Each season, Gatorade recognizes one student-athlete from each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., who embodies its Player of the Year program’s three pillars: athletic production, academic achievement and exemplary character.
Each week during its Gatorade State Player of the Year selection process, USA TODAY surfaces one candidate who meets those criteria and deserves recognition as a serious Gatorade State Player of the Year contender.
Name: Jack Roberts
School: James River (Midlothian, Va.)
Athletic Production: If anyone knows what it takes to be Gatorade Virginia Baseball Player of the Year, it’s James River head baseball coach Pete Schumacher, who has recently featured winners Austin Stadler (2007-08) and Nathan Kirby (2011-12) on the mound.
This spring, Schumacher has another power arm at the top of his rotation in Roberts, a top-50 right-handed pitching prospect in the Class of 2013 as rated by Perfect Game USA.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound senior has started 4-1 on the hill with a 0.36 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 39 innings-pitched this season. A two-time returning Second Team Underclassmen All-American, the UVA-bound Roberts has also batted .323 during his team’s 13-2 start.
Academic Achievement: He has maintained an A-plus average.
Exemplary Character: A member of the National Honor Society and Latin Honor Society, Roberts has volunteered on behalf of his church, the Special Olympics, CJW Sports Medicine and his school’s peer-leadership initiative. He has also donated his time as a fundraiser for multiple events benefiting his school and classmates.