Soccer player

Riley Jackson of Georgia Named 2021-22 Gatorade National Women’s Soccer Player of the Year

ROSWELL, Ga. – In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s most elite high school athletes, Gatorade announced Riley Jackson from Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell, Georgia as the 2021-22 Gatorade National Women’s Soccer Player of the Year.

Jackson won the prestigious award for her accomplishments on and off the field, joining an impressive group of former Gatorade National Women’s Soccer Players of the Year who have combined for 17 gold medals and nine national championships.

To see all of the Gatorade State Girls Football Player of the Year, click here.

Chicago Red Stars Forward Mallory Pugh practically surprised Jackson with the news, while his family, coaches and teammates showed up with the trophy at 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, singles Jackson out as the nation’s top female high school football player. The Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which relies on experts such as coaches, scouts, media and others to evaluate nominees, selected Jackson from nearly half a million entries. other student-athletes who play women’s soccer across the country.

The competition for the national prize was fierce. Jackson tops the list of state winners in women’s soccer who collectively boast an incredible list of accomplishments, including 22 First-Team All-State selections, 7 State Gatorade Player of the Year back and 38 who have committed to play at Division I colleges/universities.

“Riley Jackson is that rare player who can influence the outcome of the game without appearing on the scoresheet,” said J.R. Eskilson, National Football Analyst for “She is one of the best passers in high school football, identifying through ball channels that few players can imagine, and she has the skill to put those passes into tight windows. She also has the elegance on the ball to make it all seem effortless, but there’s so much sophistication to the way she approaches the game that’s what really makes her great, plus she’s a defensive wall and dictates where the game is played on the field with its challenges and instinct to get past the passes. Jackson had one of the best seasons in high school football history improving her teammates, and that’s part of what makes her worthy. the Gatorade National Player of the Year.

The 5-foot-8 sophomore midfielder scored 14 goals and had 18 assists last season, leading the Titans (19-2-1) to the Class AAAAA state semifinals. Jackson missed the high school playoffs as she led the United States Women’s National Under-17 Soccer Team to the championship in the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier. Jackson was the winner of the Ballon d’Or, awarded to the tournament’s best player. Also the AAAAA-class player of the year, she concluded her second year with 36 goals and 48 assists in her preparatory football career.

Jackson has volunteered locally as a youth football instructor and camp coach and is also a certified and paid USSF football referee.

Jackson maintained a weighted GPA of 4.26 in class. She will start her freshman year of high school this fall.

Riley Jackson is now part of an elite alumni group of former Gatorade Players of the Year, including sports icons such as Peyton Manning and Abby Wambach,” said Senior Vice President and Manager. General of Gatorade. Brett O’Brien. “She has proven why her name belongs in the trophy and we have no doubt that Riley will go on to achieve great things in and out of the sport like so many POY winners before her.”

Each year, a selection committee evaluates the nation’s top talent to choose a state winner in each of the 50 states plus Washington DC, in 12 different sports: soccer, girls’ volleyball, boys’ and girls’ cross country, basketball -ball boys and girls, baseball. , softball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, and boys’ and girls’ track and field. A total of 608 athletes are honored each year. From the pool of state winners, one national winner is selected from each of the 12 sports.

Gatorade has a long history of serving athlete communities and understanding how sport instills valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award winners have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also become pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators. Previous winners include a distinguished list of athletes, such as Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach, Jayson Tatum, Elena Delle Donne and many other sports icons.







Alyssa Thompson

Studio City, California

Junior High School


Emily Mason

Flemington, New Jersey

Rutgers University


Sophie Jones

Atherton, California

duke university


Isabella of Aquila

San Juan Capistrano, California

Santa Clara University



Cerritos, California

Stanford University


Ella Stevens

Loganville, Georgia

Chicago Red Stars


Mallory Pugh

Highlands Ranch, Colorado

United States women’s national soccer team


Katie Cousins

Forest, Virginia

Played for University of Tennessee


Morgane Andrews

Milford, NH

Played for Washington Spirit


Morgane Andrews

Milford, NH

Played for Washington Spirit


Morgan Brian

St. Simons Island, Georgia

Chicago Red Stars


Mollie Pathman

Durham, North Carolina

Retired from the Boston Breakers


Rachel Quon

Forest Lake, IL

Retired from the Chicago Red Stars


Therese Noyola

Palo Alto, California

Retired from Houston Dash


Melissa Henderson

Garland, TX

Retired from Houston Dash


Lauren Cheney

Indianapolis, Indiana

Retired from the United States Women’s National Soccer Team


Amy Rodriguez

Rancho Santa Margarita, California

North Carolina Courage


Ashlyn Harris

Satellite Beach, Florida

Orlando Pride


Heather O’Reilly

East Brunswick, NJ

Retired from the United States Women’s National Soccer Team


Jill Oakes

West Hills, California

Retired from the Chicago Red Stars


Marie McDowell

Lakewood, CO

Played for University of North Carolina


Aleisha Cramer

Lakewood, CO

Retired from the United States Women’s National Soccer Team


Christie Welsh

Massapequa, NY

Retired from the United States Women’s National Soccer Team


Aly Wagner

San Jose, California

Retired from the United States Women’s National Soccer Team