BE's Gilbert named Gatorade SC Player of the Year

DANIEL ISLAND, SC - In its 33rd year of honoring the nation's best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Geoffrey Gilbert of Bishop England High School as its 2017-18 Gatorade South Carolina Baseball Player of the Year.

Gilbert is the second Gatorade South Carolina Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Bishop England High School. The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Gilbert as South Carolina's best high school baseball player.

Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, Gilbert joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo High School, Mich.), Jon Lester (2001-02, Bellarmine Preparatory School, Wash.), David Price (2003-04, Blackman High School, Tenn.), Clayton Kershaw (2005-06, Highland Park High School, Texas), Rick Porcello (2006-2007, Seaton Hall Preparatory School, N.J.) and Kris Bryant (2009-10, Bonanza High School, Nev.).

The 6-foot-2, 200-pound junior left-handed pitcher, outfielder and first baseman led the Bishops (31-2) to their second straight Class 3A state championship this past season. On the mound, Gilbert went 8-0 with a 0.33 ERA, fanning 73 and allowing just 15 hits and 21 walks in 53.1 innings pitched. He also batted .446 (29-for-65) with three home runs, 26 RBI, 23 runs scored, 18 walks and a .516 on-base percentage, while going 9-for-10 on stolen-base attempts. Ranked No. 1 in South Carolina's Class of 2019 by Perfect Game, Gilbert threw a complete-game shutout in the championship clincher, a 1-0 win over Seneca High.

Gilbert donates his time to the Charleston Miracle League, which serves children or young adults with special needs. He also volunteers locally with Carolina Basset Hound Rescue and is an altar server at St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

"Gilbert is a really solid candidate for Gatorade Player of the Year, just a solid all-around player," said Brian Mitchell, head coach at Hanahan High. "There's not much the kid can't do. He's the real deal."

Gilbert has maintained a 3.25 GPA in the classroom. He has made a verbal commitment to play baseball on scholarship at Clemson University beginning in the fall of 2019.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Gilbert joins recent Gatorade South Carolina Baseball Players of the Year Logan Chapman (2016-17, Easley High School), Thomas Jones (2015-16, Laurens District High School), Jake Crawford (2014-15, Belton-Honea Path High School), Grant Holmes (2013-14, Conway High School), Nick Ciuffo (2012-13, Lexington High School), Jamie Callahan (2011-12, Dillon High School), Jordan Montgomery (2010–11, Sumter High School), Forrest Koumas (2009-10, Lugoff-Elgin), Madison Younginer (2008–09, Mauldin), Zac Fuesser (2007-08, York Comprehensive), and Steven Neff (2006-07, Lancaster) among the state's list of former award winners.

As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Geoffrey will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and will have the opportunity to enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. 12 spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.