In its 38th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Emma Bourg of Houma Christian School is the 2022-23 Gatorade Louisiana Girls Cross Country Player of the Year. Bourg is the first Gatorade Louisiana Girls Cross Country Player of the Year to be chosen from Houma Christian 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 Bourg as Louisiana’s best high school girls cross country player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Girls Cross Country Player of the Year award to be announced in January, Bourg joins an elite alumni association of state award- winners, including Natalie Cook (2021-22, Flower Mound High School, Flower Mound, Texas), Katelyn Tuohy (2019-20, North Rockland High School, Thiels, N.Y.), 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-4 senior raced to the Division 4 individual state championship this past season with a time of 17:57.9, leading the Warriors to a 10th-place finish as a team. Bourg also won a state regional title, along with Watson Cross Country Classic and St. Joseph’s Academy Invitational among her seven overall victories. She improved by more than 90 seconds from 2021 competing at this year’s Garmin RunningLane National Championships in Alabama.
A chapel leader for Monday Morning Worship at Houma Christian School, Bourg has volunteered locally in Junior Kids church at Bayou Blue Assembly of God and went on a two-week service-mission trip to Africa as part of Bush Ministries. She also created a junior ring-ceremony slideshow for the school’s graduating class of 2023. “Emma Bourg took advantage of multiple opportunities to square off against elite competition, despite racing in the smallest classification in the state, and demonstrated her maturity and experience with several impressive wins,” said Erik Boal, an editor for DyeStat.com. “She also posted the fastest 3-mile performance across all classifications at the state meet in addition to boasting the top 5K clocking of 2022 by any female competitor in the state.”
Bourg has maintained a 4.22 weighted GPA in the classroom. She has signed a National Letter of Intent to run on scholarship at the University of New Orleans 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 leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and determine the state winners in each sport.
Bourg joins recent Gatorade Louisiana Girls Cross Country Players of the Year Lily Garrett (2021-22, Ruston High School), Kelsey Major (2020-21, St. Mary’s Dominican High School), Annie Fink (2019-20, Runnels School), and Mary Nusloch (2018-19, Academy of the Sacred Heart), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Being a Gatorade Player of the Year means paying it forward for the next generation. Through Gatorade’s Play it Forward initiative, every Player of the Year receives a grant to give to one of Gatorade’s social impact partners, supporting Gatorade’s ambition to fuel the future of sport. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $3.5 million across more than 1,300 organizations.
For nearly 40 years, Gatorade has honored high school athletes at the top of their game as teammates, supporting their communities and achieving academic success. From CEOs and coaches to star athletes and community leaders, Gatorade Player of the Year winners showcase the power of sport.
To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student- athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com or follow us on social media on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY, Instagram at instagram.com/Gatorade and Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.