Pinecrest Player Wins Baseball Award

PINECREST HIGH SCHOOL STANDOUT NAMED GATORADE® NORTH CAROLINA BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

CHICAGO — In its 26th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, has announced Dillon Maples of Pinecrest High School as its 2010-11 Gatorade North Carolina Baseball Player of the Year.

Maples is the first Gatorade North Carolina Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Pinecrest 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 Maples as North Carolina’s best high school baseball player.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound senior right-handed pitcher finished 9-1 on the mound with two saves and a 0.92 ERA this season, leading the Patriots to a 25-3 record. A returning AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic selection, Maples recorded 143 strikeouts in 68.2 innings. Also a third baseman, he recorded a .431 batting average, 31 RBI, 19 runs scored, 10 stolen bases and seven home runs.

A Preseason First Team All-American as named by Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game USA, Maples produced a .877 slugging percentage and .632 on-base percentage. As a member of the USA Baseball 18U National Team, he allowed just one earned run in 10 innings over six appearances during the 2010 Baseball World Championships.

Also a football standout, Maples has maintained a 3.66 weighted GPA in the classroom. In addition to donating his time as a youth baseball instructor, he has volunteered on behalf of his church’s youth group.

“Dillon has been a proven leader in our program,” said Pinecrest High head coach Jeff Hewitt. “Whether on the field or off, he has shown leadership qualities that have not only helped himself but his teammates as well. Dillon has balanced his academics and athletics evenly throughout his four years here at Pinecrest. His desire and enthusiasm for not only the game of baseball but his academics will allow him to be successful in whatever the challenge may be in his future.”

Maples has signed a national letter of intent to play baseball on scholarship at the University of North Carolina this fall.

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 ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, 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.

Maples joins recent Gatorade North Carolina Baseball Players of the Year Matt Roberts (2009-10, Graham), Brian Goodwin (2008-09; Rocky Mount), Tyler Hanover (2007-08, North Davidson), and Madison Bumgarner (2006-07, South Caldwell), among the state’s list of former award winners.

For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners, and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com.