Barbe’s Jack Walker named Louisiana Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year

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Jack Walker
Barbe’s Jack Walker pitches a no hitter before reaching pitch limit in extra innings against Sam Houston during the LHSAA Baseball State Tournament semi-final at McMurray Park in Sulphur, Louisiana on Thursday, May 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Lake Charles American Press, Kirk Meche)

CHICAGO (June 29, 2021) — In its 36th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade today announced Jack Walker of Barbe High School as its 2020-21 Gatorade Louisiana Baseball Player of the Year. Walker is the fifth Gatorade Louisiana Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Barbe 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 Walker as Louisiana’s best high school baseball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year award to be announced in July, Walker joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners in 12 sports, including Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo High School, Mich.), Jon Lester (2001-02, Bellarmine Preparatory School, Wash.), David Price (2003-04, Blackman High School, Tenn.), Clayton Kershaw (2005-06, Highland Park High School, Texas), Rick Porcello (2006-2007, Seaton Hall Preparatory School, N.J.) and Kris Bryant (2009-10, Bonanza High School, Nev.).

The 6-foot, 190-pound senior right-handed pitcher led the Bucs to a 39-2 record, the Class 5A state championship and a No. 1 national ranking by MaxPreps and Perfect Game this past season. The 2021 Louisiana Farm Bureau Insurance/Louisiana Sports Writers Association Mr. Baseball award winner, Walker compiled a 13-0 record on the mound with a 0.42 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 83.2 innings. He also posted a WHIP of 0.74 WHIP and did not allow an extra-base hit all season.

A devoted parishioner in his church community, Walker has donated countless hours to hurricane disaster relief efforts and has volunteered locally delivering meals to senior citizens during the holidays. “Jack Walker has cemented his legacy as one of the greatest pitchers in Barbe High School’s legendary baseball program,” said Alex Armand, PrepBaseballReport’s Louisiana scouting director. “He has always carried himself in a very professional manner. His demeanor has positively affected his teammates and the next generation of players in his community.”

Walker has maintained a 3.93 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on scholarship at Mississippi State 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 Player of the Year Selection Committee, which works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Walker joins recent Gatorade Louisiana Baseball Players of the Year Brody Drost (2019-20, Barbe High School), Cade Doughty (2018-19, Denham Springs High School), Cade Beloso (2017-18, John Curtis Christian School), and Jacob Pearson (2016-17, West Monroe High School), among the state’s list of former award winners.

Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Walker has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. Walker is also eligible to submit a 30-second video explaining why the organization they chose is deserving of one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants, which will be announced throughout the year. To date, Gatorade Player of the Year winners’ grants have totaled more than $2.7 million across 1,117 organizations.

Since the program’s inception in 1985, Gatorade Player of the Year award recipients have won hundreds of professional and college championships, and many have also turned into pillars in their communities, becoming coaches, business owners and educators.

To learn more about the Gatorade Player of the Year program, check out past winners or to nominate student-athletes, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/Gatorade.

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