THE WINNER: Riley Unroe
School: Desert Ridge (Mesa, Ariz.)
Weight: 185 pounds
Athletic achievement: He batted .553 with 10 home runs and 59 RBI this past season, leading the Jaguars (26-6) to the second round of the Division I state tournament. A returning Division I Honorable Mention All-State selection as named by The Arizona Republic, Unroe scored 54 runs and collected 25 stolen bases, 14 doubles and five triples to go with a .636 on-base percentage and 1.128 slugging percentage. Unroe owned a 2-1 record with four saves, a 2.63 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 13.1 innings-pitched. He played for the 2011 USA Baseball 16U National Team.
Academic excellence: Unroe has maintained a 3.49 GPA.
Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as a youth baseball instructor, he has volunteered locally on behalf of The Soul Project, Sunshine Acres Children’s Home, AndréHouse of Hospitality and The Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family campaign.
“The kid is one of the best players I’ve ever coached against. Period,” said Shane Hilstrom, head coach of rival Perry (Gilbert, Ariz.). “He’s scary good and does everything very well. If he has a weakness, I sure don’t know what it would be.”
THE FUTURE: Unroe has signed with USC, but is projected as an early round selection in next month’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.