Thanks to Northwestern Mutual, the large financial services company that has been around since 1857, the Gamers program is able to award two $2,500 scholarships to graduating seniors who represent the principles of the Gamers program. This was our first year for the awards, and it was incredibly difficult to select the recipients. So many 2014 Gamers could have received the award, including:
Trey Bauer – MICDS, going to Cornell, 5 year Gamer
Jackson Bishop – Montgomery County, 3 year Gamer, going to BYU
Shane Strom — Timberland HS, 3 year Gamer, going to Quincy University
Conner Wardlaw — Desmet HS, 6 year Gamer, going to Jeffco
Lucas Swindle – St. Charles Lutheran, 4 year Gamer, going to Missouri S&T
Clifford Chi – Parkway West, 5 year Gamer, going to DePauw University
Trenton Green – Perryville HS, 4 year Gamer, going to Missouri S&T
Graham Thomason – St. Charles Lutheran, 4 year Gamer, going to DePauw
All of players listed above are prototype Gamers — great academics, hard workers who care about doing things right. They are going to be very successful young men. They have been and continue to be an absolute blessing to the Gamers program. They have earned a lot of respect and love around the Gamers program.
The two scholarship winners hold a special place in my heart and are both 6 year Gamers.
Adam Mundle is literally an Eagle Scout who is an incredibly gifted athlete and a 4.2 GPA student. If I had a daughter, Adam would be the one kid I have coached that I would want her to bring home. At 13u, Adam was the best player on the least talented team in the history of Gamers program. At 14u, he taught himself how to switch hit, and despite going 1-35 at the beginning of the season, led his 14u team to an incredible winning streak in June in July. Since then, he has been playing SS or CF, batting at the top of the order and using his speed to impact games. He is a great student and does everything well. I would trust him in any situation. He is the guy I want up with 2 outs and the winning run at 2B — just ask Dulins Dodgers.
Jake Hemphill is the best pure pitcher and toughest kid I have ever coached. He has been a Gamer since 13u, when his head coach wanted to cut him at the end of the season. Then, he grew a foot and, through hard work and shear determination, molded himself into an exceptional HS pitcher. He might not light up the radar gun, but, I have never seen a HS kid dominate the strike zone and compete on the mound like Jake. That is why he is 16-1 in HS baseball, against the best HS teams in the area. With the Gamers, for the past 2 years he pitched against the best teams in the country every weekend and gave his team a chance to win every game. When he is on the mound, ice runs through his veins. It does not matter if he gets hit around a little. The next pitch will be a 2 seamer in that gets a double play. He is a relentless competitor.
These two players, along with the players mentioned above, have been an incredible honor to coach and to mentor over the past several years. I cannot wait to see their futures unfold!