Baseball: Regis Jesuit’s Max George wins Gatorade Player of the Year

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AURORA | Just three days after his team fell just short of winning the Class 5A state championship, Regis Jesuit senior shortstop Max George was named Colorado’s Gatorade Player of the Year for the 2014 season.

The Raiders lost to Rocky Mountain 6-5 in the 5A state title game on Saturday at All-City Field to finish the season 21-5, with George and a number of college-bound seniors contributing to a fantastic season that included a Continental League championship and the program’s second appearance in the state final in four seasons.

Regis Jesuit's Max George
Regis Jesuit senior shortstop Max George was selected Colorado’s Gatorade Player of the Year for the 2014 season. The Oregon State signee and potential Major League Baseball draftee led the Raiders with a .471 batting average. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel)

George, an Oregon State signee, led the regulars in a potent Regis Jesuit lineup with a .471 batting average and tied with Justin Thaxton for the team lead in hits with 33, which included nine doubles, two triples and three home runs. From the No. 3 spot in the order, the 5-foot-10, 175-pounder scored a team-best 31 runs and drove in 24, third-most for the Raiders.

“Some people are comparing him to Dustin Pedroia,” said Marc Johnson, head coach at rival Cherry Creek High School, said in a press release from Gatorade. “He can play, boy. He makes a tremendous impact. He’s a hard-nosed player, and he makes things happen. He can flat-out hit. If I were to build around one player, it would be Max George.”

George — who was a member of Regis Jesuit’s state championship-winning team as a freshman in 2011 — is projected to be selected in the Major League First-Year Player Draft in June.

Off the field, he is an accomplished pianist and has completed more than 140 hours of community service.

George is only the second Aurora player from an Aurora school to win the Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year award since it began in 1986, joining Grandview graduate Greg Bird, who received the award in 2011. Bird is now working his way through the New York Yankees’ minor league system.

As a state winner, George is now eligible for the Gatorade National Player of the Year award to be named in coming weeks.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel