2019 Gatorade Player of the Year


Hingham, Mass. native and Massachusetts Girls Soccer Gatorade State Player of the Year, Cat Barry awarded Special Olympics Massachusetts with a $1,000 grant to help accomplish our mission of providing inclusive sports competition and leadership opportunities throughout the state.

Barry is a rising senior at Tabor Academy in Marion, and plays for the NEFC in the Development Academy. Going into her senior year, she already has 61 goals and 32 assists during her NEPSAC career, including several en route to the Seawolves’ Class A championship win over Thayer Academy this past fall. She is verbally committed to South Carolina.

Sports have seen a double-digit decline over the past decade, largely due to tighter budgets in communities, but young people that participate in sports are found to be happier, healthier and better students. Gatorade Play It Forward empowers Gatorade Player of the Year recipients across the country to award local or national sports organizations with grants, so they can continue helping young athletes enjoy the benefit of sports.

“The Gatorade Player of the Year award highlights student-athletes who set an example both on and off the field” said Amanda Turak, Assistant Marketing Manager for Gatorade Player of the Year. “The grants give these athletes a chance to donate to organizations like, Special Olympics Massachusetts that positively impact the youth in their own communities.”

All 607 Gatorade State Player of the Year recipients are awarded a grant to donate to the organization of their choosing. Each Player of the Year can also submit an essay about why their organization is deserving of a Spotlight Grant, which is a larger monetary award. Gatorade awards 12 Spotlight Grants, one for each sport recognized by the Player of the Year program.

To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow the conversation on Twitter #GatoradePOY. For more on Gatorade Play It Forward, the Gatorade Player of the Year, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit https://playeroftheyear.gatorade.com/

About Gatorade Player of the Year

The Gatorade Player of the Year is an athletic award program that annually recognizes student-athletes not only for outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character in 12 different sports: football, boys and girls basketball, baseball, boys and girls soccer, softball, boys and girls track & field, girls volleyball and boys and girls cross country. The Gatorade Player of the Year award is the most prestigious award in high school sports. In existence for more than 30 years, past winners include Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach, Karl-Anthony Towns, Derek Jeter and many other sports icons.

Play It Forward is Gatorade’s cause marketing platform, which empowers every one of the Gatorade Player of the Year award winners to choose a local or national youth sport organization to receive a $1,000 grant from Gatorade. Gatorade State Players of the Year then have the opportunity to submit an essay explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve Spotlight Grants, which awards $10,000 to the organization.

About Special Olympics Massachusetts

Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) provides year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programming for over 13,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities across the state in over 450 year-round sporting competitions. Through the power of sport, the movement transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Massachusetts also works with hundreds of schools across the Commonwealth, using sports as a tool to create inclusive communities. Learn more at www.specialolympicsma.org

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