THE WINNER: Wil Crowe
School: Pigeon Forge (Tenn.)
Weight: 225 pounds
Athletic achievement: He led the Tigers to a 38-2 record and a berth in the Class AA state championship series against Goodpasture Christian School (Tenn.), scheduled to begin May 24. Crowe owned a 15-1 record with a 0.46 ERA and 172 strikeouts in 91 innings-pitched entering the state title series. Crowe batted .448 with 12 home runs, 24 extra-base hits, 50 runs scored and 52 RBI through 40 games. A returning First Team All-State selection as named by the Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association, he led the Knoxville Stars to the 2012 Continental Amateur Baseball Association 17U World Series championship this past summer, capturing tournament Most Valuable Player honors.
Academic excellence: Also a basketball standout, Crowe has maintained a 3.86 GPA.
Exemplary character: A member of his school’s National Beta Club chapter, he has volunteered locally on behalf of Young Life, Jeans for Teens, Lions Clubs International, Sevier County Food Ministries and the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation.
“His playing credentials are as good as it gets,” said Henry Lafollette, head coach of rival Gatlinburg-Pittman (Gatlinburg, Tenn.). “I also had the pleasure of coaching against him in basketball and saw how big of a heart he has as a competitor, overcoming the adversity of blowing his knee out in basketball, sitting out his junior year of baseball and still helping his teammates on the field. I just can’t say enough about this young man and wish I had a team full of young men like him.”
THE FUTURE: Crowe has signed with South Carolina.