Another Williamson County athlete has been recognized on the national stage by Gatorade's Player of the Year honors.
Christ Presbyterian Academy junior Caroline Betts is Gatorade's Tennessee Girls Soccer Player of the Year for 2020-21, joining Ravenwood alum Karlie Paschall (2016-17) as a recent winner of the award.
Per a release, the 5-foot-10 junior forward scored 38 goals and passed for 30 assists this past season, leading the Lions (14-1-3) to the Division II, Class A state semifinals. Betts netted multiple goals in 13 games and recorded multiple assists in eight.
A four-time First Team All-State selection, she is also a three-time Tennessean Player of the Year finalist. She concluded her junior year with 175 goals and 82 assists in her prep soccer career, according to the release.
A member of CPA’s Student Athletic Leadership Team, Betts has volunteered locally as a youth soccer coach.
“Caroline is a once-in-a-career type player,” said Tom Gerlach, head coach of Christ Presbyterian Academy. “She has what it takes to be set apart from most other girls.”
Betts has maintained a weighted 4.50 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 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.
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 Betts as Tennessee’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, Betts joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook High School, Mich.), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel High School, Calif.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy School of Young Women, N.Y.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02 & 2002-03, East Brunswick High School, N.J.), Matt Besler (2004-05, Blue Valley West High School, Kans.), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire High School, Mass.) and Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista High School, Colo.).
Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Betts has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Betts is also eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization they chose 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.