In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade has named St. Mary’s Dominican High School junior Kelsey Major as its 2020-2021 Gatorade Louisiana Girls Soccer Player of the Year. The honor gives Major the distinction of being the first girl or boy in Louisiana’s history to be named a state player of the year in more than one sport in the same year. In the fall, she was named Louisiana’s Gatorade Player of the Year winner in girls cross country.
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 Major as Louisiana’s best high school soccer player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced at the end of June. Major joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports.
The 5-foot-5 junior forward scored 26 goals and passed for 19 assists this past season, leading Dominican (22-1-1) to the Division 1 state final. Major was a First Team All-State honoree, the Division I Offensive Player of the Year, and a United Soccer Coaches All-Region selection.
Major is a three-year-member of Dominican’s Student Council, as well as the Spanish Club, Spanish Honor Society, National English Honor Society, and National Honor Society. She has maintained a weighted 4.67 grade point average. This fall Major will begin her senior year at Dominican. An active member of her St. Pius X Catholic Church community, she also donates her time mentoring youth soccer players with her club team.
“Kelsey was very important to our success this past season,” said Al Silvas, Dominican’s Soccer Coach. “Her technical ability and tactical knowledge made her difficult for opponents to contain throughout the season. She always gave 100 percent regardless of what we did in training. This was contagious; her teammates saw this and wanted to match her work rate.”
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Through Gatorade’s cause marketing program, “Play it Forward,” Major has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization she chooses is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $2.7 million across 1,117 organizations.
Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners, and educators.