Volleyball: Plant's Maddie Martin named Gatorade Player of the Year



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Wed. December 16, 2009 | Eduardo A. Encina

Plant volleyball standout Maddie Martin has been named this year's girls volleyball Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Florida.

The award is given to the top high school player in various sports in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Gatorade national girls volleyball player of the year will be selected from that group later this month.

From there, a national male and female player of the year are chosen from among the national winners in every sport. Past Gatorade national players of the year include former Hillsborough High baseball star Gary Sheffield, as well as household names like Peyton Manning, Emmitt Smith, Dwight Howard, Alonzo Mourning, Candace Parker, Lisa Leslie, Justin Upton, Greg Oden and Baron Davis.

This is the 25th anniversary of the Gatorade awards. They are selected in conjunction with ESPNRise.

Martin is the third Plant volleyball player to win Gatorade state player of the year honors, following Kellie Catanach (2007) and Sarah Kirkwood (2003). Other past recipients include Mary Leffers (Tampa Prep, 1995), Jolene Patton (Tampa Prep, 1997), Anna Robinson (Berkeley Prep, 1998), Delavane Diaz (Berkeley Prep, 1999) and Janet Okogbaa (Berkeley Prep, 2005).

It's the latest honor for Martin, this year's Times Hillsborough County volleyball player of the year. She has signed with No. 1 ranked Penn State, which is playing for a third straight national title here in Tampa. On Sunday, Martin will play in the Under Armour All-American game at the St. Pete Times Forum. She was selected the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 6A Player of the Year. She also carries a 4.93 weighted GPA.

Martin, a 6-foot-2 outside hitter, averaged 5.1 kills and 2.9 digs a game as well as 53 aces, helping lead Plant to its fourth straight state championship. The Panthers won the Class 6A title this season after winning the Class 5A title the previous three years.

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