By Phil Brozynski
Annemarie Hickey of two-time Class 3A champion Joliet Catholic, the Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year, has been named the 2009 Gatorade Player of the Year for Illinois.
The Gatorade Company has been honoring the nation's top high school athletes for 25 years. In collaboration with ESPN RISE and the assistance of PrepVolleyball.com, Gatorade recognizes individual winners for the 49 states that play high school volleyball plus the District of Columbia.
The award recognizes outstanding players, great students and good citizens.
Hickey, a 5-foot-8 outside hitter, is the second player from Joliet Catholic to be named Gatorade Player of the Year in Illinois in the past three years. She joins 2007 winner Jennifer Murphy, now at the University of Florida.
Other players considered included St. Francis outside hitter Kelsey Robinson, Belleville Althoff setter Carly Thomas, Bartlett outside hitter Carly Sahagian and outside hitter Stephanie Holthus of Burlington Central.
Players to keep an eye on next year for the award are 6-4 junior outside hitter Ellen Chapman of Glenbrook South and 6-0 junior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti of Class 4A champion Cary-Grove.