THE WINNER: Ryne Roper
School: Harrisburg (Ill.)
Weight: 185 pounds
Athletic achievement: He led the Bulldogs to a 30-5 record and the sectional semifinals this past season. Roper posted an 11-0 record and a 0.51 ERA on the mound, and a .450 batting average with nine home runs and 40 RBI at the plate. He had 106 strikeouts in 68 innings pitched, with just 29 hits and eight walks allowed. Roper is a three-time all-conference honoree and was a Rawlings/Perfect Game Preseason High School Second-Team All-Central Region selection.
Academic excellence: Roper has maintained a 4.0 GPA.
Exemplary character: A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered locally on behalf of a community garden.
“Roper does everything well and he plays hard,” said Brett Blondi, head coach at Benton (Ill.). “He has tremendous command of the strike zone with three pitches. He has a good fastball with a downward angle that he places well, and a sharp breaking pitch that he can throw for a strike at any point in the count.”
THE FUTURE: Roper has signed with Illinois.