Menlo School

Recent Menlo School grad Sophie Jones opened the door to Spieker Hall at the school this morning to be greeted by teammates, classmates, family, friends and a sea of media. She quickly learned that she’s been named the 2018-19 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

“Wow!” she half muttered with a big smile, and soon received the trophy from family friend — and former 49er quarterback — Steve Young  Her twin brother, Austin, was first in line for a big hug.

The 5-foot-6 senior midfielder led the Menlo Knights to a 20-2-2 record and the Central Coast Section Division I sectional tournament championship this past season. Sophie recorded 18 goals and 16 assists despite missing the final two games of the season while training with the U.S. Soccer Under-20 Women’s National Team.

She is the 2018 United Soccer Coaches Youth Girls National Player of the Year for her performance with her club team and played in the 2018 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Uruguay.

Sophie has volunteered locally with the Special Olympics and as a youth soccer coach. She maintained a 3.65 GPA in the classroom and has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on a scholarship at Duke University this fall.

The Gatorade Player of the Year award is the most prestigious award in high school sports. It recognizes the nation’s most elite high school student-athletes in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states, choosing winners in 12 different sports: football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. Student-athletes are evaluated not only for outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character.

Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year has awarded a distinguished list of athletes including Peyton Manning, Abby Wambach, Karl-Anthony Towns, Derek Jeter and many other sports icons.

You can watch today’s presentation online.

Photos by Linda Hubbard (c) 2019; top shows Sophie, her twin brother Austin, her parents and Steve Young

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