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The Homewood Tricorne

The Homewood Tricorne

The Student News Site of Homewood High School

The Homewood Tricorne

Levering Awarded 23-24 Gatorade Player of the Year

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Deangelo McDaniel Photography
Homewood’s Emma Brooke Levering was the overall winner in the 6A state championship run in Oakville on Saturday. [BY DEANGELO MCDANIEL]

Recently, junior and 2023 6a cross-country state champion Emma Brooke Levering became the third Homewood High School athlete to receive the Gatorade Player of the Year award. This award is a huge honor and is highly representative of Levering’s hard work and dedication throughout cross country season. 

Player of the Year is the most prestigious award for high school sports and recognizes athletes not only for their athletic excellence but also for their academic achievements and character in and out of sport. The nation’s most elite athletes per state are awarded Player of the Year. 

In each of the 50 states, one girl and boy receive the award in football, volleyball, baseball, softball, cross country, soccer, basketball, and track and field. 

Despite Levering’s outstanding performance in her past cross-country season, she was still a little surprised when she received the award. 

“I definitely was not completely expecting it,” Levering said. “There are many other good runners in the state so I definitely did not know I was going to get it. I did think I had a good chance of getting it though.” 

Recipients of the award get a banner for the school to display in their trophy case. They also receive a grant of 1000 dollars to donate to a youth sports organization of their choice. 

Only two other athletes have ever received the Player of the Year award at HHS, both through cross country. Laney Phelps and Will Stone were awarded in their high school careers for their incredible performances before continuing their running careers for Vanderbilt and Lee University. Stone has returned to HHS this fall to coach the cross country and track teams for the year and has been a huge inspiration for Levering. 

“It is super cool knowing that one of the recipients is my coach now,” Levering said. “It was really cool when I got it to be able to relate with him.” 

Head cross country coach Kelly McNair was extremely proud of Levering’s accomplishments during cross country season which nominated her for Player of the Year. 

“EB is a well-respected teammate and competitor. She is quick to cheer on her teammates and competitors, and is humbly growing into a team leader while graciously accepting the additional responsibilities that come with the territory,” McNair said. “It is such an honor to coach her.” 

The Homewood Board of Education recognized her accomplishments at its meeting on Jan. 30th where Dr. Justin Hefner, Homewood City Schools superintendent, highlighted her outstanding achievements and leadership this season. All of the cross-county coaches were able to be in attendance for her recognition. 

 “Having all of the cross country coaches there was so special,” McNair said. “With Will Stone being a three-time recipient of the award, it made it even more memorable, and EB was most appreciative of her support.”

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