North Carolina High School Athletic Association

Marvin Ridge Standout Named Gatorade North Carolina Baseball Player of Year

       CHICAGO— In its 30th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, has announced Max Wotell of Marvin Ridge High School as its 2014-15 Gatorade North Carolina Baseball Player of the Year. Wotell is the first Gatorade North Carolina Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Marvin Ridge.

       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 Wotell as North Carolina’s best high school baseball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, Wotell 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 Jon Lester (2001-02, Bellarmine Prep, Wash.).

       The 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior left-handed pitcher has led the Mavericks into the North Carolina High School Athletic Association  Class 3-A state championship series. A Perfect Game USA Preseason Second Team All-American, Wotell owned an 11-0 record with a 0.54 ERA and 120 strikeouts against just 19 walks in 65.1 innings-pitched through 29 games. Also a centerfielder, he batted .410 with three home runs, 19 RBI and 26 runs scored entering the state round of eight.

       Wotell has maintained a B-plus average in the classroom. In addition to donating his time as a youth baseball instructor, he has volunteered locally as a youth mentor in association with Baseball For Life as well as on behalf of his church’s youth group and the Second Harvest Food Bank.

       “He’s as dominant as any pitcher in the western part of the state,” said Hal Bagwell, head coach of rival Ardrey Kell High. “I had (Atlanta Braves starting pitcher) Alex Wood, and Wotell reminds me of him. When he went out, it was over. He chewed us up. He’s the real deal.”

       Wotell has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at the University of Arizona this fall, but is projected as an early round selection in June’s Major League Baseball draft.

       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.

       Wotell joins recent Gatorade North Carolina Baseball Players of the Year Braxton Davidson (2013-14, T.C. Roberson), Ryder Jones (2012-13, Watauga High School), Corey Seager (2011-12, Northwest Cabarrus High School), Dillon Maples (2010–11, Pinecrest High School), 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.

       To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. 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