Sports

Bozeman’s Collins Wins Gatorade Girls Soccer Award

Collins has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Stanford University

Averie Collins of Bozeman High School was named the 2014-15 Gatorade Montana Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

The 5-foot-11 senior midfielder scored 19 goals and passed for 10 assists this past season, leading the Hawks (13-2-2) to the Class AA state championship game. Collins was the MVP for the West squad at the High School Soccer All-American Game in December. A two-time State Player of the Year selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, she concluded her prep soccer career with 57 goals and 29 assists. She is the daughter of former NFL defensive end Shane Collins, the 1986-87 Gatorade Montana Player of the Year in football as well as track and field.

Collins is the fourth Gatorade Montana Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Bozeman High School.

Collins has maintained a 4.10 weighted GPA in the classroom. A violinist in the Bozeman High orchestra, she has been a student government representative at her school and has volunteered locally as a youth soccer and basketball coach.

“We always had to man-mark Averie with one, if not two, players just to contain her,” said Lindsay Smith, head coach of Great Falls High. “Even if we were able to keep her from scoring, it opened up her teammates for opportunities. That is another great trait Averie has—she is about the team and not herself.”

The award recognizes outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishing Collins as Montana’s best high school girls soccer player.

Collins has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on an athletic scholarship at Stanford University beginning 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 high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, 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.

Collins joins recent Gatorade Montana Girls Soccer Players of the Year Maddy Emerick (2013-14, Billings Senior High School), Rachel Koehler (2012-13, Billings Senior High School), Savannah Witt, (2011-12, Billings West High School), Jackie Elliott (2010–11, Billings Central Catholic High School), Tess Hagenlock, (2009-10, Bozeman), Lauren Hickok (2008–09, Bozeman High School), Meghan O’Connell (2007-08, Flathead High School), and Kirsten Tilleman (2006-07, Bozeman) among the state’s list of former award winners.

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