FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Ashley Ginascol (312-729-3622)
SEAMAN HIGH SCHOOL STANDOUT NAMED GATORADE® KANSAS BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

CHICAGO (May 28, 2013) — In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Ryan Colombo of Seaman High School as its 2012-13 Gatorade Kansas Baseball Player of the Year. Colombo is the first Gatorade Kansas BaseballPlayer of the Year to be chosen from Seaman 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 Colombo as Kansas’s best high school baseball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year award announced in May, Colombo 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.), Derrek Lee (1992-93, El Camino HS, Calif.) and John Lester (2001-02, Bellarmine Prep, Wash.).

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound senior right-handed pitcher and infielder led the Vikings (20-2) to a berth in the Class 5A state tournament, scheduled to begin May 25. At the time of his selection, Colombo owned a 4-1 record, a 1.01 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 34.2 innings. The 2012 Class 5A Pitcher of the Year, he also batted .426 with 29 RBI, 20 runs and a .588
slugging percentage.

Colombo has maintained a 3.93 GPA in the classroom. A member of his school’s Spanish Club, Spirit Club and Sportsmanship Council, he has volunteered locally shoveling snow for elderly residents and as a youth baseball coach.

“Ryan Colombo has had a great career playing for one of the best baseball programs in the state,” said Jay Mastin, head coach at Topeka High. “He is a leader on Seaman’s team and his numbers are at or near the top of the very best of anyone in the state.”

Colombo has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on an athletic scholarship at Drury University 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.

Colombo joins recent Gatorade Kansas Baseball Players of the Year Collin Wiles (2011-12, Blue Valley West High School), Conner Knight (2010 – 11, Maize High School), Cody Kukuk (2009-10, Free State), Garrett Gould (2008–09 Maize), Lee Ridenhour (2007-08, Shawnee Mission West), and Derek Norris (2006-2007, Goddard) among the state’s list of former award winners.

To keep up to date on the latest happenings, become a fan of Gatorade Player of the Year on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit www.gatorade.com/poy.