In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Birdie Hendrickson of Logan-Rogersville High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Missouri Volleyball Player of the Year. Hendrickson is the first Gatorade Missouri Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from Logan-Rogersville 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 Hendrickson as Missouri’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, Hendrickson joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, 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.).
The 6-foot-2 junior outside hitter led the Wildcats to a 40-2 record and the Class 3 state championship this past season.
Hendrickson compiled 393 kills, 359 digs, 43 assists, 37 blocks and 31 service aces while posting a kill percentage of .486 and a hitting percentage of .399. A three-time First Team All-State selection, she concluded her junior year with 1,041 kills and 779 digs in her prep volleyball career.
Hendrickson has volunteered locally with Missouri State Parks and at a homeless shelter and food bank. She has also donated her time as a youth volleyball coach and instructor. “Birdie possesses such incredible athleticism and has the ability to perform every single volleyball skill at the highest level,” said Adeana Brewer, head coach of Ozark High. “She has an exceptional volleyball IQ and plays with a level of complete confidence that is unmatched.”
Hendrickson has maintained a 3.70 GPA in the classroom. She has made a verbal commitment to play volleyball on scholarship at the University of Florida beginning in the fall of 2020.
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.
Hendrickson joins recent Gatorade Missouri Volleyball Players of the Year Gabby Blossom (2017-18. St. Joseph’s Academy), Jena Otec (2016-17, St. Pius X High School), Meghan Donovan (2015-16, Villa Duchesne High School), Madison Duello (2014-15, Liberty High School), and Lily Johnson (2013-14, Lafayette High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Hendrickson 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.