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Houston’s Kemp named Player of the Year

In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced last week that Jenna Kemp of Houston High School is the 2017-18 Gatorade Tennessee Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

Kemp is the third Gatorade Tennessee Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Houston 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 Kemp as Tennessee’s best high school girls soccer player.

The 5-foot-8-inch junior midfielder led the Mustangs to a 25-0 record and the Class AAA state championship this past season. Kemp scored 20 goals and passed for 19 assists for a Houston team that outscored its opponents, 117-9, on the season. An All-American selection by United Soccer Coaches, Kemp is a two-time First Team All-State honoree. She concluded her junior year with 36 goals and 35 assists in her prep soccer career.

Kemp has volunteered locally with Missions of Mercy, which provides free dentistry to those in need. She has also donated her time as a coach for the U.S. Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program serving young athletes with disabilities. “Jenna Kemp was by far the best player I saw,” said Kristin Reich, head coach of Germantown High. “She dominated the games we played against Houston.”

Kemp has maintained a weighted 4.20 grade-point average in the classroom. She has made a verbal commitment to play soccer on scholarship at the University of Memphis beginning in the fall of 2019.

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.

As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Kemp will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program.

Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support.

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