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Gatorade state award served up for Stokes

NEW MANCHESTER, W.Va. — The awards keep rolling in for Oak Glen senior Skye Stokes.

Stokes has been named the 2019-20 Gatorade West Virginia Volleyball Player of the Year after leading the Golden Bears to their seventh West Virginia state championship.

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 Stokes as West Virginia’s best high school volleyball player.

Now a finalist for the Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award to be announced later this month, Stokes joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports.

Stokes, a 5-foot-9 senior outside hitter, led the Golden Bears to a 38-0 record and the Class AA state championship this past season. Stokes recorded 439 kills, 279 digs, 167 service aces and 45 blocks. Captain of the Class AA All-State team, she was the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Player of the Year and was selected state Player of the Year by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.

She played 90 sets as a senior with 377 kills, 44 blocks and 151 aces.

Before coming to Oak Glen during the last school year, Stokes was a three-year standout for East Liverpool High School where she was a first-team Division II All-Ohioan as a junior. During her run with the Potters, Stokes played in 242 sets and totaled 1,217 kills. She added 266 digs and 82 blocks. She also had 625 assists and 379 aces.

On the club level, Stokes has had her fair share of national success including an Amateur Athletic Union national championship in the summer with her Mintonette m.71 team.

Stokes has volunteered locally on behalf of a nursing home and youth volleyball programs.

“Skye Stokes is a phenomenal player,” said Heather Halfin, head coach at Philip Barbour High. “She has a killer serve, and she can hit in the back row as hard as she can from the front row. She hustles and she has the power to completely dominate a game.”

Stokes has maintained a 3.26 grade-point average in the classroom. She has signed a letter of intent to play volleyball on scholarship at West Virginia University this fall.

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 work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Stokes has the opportunity 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 twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.

Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships.