CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – More than a week removed from earning the state’s first Mr. Baseball award and about a week away from the Major League Baseball draft, Clarksville High star Donny Everett picked up another honor in the state of Tennessee.
The Wildcats senior was named the 2014-15 Gatorade Tennessee Baseball Player of the Year. The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Everett now becomes a finalist for the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year — an award that has been won by the likes of Derek Jeter, Roy Halladay, Chipper Jones and former Vanderbilt star David Price.
“It’s been a good year for him, and he deserves it all,” Clarksville High baseball coach Brian Hetland said. “Donny is such a great kid. He takes it all in, and it never seems to change who he is. But his talent is undeniable and we can all see that. We’re just proud of him. It has meant a lot to him as a player, and our school and our baseball program.”
Everett has already signed with the defending NCAA national champion Vanderbilt but is still waiting to see exactly where he’ll be drafted when the MLB draft begins June 8. In Baseball America’s mock draft, the publication projects Everett as a first-round selection, No. 17 to the Cleveland Indians.
Everett has already said he is committed to playing at Vanderbilt. Several current Commodores are also expected to be drafted in the first round, but if Everett decides to go to school he won’t be eligible for the draft again until after his junior season in Nashville.
Despite attempts, Everett was unavailable for comment Thursday.
Everett is the fourth high school athlete from Clarksville to be distinguished by The Gatorade Co. in the past three years. Former Northeast basketball standout and current Kentucky forward Alex Poythress won the 2011-12 Gatorade Player of the Year award in Tennessee, as did Clarksville High star and Lady Vols forward Bashaara Graves. Last year, former Northeast track standout Brittany Kelly won the state’s Gatorade Athlete of the Year award. Kelly currently competes at Ole Miss.
Everett was one of five finalists for the award last year but lost out to Justus Sheffield, of Tullahoma, who ended up being drafted by the Cleveland Indians last year.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound right-handed pitcher ran his record to 9-1, including a pair of saves for a 0.93 ERA. He struck out 124 batters this past season and walked only eight. Clarksville won the District 10-AAA regular season title and were the district tournament runner-up before losing in the Region 5 semifinal game.
Offensively Everett was just as productive with a .412 batting average, 32 runs scored, two home runs and 34 RBI.
Everett was also named a preseason First Team All-American by Louisville Slugger and Perfect Game USA, according to the Gatorade press release. He worked 21 walks and belted 13 extra-base hits, recording a .500 on-base percentage and .579 slugging percentage in his final prep campaign.
In the classroom, Everett has maintained a 3.62 GPA.
“This is a special thing because this award encompasses a lot of different things,” Hetland said. “We always preach to our players about doing well in the classroom, in the community and don’t get in trouble. We try to stress those things to them even though it’s tougher to do at the high school level because you have nine weeks to get a baseball season in. But Donny is one who buys in and understands everything it takes to be a well-rounded individual.”
George Robinson. Prep writer. 245-0747. Twitter: @Cville_Sports.