STONE BRIDGE HIGH SCHOOL HIGH SCHOOL STANDOUT NAMED GATORADE® VIRGINIA BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
CHICAGO (May 27, 2014) — — In its 29th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced J.B. Bukauskas of Stone Bridge High School as its 2013-14 Gatorade Virginia Baseball Player of the Year. Bukauskas is the first Gatorade Virginia Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Stone Bridge 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 Bukauskas as Virginia’s best high school baseball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year, Bukauskas 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-1, 195-pound senior right-handed pitcher led the Bulldogs to an 18-1 record entering the Conference 14 tournament, scheduled to begin May 26. A returning Group AAA Second Team All-State selection as named by the Virginia High School Coaches Association, Bukauskas owned a 7-0 record with a 0.00 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 41.1 innings at the time of his selection. He finished 7-2 with a 0.53 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 66 innings as a sophomore in 2013 before reclassifying to the Class of 2014 this past summer.
Bukauskas has maintained a 3.48 GPA in the classroom. In addition to donating his time as a youth baseball instructor, he has volunteered on behalf of the Special Olympics and as part of fundraising efforts to benefit the families of fallen police officers in Fairfax, Va.
“J.B. Bukauskas is the most dominating pitcher I have ever coached against at any level,” said Larry Miller, head coach of rival Briar Woods High. “When he pitched against us, his mound presence was outstanding, as he was a great competitor who showed respect for the game and his opponent.”
Bukauskas has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at the University of North Carolina this fall.
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.
Bukauskas joins recent Gatorade Virginia Baseball Players of the Year Connor Jones (2012-13, Great Bridge High School), Nathan Kirby (2011-12, James River High School), Nick Thompson (2010 – 11, Western Branch High School), Kyle Crockett (2009-10, Poquoson), Ethan Carter (2008–09, Menchville), Austin Stadler (2007-08, James River), and Neil Ramirez (2006-2007, Kempsville) among the state’s list of former award winners.