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Simply the best – Fowler named Nat’l Player of the Year

Fowler, off injury rehab, had dominant year

Canyon del Oro pitcher Kenzie Fowler, is the first nonsenior to win the Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year.

Canyon del Oro pitcher Kenzie Fowler, is the first nonsenior to win the Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year.

A year ago Wednesday, Canyon del Oro ace pitcher Kenzie Fowler was allowed to return home from a 12-day hospital stay after life-saving surgery to remove seven inches of blood clots that had formed in her powerful right arm and worked their way toward her heart.

Returning to the softball field at all, let alone in time for her junior season this spring, seemed optimistic at best.

But an offseason of strenuous rehabilitation afforded the All-American pitcher the opportunity to not only return to the field with her teammates, but return to the form that established the University of Arizona recruit as one of the nation’s best softball players.

Tuesday, Fowler’s unlikely return to the diamond, which included leading the Dorados to a second-straight state championship, was capped off when she was named the 2008 Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year, the first time the prestigious award has ever gone to a nonsenior.

“It’s amazing, I see some of the names that have won this for their sports – Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, Cat Osterman, Lisa Leslie – it’s just amazing,” said Fowler, who was surprised by the presentation Tuesday night by about 40 friends and family at Janos restaraunt at Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa.

Before learning of her national award Tuesday night, it was announced earlier in the day Fowler had won her second straight state Gatorade player of the year award.

Despite not being 100 percent recovered from last year’s medical scare, Fowler had a 24-1 record, struck out 309 batters in 148.2 innings of work, posted a 0.28 ERA, and threw 12 shutouts, four no-hitters and one perfect game as CDO won the state 4A-I title. She also batted .448 with five home runs and 33 RBIs.

Fowler is the second Tucson-area athlete to be named a national player of the year by Gatorade. The other was Bre Ladd, also from CDO, who was the national volleyball player of the year for the 2001-02 school year.

“She represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade player of the year recipient,” Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Jeff Urban said.

Fowler was chosen for the award by a national advisory board comprised of sportswriters and other softball experts from around the country. She is a finalist for the Gatorade female high school athlete of the year award, which will be presented in July at the ESPYs. A year ago, UA softball pitcher Taryne Mowatt won female athlete of the year at the ESPYs.

For more musings on high school sports, check out the Grammer School sports blog.

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Arizona Gatorade Players of the Year from Tucson

2007-08

Kenzie Fowler, Canyon del Oro – Softball (National player of the year)

2006-07

Kenzie Fowler, CDO – Softball

2005-06

Luis Lanz, Salpointe – Boys soccer

Glyndon Bolasky, Sabino – Football

2004-05

Daniel Borg, Ironwood Ridge – Football

2003-04

Sybil Dosty, Salpointe – Girls Basketball

Desiree Williams, Flowing Wells – Softball

2002-03

Corey Sipos, Salpointe – Boys Soccer

2001-02

Bre Ladd, Canyon del Oro – Girls Volleyball (National player of the year)

1999-2000

Will Smith, Palo Verde – Baseball

1997-98

Anthony Francisco, Sunnyside – Boys Track & Field

1996-97

Chad Cislak, Sabino – Baseball

Scott Leber, Salpointe – Boys Soccer

1995-96

Laura Hibsman, Salpointe – Girls Volleyball

1994-95

Chris Mammen, Flowing Wells – Boys Track & Field

1993-94

Jermaine Watts, Sunnyside – Boys Basketball

Todd Thompson, Sahuaro – Football

Ryan Patrick, Salpointe – Boys Soccer

1992-93

Ryan Patrick, Salpointe – Boys Soccer

Virginia Pedersoli, Amphi – Girls Track & Field

1991-92

Ben White, Salpointe – Baseball

1990-91

David Veliz, Salpointe – Boys Soccer

1989-90

Tavo Alvarez, Tucson High – Baseball

Mike Ciasca, Sahuaro – Football

Suzanne Zahasky, Sahuaro – Girls Basketball

1988-89

Deron Johnson, Sunnyside – Boys Basketball

Michael Bates, Amphi – Football

1987-88

Deron Johnson, Sunnyside – Boys Basketball

Sarah Dixon, Marana – Girls Basketball

Michael Bates, Amphi – Boys Track & Field

1986-87

Nicole Smith, Canyon del Oro – Girls Basketball

Trong Nguyen, Salpointe – Boys Soccer

1985-86

Tony Ordonez, Pueblo – Boys Soccer

Michael Bates, Amphi – Boys Track & Field

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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