Bonneville’s Makayla Sorensen added to what has already been a banner senior year on Monday.
A 5-foot-9 senior outside hitter for Bonneville’s 38-6 team which won the 4A state title in November, Sorensen was named Idaho’s Gatorade Player of the Year for volleyball on Monday. She is the third District 6 athlete to ever receive this award, joining Idaho Falls’ Maya Taylor, who received the award in 2015 as a junior and is now playing for St. Louis University, and Skyline graduate and current Thunder Ridge head coach Keisha Fisher, who received the award in 2006 as a senior.
Per a search of Gatorade’s past Idaho winners, Sorensen’s selection is also historic for Bonneville. She is the first athlete to receive the state volleyball Gatorade award for the Bees, who have won a District 6 best 10 volleyball state championships, and the first Bonneville athlete at all to receive a state Gatorade award since Scott Charlton won in 1987 for baseball.
She learned about her selection upon receiving a text Monday from Bonneville head coach Chantal McMurtrey and an email from the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee.
“It means a lot to me,” Sorensen said Monday morning by phone. “I think back to when I was little and I just loved volleyball. I never thought I’d be getting Gatorade Player of the Year. I can’t describe it, really.”
The annual Gatorade Player of the Year award recognizes one athlete in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in football, volleyball, girls and boys cross-country, girls and boys soccer, softball, baseball and girls and boys track each school year. Academic performance and character are also considered when awarding the honor.
According to Gatorade’s announcement released Monday, Sorensen has a 4.0 GPA, is active in her church’s youth group and has volunteered for local youth sports programs.
“Our coaches I know have definitely highlighted that, too...not just being a good team and being a good athlete,” Sorensen said. “We also try to stay classy. Especially when you start to win state championships, people start to look up to you. Academics has always been super important for me. I try to put that before volleyball even though it’s hard sometimes.”
A two-time 5A/4A High Country Conference Player of the Year, the Post Register’s 2017 All-Area Volleyball Player of the Year, a two-time Post Register All-Area first team selection and a 2019-20 Under Armour Honorable Mention All-American, Sorensen was one of three four-year varsity players for Bonneville this past fall. She contributed to three state titles (two 5A, one 4A), one 4A state runner-up finish and four consecutive district titles (two 5A, two 4A) the last four years. Sorensen, who will play for Weber State in the fall, compiled 525 kills, team-best 429 digs, 44 blocks and 38 aces this past season. She leaves Bonneville as all-time leader in career kills (1,858), No. 4 all-time in career aces (219) and No. 4 all-time in career digs (1,420). She is spending this winter playing on Bonneville’s varsity girls basketball team, which is undefeated and ranked No. 1 in 4A in the most recent state media poll, and Bonneville’s U-18 club volleyball team.
Sorensen said this honor is right up there with the state and district titles she has been part of at Bonneville, and she recognizes the rarity of the opportunities she has had.
“Now that senior year is kinda coming to an end, I’m realizing all the things I’ve been able to experience,” Sorensen said. “I know when I’m in college and even after I graduate college, I’ll look back on this.”