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: Calvin Mathews
School: Davis County (Bloomfield, Iowa)
Weight: 210 pounds
Athletic achievement: Mathews led the Mustangs (33-4) to the Class 2A state championship last season. He posted a 12-1 record on the mound along with a 0.51 ERA, striking out 158 batters and walking just two in 82.2 innings pitched in 2011. At the plate, Mathews batted .467 with 13 home runs, 39 RBI, 32 runs scored and a .967 slugging percentage. He was the only junior selected to the 2011 Iowa Baseball Coaches Association All-State Super Team.
Academic excellence: Mathews has maintained a 3.49 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally with area beautification projects, at a nursing home and as a youth baseball coach.
“Calvin Mathews has the most natural ability on the baseball field that I’ve seen in my short six-year stint as a head baseball coach,” said Cameron Wendt, head coach of rival Clarke (Osceola, Iowa). “He has great command of his fastball and throws very hard. And he’s just as good a hitter as he is a pitcher.”
THE FUTURE: Mathews has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at the University of Iowa this fall.