Beau Wright Takes Home Sportsmanship Award
Top Pitcher Award Goes to Matthew Purke
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Mychal Givens, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound
right-handed pitcher and infielder from Plant High School (Tampa, Fla.),
earned high school baseball's highest honor Friday night as he was named the
Aflac National High School Player of the Year and presented with the 2008
Jackie Robinson Award.
Givens was presented with the fifth annual award during the Aflac All-
American Awards Dinner, which salutes the best of best in high school baseball
leading into the annual Aflac All-American High School Baseball Game. On hand
to make the presentation was Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson, and
Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, the game's honorary chairman.
Givens finished his junior season with 8-1 record and a 1.79 ERA, racking
up 48 strikeouts in only 43 innings of work. Offensively, his .421 batting
average along with 34 runs scored, 32 hits, 17 RBIs, five doubles and even an
inside the park home run helped carry his team to a No. 37 national ranking
from Baseball America.
The Aflac National High School Player of the Year recognizes the nation's
top high school player entering his senior year, who demonstrates outstanding
character, exhibits leadership, and embodies the values of being a student-
athlete in both his schoolwork and community affairs. The trophy, called the
Jackie Robinson Award, is named for the renowned Brooklyn Dodger, the first
player to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball, and a leader in
social issues off the field.
Givens was chosen from among six nominees determined by official Aflac
All-American Baseball Game selection partners Baseball America and Perfect
Game. The other player of the year nominees included:
-- Austin Maddox, C/RHP, Eagle's View Academy - Jacksonville, Fla.
-- Tyler Matzek, LHP, Capistrano Valley HS - Mission Viejo, Calif.
-- Matthew Purke, LHP, Klein HS - Spring, Texas
-- Donavan Tate, OF, Cartersville HS - Cartersville, Ga.
-- Jacob Turner, RHP, Westminster Christian Academy - St. Charles - Mo.
Also at the awards ceremony, Matthew Purke, (Klein HS) of Spring, Texas,
won the Pitching Prospect of the Year award. Purke, a 6-foot-3 left handed
pitcher, dominated the competition in his junior year, allowing only four
earned runs in 76.2 innings pitched. He finished the season with a 12-1 record
and a 0.37 ERA, striking out 147 batters. Purke was selected to the Texas High
School Baseball Coaches Association All-State First Team 5A for pitching.
In a balloting of coaches, players and staff, Beau Wright (Los Alamitos
HS) from Los Alamitos, Calif. was named the winner of this year's
Sportsmanship Award. An honor roll student, Wright, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound
left-handed pitcher, was recognized for his involvement in the local
community. Among other off-field activities, Wright spends his free time
volunteering at the local monthly newspaper drive. The son of a firefighter,
Wright considers his parents his biggest role models in life and said his
parents teach him on a daily basis how to be a good, honest and productive
The fifth annual Aflac All-American High School Baseball Game will be
played on Saturday, Aug. 9 at Dodger Stadium. The event is the nation's elite
high school baseball showcase featuring the top 38 rising senior players in an
East vs. West match-up. The game will be televised live nationally on FSN at 3
p.m. Eastern Time. Net proceeds from the game will benefit ThinkCure, the
official charity of the Dodgers, which supports critical cancer research at
City of Hope and Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles. Since 2005, the game has
generated $685,000 for charity.
For more information about the Aflac All-American High School Baseball
Classic and to download pictures and bios of the players, log on to
For more than 50 years, Aflac products have given policyholders the
opportunity to direct cash where it is needed most when a life-interrupting
medical event causes financial challenges. Aflac is the number one provider of
guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States and the number one
insurance company in terms of individual insurance policies in force in Japan.
Our insurance products provide protection to more than 40 million people
worldwide. Aflac has been included in Fortune magazine's listing of America's
Most Admired Companies for seven consecutive years and in Fortune magazine's
list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for ten consecutive
years. Aflac has also been recognized three times by both Fortune magazine's
listing of the Top 50 Employers for Minorities and Working Mother magazine's
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for two consecutive years. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed
on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about
Aflac, visit aflac.com.
Tim Turner Matt Freeman
Aflac Incorporated Edelman Sports
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7214 08/09/2008 01:59 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com