Posted on May 31, 2018 · Posted in Athletic News, General, News, Press Release

BURBANK, IL (May 31, 2018) — In its 33rd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced junior Matt McCormick of St. Laurence High School as its 2017-18 Gatorade Illinois Baseball Player of the Year. McCormick is the first Gatorade Illinois Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from St. Laurence 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 McCormick as Illinois’ best high school baseball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, McCormick joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Derek Jeter, Jon Lester, David Price, Clayton Kershaw, Rick Porcello and Kris Bryant.

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“On behalf of St. Laurence, I’d like to congratulate Matt on this prestigious award,” said St. Laurence Baseball Coach Pete Lotus. “Matt is truly a special ballplayer – he is the greatest high school hitter I have ever seen. But his character as both a student and a person are what sets him apart from others. There’s no question that he deserves this award.”

In addition to the award, McCormick has been invited to the Perfect Game National Showcase, billed as the most prestigious showcase event in all of amateur baseball. He was also invited to try out for the 18U USA Baseball National Team.

The 6-foot-1, 195-pound junior catcher led the Vikings to a 30-8 record, a prestigious Chicago Catholic League Blue conference title and an eighth straight Regional Championship. McCormick, a West Virginia University commit, produced a .510 batting average with 18 doubles, nine home runs, 50 RBI and an on-base percentage of .651. A two-time First Team All-State honoree, he’s also a two-time Chicago Tribune All-Area selection and was named a Rawlings/Perfect Game Second Team Underclass All-American. He was also named the Chicago Catholic League Blue Player of the Year this season.

McCormick has volunteered locally as a youth mentor and has raised funds to benefit pediatric cancer patients. He has also maintained a B average in the classroom.

“I’d like to thank my family, coaches, teammates and all of St. Laurence for helping me earn this award,” said McCormick. “In some away or another, all of them have made it possible for me to get this far in baseball, and I cannot express how grateful I am to have them all in my life.”

As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Matt 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.