Baylor Pitcher Sydney Berzon Named State’s Gatorade Softball Player of the Year

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(press release) CHICAGO (June 18, 2021) — In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Sydney Berzon of Baylor School as its 2020-21 Gatorade Tennessee Softball Player of the Year. Berzon is the first Gatorade Tennessee Softball Player of the Year to be chosen from Baylor 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 Berzon as Tennessee’s best high school softball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award to be
announced in June, Berzon joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Cat Osterman (2000-01, Cy Spring High School, Texas), Kelsey Stewart (2009-10, Arkansas City High School, Kan.),Carley Hoover (2012-13, D.W. Daniel High School, S.C.), Jenna Lilley (2012-13, Hoover High School, Ohio), Morgan
Zerkle (2012-13, Cabell Midland High School, W. Va.), and Rachel Garcia (2014-15, Highland High School, Calif.).
The 5-foot-11 junior right-handed pitcher led the Red Raiders (27-1) to the Division II-Class AA state championship this past season. Berzon posted a 17-0 record with a 0.47 ERA, surrendering just 11 walks and 16 hits in 77 innings pitched,
while striking out 179 batters. An All-Region selection and a Chattanooga Times Free Press Best Of Preps finalist, she also batted .389 with five home runs and 28 RBI. Berzon is ranked as the nation’s No. 11 prospect in the Class of 2022 by
Extra Inning Softball.
Berzon has served as a prefect in her school’s dorms and has volunteered locally on behalf of the J.A. Henry YMCA. “I can’t say that I’ve seen every player in the state, but I would bet the bank that Syd Berzon is the best,” said Susan Crownover, head coach at Girls Prep. “She’s not only a power pitcher at 70 MPH plus, but she can also command all of
her pitches. She’s a very good hitter too.”
Berzon has maintained a 3.68 GPA in the classroom. She will begin her senior year of high school this fall.
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 works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine
the state winners in each sport.
Berzon joins recent Gatorade Tennessee Softball Players of the Year Aubrey Barnhart (2019-20, Goodpasture Christian School), Regan Weekly (2018-19, The King’s Academy), and Ashley Rogers (2017-18 & 2016-17, Meigs County High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at rnyman@wdef.com.