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: Ryan Warner
School: Pine Creek (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Weight: 195 pounds
Athletic achievement: Warner batted .493 with six home runs and 31 RBI this past season, leading the Eagles (20-4) to the second round of the Class 5A state tournament. A returning Class 5A Honorable Mention All-State selection as named by The Denver Post, he produced a .971 slugging percentage and .611 on-base percentage in addition to scoring 32 runs. Warner owned a 7-1 record with a 2.18 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 51.1 innings pitched.
Academic excellence: Warner has maintained a 3.17 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth football instructor, he has participated in numerous fundraising events to benefit his school’s athletic department.
“When we saw him on the mound against us, I think our guys knew we were in trouble,” said Mike Hagen, head coach at rival Palmer (Colorado Springs, Colo.). “Even when he wasn’t on the mound, we always tried to pitch him very carefully, but he always found a way to come up with a big hit. He has always displayed excellent leadership on the field and always set a good example.”
THE FUTURE: Warner has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at North Carolina State University this fall.