senior doubled in the tying run and scored the game-winner in the opener, and then added a double and home run in the clincher.
Academic Achievement: The Harvard-bound Cabe has maintained an A average and ranks first in her graduating class of 497.
Exemplary Character: A member of the Key Club, Beta Club, National Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes Leadership Team, she has volunteered locally on behalf of a soup kitchen, the Special Olympics and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.