Sidney Stegall garners 2022 Miss. Gatorade XC POTY

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CHICAGO, Ill. --- In its 38th year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, Gatorade announced Sidney Stegall of Heritage Academy is the 2022-23 Gatorade Mississippi Boys Cross Country Player of the Year. Stegall is the first Gatorade Mississippi Boys Cross Country Player of the Year to be chosen from Heritage Academy.

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 Stegall as Mississippi's best high school boys Cross Country player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Boys Cross Country Player of the Year award to be announced in February, Stegall joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners, including Parker Wolfe (2020-21, Cherry Creek High School, Greenwood Village, Colo.), Nico Young (2019-20, Newbury Park High School, Newbury Park, Calif.), Megan Goethals (2009-10, Rochester High School, Rochester Hills, Mich.) and Jordan Hasay (2008-09, Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School, San Luis Obispo, Calif.).

The 5-foot-11, 140-pound senior raced to victory at the MAIS 5A Cross Country Championships with a time of 16:17.5. Stegall went on to win the All-Mississippi Cross Country Championships by a nine-second margin with a personal-best clocking of 15:31.0. He was the state's top finisher at the Wingfoot Classic, where he took 21st overall.

Stegall has served as Vice President of his school's Student Government Association and as an officer in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

"Heritage Academy senior Sidney Stegall closed down his senior campaign in convincing fashion, not only posting the fastest all-class time at the MAIS Cross Country Championships but also winning the Mississippi All-State Meet," said PrepCalTrack editor Rich Gonzalez. "Between cross country and track and field, he has amassed seven state championships in his prep career."

Stegall joins recent Gatorade Mississippi Boys Cross Country Players of the Year Keegan Leverett (2021-22, Saint Stanislaus College), Christian Balcer (2020-21 & 2019-20, East Central High School), and Brock Kelly (2018-19, Tupelo Christian Preparatory School), among the state's list of former award winners.

Stegall has maintained a 4.43 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to run on scholarship at Mississippi College this fall, where he will join past Gatorade winners Balcer and Kelly. 

Watch Sidney Stegall win the 2022 All-Mississippi Cross Country Championships!