CHICAGO — In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Kelsey Major of St. Mary’s Dominican High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade Louisiana Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Major is the third Gatorade Louisiana Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from St. Mary’s Dominican 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 Major as Louisiana’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, Major 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, NY), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02 & 2002-03 , East Brunswick High School, NJ), 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.).
The 5-foot-5 senior forward scored 38 goals and passed for 19 assists this past season, leading St. Mary’s Dominican (29-1-1) to the Division 1 state championship. The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Soccer Player of the Year, Major was a First Team All-State honoree and the Division 1 Offensive Player of the Year. Also a United Soccer Coaches All-American, she concluded her prep career with 79 goals and 53 assists.
Major is a member of her school’s Student Leadership Council and has volunteered locally as a mentor for young soccer players. “Kelsey Major was the most dynamic player in our state again this year,” said Kyle Carmouche, head coach at St. Joseph Catholic High School. “I saw her score from her in every way imaginable this year; she was a threat every time she had the ball. She is that rare combination of a special talent who is also a team-first type of player.”
Major has maintained a weighted 4.67 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at Louisiana State University 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 leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.
Two-time winner Major joins recent Gatorade Louisiana Girls Soccer Players of the Year Jordan Grigsby (2019-20, Northshore High School), Maddie Moreau (2018-19, St. Thomas More Catholic High School), and Sydney Vincens (2017-18 , St. Scholastica Academy), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” platform, Major has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Major is also eligible to submit a short 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 $3.5 million across more than 1,300 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.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/ Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.