Maci Bergeron named Louisiana Gatorade Softball Player of the Year
CHICAGO — In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Maci Bergeron of Notre Dame High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade Louisiana Softball Player of the Year. Bergeron is the first Gatorade Louisiana Softball Player of the Year to be chosen from Notre Dame 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 Bergeron as Louisiana’s best high school softball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Bergeron joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Cat Osterman (2000-01, Cy Spring High School, Texas), Kelsey Stewart (2009-10, Arkansas City High School, Kan.), Carley Hoover (2012-13, D.W. Daniel High School, S.C.), Jenna Lilley (2012-13, Hoover High School, Ohio), Morgan Zerkle (2012-13, Cabell Midland High School, W. Va.), and Rachel Garcia (2014-15, Highland High School, Calif.).
The state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, the 5-foot-4 junior catcher and right-handed pitcher led the Pioneers to a 27-5 record and the Division III state championship this past season. Bergeron batted .572 with a state single-season record 30 home runs along with 50 runs scored and 73 runs batted in. Ranked as the nation’s No. 5 recruit in the Class of 2022 by Extra Inning Softball, Bergeron stepped into the circle late in the season and compiled a 6-0 record with a 0.39 earned run average and 47 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched. She concluded her junior year with 67 home runs in her prep softball career.
Bergeron has volunteered locally at a vacation bible school, and she has donated her time on behalf of a nursing home. “In only 79 games as high school player, she has 67 home runs,” said Dale Serie, head coach of Notre Dame High. “While I understand there is so much more to the game of softball than just hitting home runs, it is still amazing to watch a young lady do something so rare and special.”
Bergeron has maintained a 3.56 GPA in the classroom. She has made a verbal commitment to play softball on scholarship at Louisiana State University beginning in the fall of 2022.
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.
Two-time winner Bergeron joins recent Gatorade Louisiana Softball Players of the Year Mary-Cathryn Comeaux (2018-19, Brusly High School), Kennedy Hebert (2017-18, Morgan City High School), and Emma Callie Delafield (2016-17, North DeSoto High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Bergeron has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Bergeron 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.
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, on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.
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