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.
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: Courtney Dike
School: Edmond North (Edmond, Okla.)
Sport: Girls soccer
Athletic Production: One of the most talented offensive players in the state, the 5-foot-6 senior striker has her sights set on a fourth consecutive 20-plus goal season.
In 11 games, Dike has notched 13 goals and five assists, including both tallies in Friday’s key 2-1 win over Norman (Okla.), likely clinching a district title and home-field advantage in the playoffs.
The Oklahoma State recruit boasts 89 career goals and hopes to lead the Huskies back to the state championship game (they fell to Bishop Kelley (Tulsa, Okla.) in 2012 after winning titles in 2010 and 2011). Edmond North (9-2) is currently fourth in the Class 6A rankings and has lost just once to in-state competition.
Academic Achievement: Dike has maintained an A average.
Exemplary Character: An active member of the National Honor Society and her school’s Multicultural Club, Dike has volunteered with the U.S. Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program, serving young athletes with disabilities.