SPANISH FORK HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT-ATHLETE NAMED GATORADE UTAH BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
CHICAGO (May 23, 2019) —
In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, today announced Cy Nielson of Spanish Fork High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Utah Baseball Player of the Year. Nielson is the fifth Gatorade Utah Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from Spanish Fork 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 Nielson as Utah’s best high school baseball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year award to be announced in May, Nielson 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-3, 210-pound senior left-handed pitcher and outfielder led the Doms to 20-9 record and the Class 4A state tournament this past season, where they fell two wins short of the title game in a double-elimination play-down. Nielson compiled an 6-1 record on the mound, fanning 66 batters in 36.2 innings pitched and surrendering 22 hits. He posted 1.91 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and held opponents to a batting average of .164. He has also batted .400 (32-for-80) with nine doubles, a triple, two home runs and 26 RBI. Nielson stole five bases in six attempts, drew 16 walks and reached base seven times on a hit-by-pitch to post a .514 on-base percentage, slugging .613 for an OPS of 1.127. Rated as the nation’s No. 117 prospect (No. 1 LHP in Utah) in the Class of 2019 by Perfect Game, he is a 2019 Collegiate Baseball Magazine Preseason All-American, a three-time First Team All-State selection and was named to the 2019 Perfect Game Southwest Region Dream Team.
An active member of his church community, Nielson assists with alms-giving and donates his time on behalf of multiple community service initiatives. He also volunteers locally as part of an elementary school literacy-outreach program and serves as an instructor at a variety of youth baseball camps. “Cy pitched against us in the first round of the playoffs and my initial impression was: ‘He is going to be a big-leaguer,’ says Park City head coach David Feasler. “The radar gun had him up to 93 in our first-round game. At the plate, he’s comparable to (some of the best hitters in the state), and he anchored the middle of Spanish Fork’s lineup. I think Cy is the best player in the state, and he’s also an outstanding character kid.”
Nielson has maintained a 3.63 GPA in the classroom. He has signed a national letter of intent to play baseball on scholarship at Brigham Young University beginning 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. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.
Nielson joins recent Gatorade Utah Baseball Players of the Year Austin Deming (2017-18, Snow Canyon High School), Seth Corry (2016-17, Lone Peak High School), Payton Henry (2015-16 & 2014-15, Pleasant Grove High School), and Colton Shaver (2013-14, Jordan High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Nielson also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.
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 www.Gatorade.com/POY, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GatoradePOY or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatorade.