Award presented by Gatorade Company to Tayler Vitola

In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, the Gatorade Company has announced that Tayler Vitola of Appoquinimink High School has been selected as the 2019 Gatorade Delaware Softball Player of the Year.

Vitola is the first Gatorade Delaware Softball Player of the Year to be chosen from Appoquinimink High School.

The 5-foot-8 junior shortstop led the Jaguars to a 17-2 record this past season, batting .603 with 11 RBI, 31 runs scored and 24 stolen bases. A two-time First Team All-State selection, she has also been named First Team All-Conference three times.

“Tayler Vitola is one of the fastest players I’ve seen in a long time,” said Vince Clemons, head coach at rival St. Georges Tech. “She has a great eye at the plate. She always finds a way to put the ball in play, and if she puts it anywhere on the dirt she’s going to be safe. She can also steal a base any time she wants.”

Vitol a joins recent Gatorade Delaware Softball Players of the Year Nicole Marcon (2017-18, Caravel Academy), Avery Wheatley(2016-17, Delmar High School), Whitney DeMora (2015-16, Polytech High School) and Regan Green (2014-15 and 2013-14, Laurel High School) on the state’s list of former winners.

Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award, Vitola joins an elite alumni association of past state softball award winners, including Catherine Osterman (2000-01, Cy Spring High School, Texas), Kelsey Stewart (2009-10, Arkansas City High School, Kansas), Carley Hoover (2012-13 D.W. Daniel High School, South Carolina), Jenna Lilley (2012-13, Hoover High School, Ohio), Morgan Zerkle (2012-13 Cabell Midland High School, West Virginia), and Rachel Garcia (2014-15, Highland High School, California).

The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.

Vitola has maintained a weighted 4.36 grade-point average in the classroom. She will begin her senior year of high school this fall.

She has served as a chemistry tutor in her school and as a mentor for children with physical disabilities. She has also volunteered in food bank projects, highway clean-up initiatives and youth sports programs.

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 and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.

As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Vitola also has the opportu nity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of her choosing. She is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of 12 $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.

For more information about the Gatorade Player of the Year program or to nominate student-athletes, visit www.Gatorade.com/POY