Gatorade Athlete of the Year Awards: 2016

Cam Newton, Matt Stafford Attend Gatorade AOY Awards

Duke Commit Jayson Tatum and US Olympian Sydney McLaughlin Take Home 2016 Gatorade Athlete of Year Awards

The best male and female high school athletes in the country gathered at the LA Hotel for the 2016 Gatorade Athlete of the Year Awards ceremony last week.

The event featured several pro stars including NFL MVP Cam Newton, Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley and Detroit Lions QB Matt Stafford.

The ceremony was emceed by ESPN anchor Sage Steele and highlighted the hard work and accomplishments of the top athletes in their respective sports.

Cam Newton & Matthew Stafford Speak on 7on7 Football

The six male nominees included local track star Michael Norman from Vista Murrieta High as well as Elite 11 QB and Georgia commit Jacob Eason. Other nominees included basketball standout Jayson Tatum, cross country star Drew Hunter, soccer striker Lucas Mendes and baseball star Kyle Muller.

After leading Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis to a Missouri state championship, Duke commit Jayson Tatum was crowned 2016 Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year for his outstanding performance on and off the court.

US Olympic hopeful Sydney McLaughlin was named Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year. The 16-year old phenom will compete in Rio next month. The supremely talented hurdler took home the award over nominees Khalia Lanier (Volleyball), Madilyn Nickles (Softball), Erin Boley (Basketball), Ella Stevens (Soccer) and Katie Rainsberger (Cross Country).

A new wrinkle to this year's ceremony is the 1,000 grant awarded to a deserving youth sports organization on behalf of the Male and Female athlete of the year recipients as part of Gatorade's PlayItForward campaign which aims to address the decline in youth sports.

After the ceremony, D1Bound caught up with NFL stars Cam Newton, Matt Stafford and Todd Gurley to get their thoughts on various subjects including the value of 7v7 football.

The Gatorade Athlete of the Year Awards has established itself as the premier ceremony of its kind and CLA was honored to attend and celebrate the achievements of these exceptional athletes.