O’Gorman’s Bergen Reilly repeats as Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year in South Dakota
Future Cornhusker wins 2nd straight Gatorade Player of the Year in SD
CHICAGO, IL (Dakota News Now) -In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Bergen Reilly of O’Gorman High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade South Dakota Volleyball Player of the Year. Reilly is the third Gatorade South Dakota Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from O’Gorman 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 court, distinguishes Reilly as South Dakota’s best high school volleyball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award to be announced in January, Reilly joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners, including USA Volleyball players Kayla Banwarth (2006-07, Wahlert High School, Iowa), Alisha Glass (2005-06, Leland Public High School, Mich.), Jordan Larson (2004-05, Logan View High School, Neb.) and Foluke Akinradewo (2004-05, St. Thomas High School, Fla.).
As the state’s returning Gatorade Player of the Year, the 6-foot-1 junior setter and outside hitter led the Knights to a 23-4 record and a second-straight Class AA state championship this past season. Reilly compiled 393 assists, 191 kills, 174 digs, 43 service aces and 29 blocks while posting a kill percentage of .434 and a hitting percentage of .341. Ranked as the nation’s No. 5 recruit in the Class of 2023 by PrepVolleyball.com, she missed eight matches during the season while winning a bronze medal at the Under-18 World Championships in Mexico with the U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team.
Reilly has volunteered locally at a food bank and homeless shelter and as a youth volleyball and basketball coach. She has also donated her time to multiple community service initiatives through her church youth group. “Bergen is a one-of-a-kind player,” said Cale Hecht, head coach of O’Gorman High School. “What she does for the team is more than just her stats. I like to describe Bergen as a Swiss Army Knife of volleyball because she is that skilled in all facets.” Reilly has maintained a weighted 4.20 GPA in the classroom.
She has made a verbal commitment to play volleyball on scholarship at the University of Nebraska beginning in the fall of 2023. 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.
Two-time winner Reilly joins recent Gatorade South Dakota Volleyball Players of the Year Kadye Fernholz (2019-20, Miller High School), Lily Bartling (2018-19, Washington High School), and Avery Thorson (2017-18, Harrisburg 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, Reilly 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. Reilly 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.
Story Courtesy Gatorade
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