High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Highlands Ranch

Eye on POY: Colorado baseball

May, 13, 2012
5/13/12
6:21
PM ET
The window on the Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Ryan Burr
Senior RHP, Highlands Ranch (Colo.)

2012 Team record: 15-6 (Class 5A)
2012 Team standing: Class 5A first round vs. Grandview on Friday

2012 W-L record: 4-2
2012 ERA: 3.05
2012 Strikeouts: 65

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Arizona State University

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: No. 72 ranked prospect in Class of 2012 as rated by ESPNHS. 2012 Louisville Slugger First Team All-American as named by Collegiate Baseball. 2011 Class 5A First Team All-State selection as named by The Denver Post. 2010 USA Baseball 16U National Team member.

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Colorado Girls Hoop POY: Michaela Neuhaus

March, 8, 2012
3/08/12
5:06
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For her 50 fellow Gatorade State Girls Basketball Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Michaela Neuhaus

THE BASICS

School: Highlands Ranch (Colo.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Point guard
Height: 5-foot-7

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Neuhaus has led the Falcons to a 22-4 record entering Wednesday's Class 5A semifinals. She averaged 23 points, 4.5 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game while shooting at 85 percent from the free throw line through 26 games. A 2011 First Team All-State selection, Neuhaus helped Highlands Ranch to the Class 5A state title as a junior.

Academic excellence: Neuhaus has maintained a 3.62 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, she has volunteered locally on behalf of an annual holiday toy drive and multiple fundraising campaigns to benefit cancer research.

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Colorado Football POY: Joe Hansley

December, 1, 2011
12/01/11
5:45
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS POY team managed the Gatorade State Football Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the awards program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character. For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Football Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Joe Hansley

THE BASICS: Anatomy of a POY

School: Highlands Ranch (Colo.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Running back/defensive back
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 170 pounds

THE PILLARS: Gatorade criteria

Athletic achievement: Hansley rushed for 1,851 yards and 24 touchdowns on 194 carries this past season, leading the Falcons (9-3) to the Class 5A state quarterfinals. He caught 27 passes for 518 yards and eight scores, and also recorded 29 tackles and seven interceptions on defense. Hansley is a two-time First Team All-Continental League selection as a running back and return specialist.

Academic excellence: Hansley has maintained a 3.37 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: Hansley has volunteered locally at Children’s Hospital Colorado and as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit autism research.

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