BBA's Grace Pinkus named Gatorade Player of the Year

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MANCHESTER — Burr and Burton Academy soccer star Grace Pinkus was named the Vermont Girls Soccer Gatorade Player of the Year on Wednesday. Pinkus had a prestigious four year career with BBA, including a state championship during her freshmen year in 2016.

The award recognizes the nation's most outstanding high school student-athletes for their athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character. Gatorade refers to the award as "the most prestigious honor in high school sports."

The Manchester native is the programs all-time leader in goals scored, with 65. Pinkus tallied 23 scores in her senior season alone. She also registered a total of 24 assists during her career. She was the teams leading scorer in every single season.

Her most important goal came during her freshmen season. Pinkus scored the game winner, in the form of a header, in double overtime during the 2016 Division I state championship game versus Colchester to give BBA the 1-0 victory and the programs first Division I girls soccer championship.

BBA girls soccer enjoyed lots of success over the past four years. BBA reached at least the quarterfinal round in Division I every season during Pinkus's career. They also reached the championship game in 2017, Pinkus's sophomore season. Pinkus led the way to a 51-14-1 record for BBA soccer.

BBA girls soccer coach Suzzane Mears called Pinkus on Wednesday to congratulate her former athlete on winning the award. She told Pinkus that she was "so proud of her" and that she was "so well deserving" of the award.

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"I think when you meet Grace, she leaves an impression on you that's lasting," Mears said. "She is just one of those players and individuals that really invests herself in everything that she does."

BBA athletic director Dave Miceli credits Pinkus's hard work and dedication for making her into such a successful athlete.

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"It puts her at a level that holds up nationally," Miceli said. "It demonstrates that Grace has achieved at a very high level."

Mears said she can't think of anyone who is more deserving of the Gatorade POY award.

Pinkus's BBA soccer career came to an end when North Country, a seven seed in last year's Division I tournament, upset the No. 2 BBA squad 1-0 in the quarterfinals. BBA finished the year 11-4.

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Pinkus will continue her soccer career at UMass Amherst. She committed to the Minutemen after her senior season.

The Gatorade Player of the Year is the latest of many accolades for Pinkus, who has racked up multiple all-state selections and All-American nominations.

Off the field, Pinkus has spent her time as a volunteer for multiple organizations, including the BBA youth soccer camp and the Vermont Special Olympics. She has also volunteered as a coach for the Manchester youth soccer program.

Mears is ready to watch Pinkus as she takes her career to the next level.

"I'm so excited to see what she's going to do," Mears said. "UMass is so lucky to have her."


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