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: Bryan Sammons
School: Hoggard (Wilmington, N.C.)
Athletic Production:Sammons’ magical senior season came to an end in the third round of the Class 4A state tournament last week, when the Vikings lost to Richmond (Rockingham, N.C.), 16-6.
Still, the 6-foot-2, 230-pound left-handed pitcher concluded a 10-0 spring with a 1.00 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 63 innings-pitched this past season, winning more than half of his team’s 19 victories.
Also a first baseman, he batted .306 with a home run and 15 RBI, recording a .852 OPS. Sammons has signed with Western Carolina.
Academic Achievement: He has maintained an A average.
Exemplary Character: Also a football standout, Sammonshas volunteered locally on behalf of his church, charity walks, homeless shelters, Special Olympics, Chrysalis, Celebrate Recovery, Appalachia Service Project, Vacation Bible School and Winter Park Optimist Club. A member of the National Honor Society and his school’s National Beta Club chapter, he has also donated his time as a peer tutor.