CHICAGO — In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Erin Coffel of Bremen High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Indiana Softball Player of the Year.
Coffel is the first Gatorade Indiana Softball Player of the Year to be chosen from Bremen 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 Coffel as Indiana’s best high school softball player.
Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Coffel joins an elite alumni association of past state softball award-winners, including Catherine Osterman (2000-01, Cy Spring High School, Texas), Kelsey Stewart (2009-10, Arkansas City High School, Kan.), Carley Hoover (2012-13 D.W. Daniel High School, S.C.), Jenna Lilley (2012-13, Hoover High School, Ohio), Morgan Zerkle (2012-13 Cabell Midland High School, W. Va.), and Rachel Garcia (2014-15, Highland High School, Calif.).
The 5-foot-7 junior shortstop had led the Lions to a 25-2 record and the regional championship game at the time of her selection. Coffel batted .691 with 16 home runs, 47 RBI and 66 runs scored through 27 games. She owned an on-base percentage of .760 and a slugging percentage of 1.543. Coffel was a First Team All-State selection and the Northern Indiana Conference Player of the Year as a sophomore, and is ranked as the nation’s No. 13 recruit in the Class of 2020 by Softball America.
Coffel has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics, an assisted living facility and youth sports camps. “As a position player, Erin Coffel may be the most talented softball player I’ve coached against,” said Jerry Gurrado, head coach at Knox High School. “She has a cannon for an arm, tremendous range and great instincts. At the plate, her game is off the charts. She has the best bat speed I’ve ever seen.”
Coffel has maintained a 3.82 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her 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 and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Coffel joins recent Gatorade Indiana Softball Players of the Year Ashley Prange (2017-18, New Palestine High School), Alexis Holloway (2016-17, Crown Point High School) and Miranda Elish (2015-16, 2014-15 & 2013-14 Crown Point High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Coffel also 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 theorganization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.