A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011-12 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.
For his 47 fellow Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Nate Griep
School: Millard West (Omaha, Neb.)
Weight: 185 pounds
Athletic achievement: Griep posted an 8-1 record with a 1.62 ERA and 76 strikeouts against 13 walks in 48 innings pitched this past season, leading the Wildcats (29-8) to the second round of the Class A state tournament. A returning First Team Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska and Lincoln Journal Star Super-State selection, he batted .407 with six home runs and 43 RBI. Griep scored 34 runs while producing a .704 slugging percentage and .481 on-base percentage.
Academic excellence: Also a basketball standout, Griep has maintained a 3.50 weighted GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: In addition to participating in multiple charitable runs and fundraising efforts, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Step-Up Omaha and Hope Center for Kids community organizations.
“He has been very successful on the mound, throwing in the upper 80s and low 90s, and he is a very good hitter,” said Jim Thomas, head coach at rival Papillion-La Vista (Papillion, Neb.). “However, I feel that probably his biggest asset is his competiveness. He comes ready to play every day, and does it all with a lot of class. He is a great representative of how baseball should be played.”
THE FUTURE: Griep has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at Kansas State University this fall.