CHICAGO (News Release) — In its 35th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Kailyn ‘KK’ Pavatt of Conway High School as its 2019-20 Gatorade Arkansas Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Pavatt is the first Gatorade Arkansas Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Conway 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 Pavatt as Arkansas’s best high school girls soccer player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Pavatt joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook High School, Mich.), Steve Cherundolo (1996-97, Mt. Carmel High School, Calif.), Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy School of Young Women, N.Y.), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, 2002-03, East Brunswick High School, N.J.), Matt Besler (2004-05, Blue Valley West High School, Kans.), Jack Harrison (2013-14, Berkshire High School, Mass.) and Mallory Pugh (2014-15, Mountain Vista High School, Colo.).
The 5-foot-6 senior forward and midfielder scored six goals and passed for two assists in six games this spring before the remainder of the season was cancelled. The state’s returning Gatorade Girls Soccer Player of the Year, Pavatt concluded her prep career with 61 goals and 30 assists. An All-State and All-Conference selection, she was also a United Soccer Coaches All-Central Region honoree.
A devoted member of her church youth group, Pavatt has volunteered locally with Tacos 4 Life, youth soccer teams and a hippotherapy program, whereby horseback riding is used as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment. “KK is a determined, focused and very talented soccer player,” said Conway coach Kevin DeStefano. “She’s a game-changer who can create chances for herself and her teammates. She’s the complete package.”
Pavatt has maintained a 3.72 GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at Mississippi State University.
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.
Two-time winner Pavatt joins recent Gatorade Arkansas Girls Soccer Players of the Year Skylurr Patrick (2017-18, Rogers High School), Caroline Campbell (2016-17, Bryant High School), Caroline Campbell (2015-16, Bryant High School), McKenzie Dixon (2014-15, Bentonville High School), and McKenzie Dixon (2013-14, Bentonville High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
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, click here or visit on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.