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BKHS's Will Applegate Named Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Soccer Player of the Year

BKHS's Will Applegate Named Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Soccer Player of the Year

CHICAGO (June 16, 2022) — In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Will Applegate of Bishop Kelley High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Applegate is the first Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Bishop Kelley 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 Applegate as Oklahoma’s best high school boys soccer player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Applegate 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-9, 145-pound junior forward scored 21 goals and passed for 25 assists this past season, leading the Comets (10-6) to the Class 5A quarterfinals. A two-time First Team All-District selection, Applegate was the Tulsa AllWorld Player of the Year as a sophomore. He has compiled 46 goals and 33 assists in his prep career.

A member of his school’s Athletic Leadership Council, Applegate has served as a peer tutor and has volunteered locally on behalf of a food bank. “Will Applegate is a great player and a prolific scorer,” said Nicki West, head coach at Tulsa Memorial High School. “He’s always making dangerous runs off the ball and he demands attention even 30 yards away from goal. He puts teams under constant pressure. He’s tough to play against, but also really fun to watch.”

Applegate has maintained a weighted 4.32 GPA in the classroom. He will begin his senior year of high school 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 leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.

Applegate joins recent Gatorade Oklahoma Boys Soccer Players of the Year Isaias Silva (2020-21, Mustang High School), Will Edwards (2019-20 & 2018-19, Jenks High School), and Daryl Dike (2017-18, Edmond North High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

Gatorade has a long-standing history of serving athlete communities and understands how sports instill valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” platform, Applegate has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choosing that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. Applegate is also eligible to submit a short video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.

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 studentathletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.

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The mission of Bishop Kelley High School is to carry on the teaching ministry of Jesus Christ by providing a Catholic, Lasallian education that develops individuals whose hearts and minds are prepared for a purposeful life. The BK Athletics Department serves approximately 550 athletes each year across 20 sports.

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