It’s an exciting season for the Puyallup baseball team, and the Vikings got more good news today as Luke Heimlich has been named the Gatorade Player of the Year for Washington.
Here is the press release:
CHICAGO (May 27, 2014) — — In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Luke Heimlich of Puyallup High School as its 2013-14 Gatorade Washington Baseball Player of the Year. Heimlich is the first Gatorade Washington Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Puyallup 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, distinguishes Heimlich as Washington’s best high school baseball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, Heimlich joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Roy Halladay (1994-95, Arvada West HS, Colo.), David Price (2003-04, Blackman HS, Tenn.), Chipper Jones (1989-90, Bolles School, Fla.), Derek Lee (1992-93, El Camino HS, Calif.) and John Lester (2001-02, Bellarmine Prep, Wash.).
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound junior left-handed pitcher and first baseman led the Vikings to a 23-0 record and the Class 4A quarterfinals, scheduled for May 24. At the time of his selection, Heimlich owned a 9-0 record with a 0.57 ERA and 93 strikeouts against just 12 walks in 61 innings pitched. A 2014 Perfect Game Underclass Honorable Mention selection, he also compiled a WHIP of 0.67 and fired a pair of no-hitters through 23 games.
Heimlich has maintained a 3.76 GPA in the classroom. A member of his school’s debate team, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the YMCA as well as multiple community service initiatives in association with his church youth group.
“Luke Heimlich is the first pitcher that I have seen who every time he is scheduled to pitch, it is an automatic win for their team,” said Danny Graham, head coach at Federal Way High. “He has three nasty pitches that are very difficult for anyone in our league to hit. He is so good that when you look in the box score and see that someone scored a run on him, you think it is a mistake.”
Heimlich has verbally committed to play baseball on an athletic scholarship at Oregon State University beginning in the fall of 2015.
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 the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Heimlich joins recent Gatorade Washington Baseball Players of the Year Reese McGuire (2012-13, Kentwood High School), Trevor Lane (2011-12, Mount Si High School), Trevor Mitsui (2010 – 11, Shorewood High School), Drew Vettleson (2009-10 & 2008–09, Central Kitsap), Rusty Shellhorn (2007-08, Central Valley), and Greg Peavey (2006-2007, Hudson’s Bay) among the state’s list of former award winners.
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