Pope Standout Named Gatorade Baseball Player of Year

CHICAGO — In its 31st year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, has selected Josh Lowe of Pope High School as its 2015-16 Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year.  Lowe is the first Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Pope 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 Lowe as Georgia’s best high school baseball player.  Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, Lowe joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Roy Halladay (1994-95, Arvada West HS, Colo.), David Price (2003-04, Blackman HS, Tenn.), Chipper Jones (1989-90, Bolles School, Fla.), Derek Lee (1992-93, El Camino HS, Calif.) and John Lester (2001-02, Bellarmine Prep, Wash.).

The 6-foot-4, 200-pound senior third baseman and right-handed pitcher batted .391 with 11 home runs and 39 RBI, leading the Greyhounds (27-7) to the Class AAAAAA state final this past season. A USA TODAY American Family Insurance All-USA Preseason selection, Lowe also registered six saves on the mound while striking out 33 batters in 22 innings. He is ranked No. 4 in the nation in the Class of 2016 by Perfect Game USA and participated in the Perfect Game All-American Classic at Petco Park in San Diego last summer.

Lowe has maintained a 3.12 weighted GPA in the classroom. A devoted parishioner in his church community, he has volunteered locally on behalf of Young Life Christian ministries.

“Josh Lowe is a dynamic player,” said Jason McDaniel, head coach at Cherokee High. “He is an outstanding hitter who plays a flawless third base and will take the mound and shut down his opponents. Over the past two years, he has been one of the most exceptional players in our region, which is arguably one of the toughest regions in the state of Georgia, as well as the nation.”

Lowe has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at Florida State University this fall, but is projected as an early round selection in June’s Major League Baseball draft.

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 high school sports leadership team in partnership with USA TODAY High School Sports, 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.

Lowe joins recent Gatorade Georgia Baseball Players of the Year Dazmon Cameron (2014-15, Eagle's Landing Christian Academy), Michael Chavis (2013-14, Sprayberry High School), Clint Frazier (2012-13, Loganville High School), Byron Buxton (2011-12, Appling County High School), Matt Olson (2010–11, Parkview High School), Kaleb Cowart (2009-10, Cook High School), Zach Wheeler (2008–09, East Paulding High School), Ethan Martin (2007-08, Stephens County High School), and Josh Smoker (2006-07, Calhoun High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit www.gatorade.com/poy.

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