Byron Nelson’s Paige Flickinger earns second straight Gatorade Texas Volleyball Player of the Year title
Byron Nelson’s Paige Flickinger earns second straight Gatorade Texas Volleyball Player of the Year title
Posted on 01/13/2020
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Paige Flickinger serves during a volleyball tournament this season

For the second consecutive season, Gatorade has named Byron Nelson High School student-athlete Paige Flickinger as its Texas Volleyball Player of the Year, making her just the third player to receive the honor twice.

Paige helped lead the Bobcats to the 2019 UIL 6A Volleyball State Championship in November, with her team amassing a 50-2 record and top rankings in multiple national polls. Paige was among three Bobcat volleyball players named to the tournament’s all-state team. Following the state tournament, Paige received numerous accolades, including earning the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s 5A-6A Volleyball Player of the Year title, also for the second straight season.

“I’m really honored, because I know some of the top girls who play in the state both personally and on my club team,” Paige said. “I’ve played against some of those girls for so long – being named one of the best players is crazy, especially after the year we’ve had. This wouldn’t be possible without my coaches and teammates.”

With her selection as a state winner, Paige is now under consideration for the Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award. Both the state and national award take into account athletic achievement as well as academic excellence and exemplary character.

Should she win the national award, it would be the second time a major U.S. organization would name her the top player in her sport, as she recently earned the same honor from MaxPreps on a nationwide level.

Following her graduation from Byron Nelson in May, Paige will compete collegiately for the LSU Tigers in both indoor and beach volleyball, and she plans to get an early start on campus.

“I’m excited to head to LSU around June and start getting prepared during that time,” said Paige, who plans to major in management information systems. “I’ve met [some of my LSU teammates], but I haven’t played volleyball with them yet. When I went on my official visit in October, I got to meet the team and the girls in my recruiting class personally. It was really fun, and I’m looking forward to playing with them.”

Notably, Paige is the first student-athlete to receive the Gatorade Texas Volleyball Player of the Year award for two consecutive seasons since her head coach, Brianne Groth, earned the honor while playing for Amarillo High School during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years.

“When I saw that she was the first one since me to win the award back-to-back, I just thought that it really is cool,” Coach Groth said. “I don’t think about that often, but it’s just so hard to do – it’s just a really cool player-coach combo that never happens that way, so it’s a really neat fact.”

Coach Groth, who began leading the Byron Nelson High School volleyball team shortly before the 2018-19 school year, said she immediately knew Paige was capable of winning Gatorade’s honor as well as other prestigious awards.

“She can do everything. I knew that she definitely had a shot,” she said. “The thing about these awards is that they’re amazing, but you don’t get these awards without your team being successful, so that was a key. I knew she was a player who could win these awards, but our team getting there is another aspect of it, so I’m very proud of all the girls.”

Paige excels in her leadership role, Coach Groth said, both on and off the court. She and her teammates help young community members at clinics and cultivate positive relationships after meeting them at games. That, Coach Groth added, helps the sport grow in the community and fosters the next generation of school leaders – and possibly future state champions.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HONOR
To learn more about Paige's honor by Gatorade, click here to read her award information.