High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: Kyle Funkhouser
For his 47 fellow Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year winners, click here.
THE WINNER: Kyle Funkhouser
School: Oak Forest (Ill.)
Position: Right-handed pitcher
Weight: 190 pounds
Athletic achievement: Funkhouser led the Bengals to a 27-6 record entering the Class 3A sectional semifinals against Marian Catholic (Chicago Heights, Ill.), scheduled for Wednesday. Through 33 games, he owned an 11-1 record on the mound along with a 0.60 ERA, recording 119 strikeouts in 76.1 innings. Funkhouser was a First Team All-State selection, the South Suburban Blue Conference Player of the Year and a Rawlings/Perfect Game First Team All-Region honoree in 2011.
Academic excellence: Funkhouser has maintained a 3.32 GPA in the classroom.
Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of youth baseball teams and an elementary school special education program.
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.
Senior Right-handed Pitcher, Oak Forest High (Oak Forest, IL)
2012 Team record: 24-6
2012 Team standing: Plays Olympia Fields in Regional Final, May 26
2012 W-L record: 9-1
2012 ERA: 0.71
2012 Strikeouts: 90
Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Louisville
How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: First Team All-State; Conference Player of the Year; Rawlings/Perfect Game First Team All-Region.