A ‘Humbling’ Honor

by | Sep 2022

HUNTLAND HIGH School senior Ashtyn Danley was recently named the 2021-22 Gatorade Tennessee Softball Player of the Year. In addition to the honor, Danley is also the first to be chosen from Huntland High School for the accolade. According to the organization’s website, the award recognizes “outstanding athletic excellence, high standards of academic achievement, and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.”

Huntland High School’s athletic director, Bob Robertson, stated that all of these qualities distinguish Danley as the state’s best high school softball player.

“Ashtyn is a great example to all student athletes,” he said. “She works hard in the classroom and on the practice field. She plays basketball and softball here, and her work ethic is second to none. She is a winner and goes all out to make her team better. We are extremely proud of Ashtyn for [receiving] the Gatorade Player of the Year Award. She is deserving of all and any awards that come her way.”

A 5-foot-6, left-handed pitcher and center fielder, the upcoming senior finished her junior year with a 25-7 season and led her Huntland Hornets to the Class A state championship game this past season. Danley posted a 20-4 record with a 0.41 ERA, striking out 217 batters in 154.2 innings pitched. She also batted .659, with 15 home runs and 45 RBIs, amassing an OPS (on-base plus slugging) of 2.114. A National Fastpitch Coaches Association Second Team All-American, Danley was named District MVP and is an All-State honoree. She was also MVP of the PGF (Premier Girls Fastpitch) Futures All-American Game and is ranked as the nation’s No. 7 prospect in the Class of 2023 by Extra Inning Softball.

Danley said she is humbled by the recognition and honored to represent her high school.

“It’s a pretty humbling experience,” she said. “And especially to represent the school, because Huntland is such an amazing school. Just being able to represent the team and represent everything that Huntland stands for. It’s an incredible experience for me. Just knowing that all the work that goes into that sport, that it’s finally being recognized.”

Along with her excellence in sports, Danley also excels in the classroom with a 4.0 GPA and is also a member of the high school’s Beta Club.

According the organization’s website, the Gatorade Player of the Year program recognizes one winner each year in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanctions 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. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media, and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport. GN

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