South Brunswick High School student-athlete named Gatorade NC Baseball Player of the Year

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s top high school athletes, Gatorade has announced South Brunswick High School’s Walker Jenkins as the 2021-22 Gatorade Carolina Baseball Player of the Year. North.

Jenkins is the second North Carolina Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year to be selected at South Brunswick High School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, singles out Jenkins as North Carolina’s top baseball player.

Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year award to be announced in June, Jenkins joins an elite alumni association of state winners in 12 sports, including Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo High School, Michigan), Jon Lester (2001-02, Bellarmine Preparatory School, Washington), David Price (2003-04, Blackman High School, Tenn.), Clayton Kershaw (2005-06, Highland Park High School, Texas), Rick Porcello ( 2006-07, Seaton Hall Preparatory School, NJ) and Kris Bryant (2009-10, Bonanza High School, Nevada).

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound junior outfielder had led the Cougars to a 24-3 record and a berth in the Class 3A State Championship Series at the time of his draft. Jenkins hit .519 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs in 27 games.

Ranked the No. 2 national rookie in the class of 2023 by PerfectGame.com, he scored 45 points and swept 16 bases entering the state finals, posting a .630 on-base percentage and 1.086 hitting percentage. .

A member of the U.S. national under-18 baseball team, he had made no mistakes all season until the state semifinals.

Jenkins has volunteered locally with community beautification projects and as a youth baseball coach. He has also donated his time to multiple community service initiatives through his church youth group.

“Walker is an absolute stud,” said New Hanover High School head coach Aaron Rimer. “We wouldn’t 100% throw a throw at him [to hit] with all the runners on base. He’s also an absolute stalwart defensively in center field, covering gap to gap and making a hold against us that only he does. He’s just a special player.

Jenkins maintained a 4.52 weighted GPA in class. He has verbally committed to playing baseball on a scholarship to the University of North Carolina beginning in the fall of 2023.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program recognizes a winner each year in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, women’s volleyball, boys’ and girls’ cross country, boys’ and girls’ basketball , boys’ and girls’ soccer, baseball, softball, and boys’ and girls’ track and field, and awards a national player of the year in each sport.

The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which relies on experts including coaches, scouts, media and others to help evaluate and determine the winners. state in every sport.

Jenkins joins recent North Carolina Gatorade Baseball Players of the Year Josh Hartle (2020-21, Reagan High School), Ryan Clifford (2019-20, Leesville Road High School), Blake Walston (2018-19, New Hanover High School) and Owen White (2017-18, Jesse Carson High School), among the state’s list of past honorees.

Gatorade has a long history of serving athlete communities and understanding how sport instills valuable lifelong skills on and off the field. Through Gatorade’s “Play it Forward” platform, Jenkins has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national organization of their choice that helps young athletes realize the benefits of playing sports. .

Jenkins is also eligible to submit a short video explaining why their chosen organization deserves one of twelve $10,000 Spotlight Grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, grants from Gatorade Player of the Year winners have totaled more than $3.5 million to more than 1,300 organizations.

Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award winners have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also become pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.

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