Gatorade names Seahawks’ Poplin top soccer star in SC

For the second time in history — and the first in more than two decades — the Gatorade South Carolina Girls Soccer Player of the Year is a Hilton Head Seahawk.

Hilton Head High’s Miya Poplin was named Wednesday as the state’s top girls soccer player, joining a prestigious list of state winners that includes fellow Seahawk alumna Missy Keller, who earned the honor in 1998-99.

The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. As the state winner, Poplin is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced later this month.

A 5-foot-5 senior midfielder, Poplin collected six goals and three assists in just seven games this spring before the remainder of the season was canceled, putting her well on her way to matching or exceeding her eye-popping 24 goals and 13 assists in 2019. 

A three-time All-State honoree, Poplin is ranked as the South Atlantic region’s No. 15 recruit in the Class of 2020 by Top Drawer Soccer and has signed a letter of intent to continue her career on an athletic scholarship at Furman University.

“Miya Poplin is a complete soccer player,” said Memo Suarez, head coach at Socastee High School. “She’s a true playmaker with a tremendous work ethic. She’s all over the field creating defensive and attacking plays.”

Off the field, Poplin has volunteered locally on behalf of a retirement community, youth soccer programs, and the Waddell Mariculture Center in association with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. She also has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. 

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.

Photo by HHI Sport Shots/

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