Monday, June 2, 2008
Kyle Skipworth-Player of The Year
RT Staff Note: We are going to delay our final poll until state championships end the middle of this week. American Heritage is already locked in at number one and as it stands right now, Don Bosco Prep controls its own destiny to finish a strong number two.
Below, we received a press release from Fleishman-Hillard PR agency about the Gatorade Player of the Year. You can't do better than that as a player. We agree and endorse this choice as well. Kyle Skipworth was a lock for this award in our book ever since he set a California state record when he put together a streak of 18 straight hits in 18 official at-bats this spring. Below is the release. Congrats Kyle!
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (June 3, 2008) – In its third decade of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in partnership with RISE Magazine, today announced senior catcher Kyle Skipworth of Patriot High School (Riverside, Calif.) as its 2007-08 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year.
Skipworth becomes only the second student-athlete from California ever to win Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year recognition, joining former NFL quarterback and Major League Baseball reliever Chad Hutchinson (1994-95, Torrey Pines HS/San Diego).
The award, which recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Skipworth as the nation’s best high school baseball player. A national advisory board comprised of sportswriters and sport-specific experts from around the country helped select Skipworth from the more than 477,000 high school baseball players nationwide. Skipworth is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound senior catcher produced a .543 batting average, 51 runs scored, 47 RBI and 13 home runs, leading the Warriors to a 27-3 record and the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division IV state postseason tournament semifinals. A projected first-round pick in this week’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Skipworth compiled a 1.117 slugging percentage and .627 on-base percentage this spring. An Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic selection, the left-handed-hitting Skipworth set a California state record when he put together a streak of 18 consecutive hits in 18 official at-bats this spring. He reached safely in 25 straight plate appearances during the span.
In only his second season as a full-time catcher after playing left field and third base as an underclassman, Skipworth was rated the No. 1 throwing arm at last summer’s 17-and-Under World Wood Bat Association (WWBA) Championships in Georgia. He gunned down more than 70-percent of would-be base-stealers in his career.
A 2007 Area Codes Games participant, Skipworth helped the 2007 USA Baseball Junior National Team to a bronze medal at the COPABE “AAA” Pan American Junior Championships in Mexico. During the offseason, the Jurupa Little League product also played for the Angels Elite Scout Team and the ABD Bulldogs travel team. In the summer of 2006, Skipworth was a standout for the gold-medal-winning Team USA squad at the COPABE “AA” (Under-16) Youth Pan American Championships in Venezuela.
Skipworth has maintained a 3.81 GPA in the classroom. He donates his time generously to the Jurupa PONY League Pinto Division as a volunteer coach, volunteer umpire and youth instructor.
“He’s the whole package,” said Head Coach of rival Orange Lutheran High School Mike Grahovac. “Being a former catcher I can really appreciate everything that he’s been able to accomplish. Kyle’s just a tremendous athlete with a great arm behind the plate. Offensively, he can just flat-out hit.”
Skipworth has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at the Arizona State University this fall, but is also projected as a first-round selection in this week’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
“Without question, Kyle is deserving of recognition as the nation’s best high school baseball player based on his statistics on the field and the impact his play had on Patriot’s success,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Jeff Urban. “But he is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young players of what a leader and a student-athlete should be. He represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient.”
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 RISE Magazine, 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.
Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:
· Two-time American League Most Valuable Player Alex Rodriguez
· WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie
· NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith
· 2007 Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning
· Reigning 200-meter world champion Allyson Felix
· Beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh
For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information and lists of past winners and future announcement dates, visit gatorade.com/playeroftheyear.