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Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Nebraska Baseball POY: Nate Griep

By Ben Rohrbach

A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011-12 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For his 47 fellow Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Nate Griep

THE BASICS

School: Millard West (Omaha, Neb.)
Grade: Senior
Position: RHP/CF
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 185 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Griep posted an 8-1 record with a 1.62 ERA and 76 strikeouts against 13 walks in 48 innings pitched this past season, leading the Wildcats (29-8) to the second round of the Class A state tournament. A returning First Team Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska and Lincoln Journal Star Super-State selection, he batted .407 with six home runs and 43 RBI. Griep scored 34 runs while producing a .704 slugging percentage and .481 on-base percentage.

Academic excellence: Also a basketball standout, Griep has maintained a 3.50 weighted GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: In addition to participating in multiple charitable runs and fundraising efforts, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the Step-Up Omaha and Hope Center for Kids community organizations.

THE PRAISE

“He has been very successful on the mound, throwing in the upper 80s and low 90s, and he is a very good hitter,” said Jim Thomas, head coach at rival Papillion-La Vista (Papillion, Neb.). “However, I feel that probably his biggest asset is his competiveness. He comes ready to play every day, and does it all with a lot of class. He is a great representative of how baseball should be played.”

THE FUTURE: Griep has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at Kansas State University this fall.