Lexi Pulley Of Laramie Named 2017 Wyoming Gatorade Girls Soccer Player Of The Year
In its 32nd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, announced Lexi Pulley of Laramie High School as its 2016-17 Gatorade Wyoming Girls Soccer Player of the Year.
Pulley is the third Gatorade Wyoming Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Laramie High School.
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 Pulley as Wyoming’s best high school girls soccer player.
Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Pulley joins an elite alumni association of past state soccer award-winners, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook HS, Mich.), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel HS, Calif.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, N.Y.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, 2002-03, East Brunswick HS, N.J.), Matt Besler (2004-04, Blue Valley West HS, Kans.), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire HS, Mass.), Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista HS, Colo.).
The 5-foot-4 junior midfielder and forward scored 25 goals and passed for 12 assists this past season, leading the Plainsmen (13-6) to the Class 4A state final.
Pulley is a three-time First Team All-State and All-Conference selection.
Also a basketball and volleyball standout, Pulley has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics and youth sports programs.
“Pulley is a technically superior player who adds exceptional tactical understanding and physical speed,” said Tanya Santee, head coach at Riverton High School. “That combination makes her incredibly difficult to deal with.”
Pulley has maintained a 3.94 GPA in the classroom.
She will begin her senior year of high school this fall.
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 & 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 work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Pulley joins recent Gatorade Wyoming Girls Soccer Players of the Year Robbi Ryan (2015-16, Sheridan High School), Abby Morillon (2014-15, Cheyenne East High School), Rachel Erickson (2013-14 & 2012-13, Cheyenne East High School), Marcia Ashdown (2011-12, Riverton High School), Sheree Small (2010–11, Campbell County High School), Makenzie Meade (2009-10, Laramie High School), Ariela Schreibeis (2008–09, 2007-08, Laramie High School) and Crystal Umphlett (2006-07, Cody High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Lexi will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program.
Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.