Kenny Koplove, a pitcher and shortstop at William Penn Charter School, was named Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year in Pennsylvania in recognition of his outstanding athletic achievements as well as his academic record and exemplary character on and off the field.
The 6-foot-1, 160-pound right-handed pitcher led the Quakers (25-7) to the Pennsylvania Independent Schools League semifinals this season, with a 9-2 record, a 2.22 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 56.6 innings on the mound. He started for Penn Charter eight times this year, pitched five complete games and logged three shutouts. A three-time First Team All-State selection, Koplove also batted .340 with 20 RBIs, 23 runs scored, 14 walks and 12 stolen bases.
Koplove, of South Philadelphia, has maintained a B-plus average in the classroom. He has volunteered locally on behalf of a project to build a community walkway along his school’s athletic facilities and as a youth baseball coach. He has signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball on an athletic scholarship at Duke University this fall.
“Kenny Koplove is a true competitor,” said Penn Charter’s varsity coach Jon Cross. “His work ethic and his overall knowledge of the game really make him stand out. He gives us a chance to win every time he takes the field.”
Koplove joins an elite alumni association of past state baseball award winners, including Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, Mich.), Roy Halladay (1994-95, Arvada West HS, Colo.), David Price (2003-04, Blackman HS, Tenn.), Chipper Jones (1989-90, Bolles School, Fla.), Derek Lee (1992-93, El Camino HS, Calif.) and John Lester (2001-02, Bellarmine Prep, Wash.).
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 ESPNHS and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.
Koplove joins recent Gatorade Pennsylvania Baseball Players of the Year Derek Fisher (2010-11, Cedar Crest High School), Sean Coyle (2009-10, Germantown Academy), Mike Lubanski (2008-09; Malvern Preparatory School), Zak Sinclair (2007-08, West Allegheny), and Devin Mesoraco (2006-07, Punxsutawney), among the state’s list of former award winners.
Koplove is the first Gatorade Pennsylvania Baseball Player of the Year to be chosen from William Penn Charter School. Penn Charter, in Philadelphia’s East Falls neighborhood, is a pre-K to grade 12 Friends school for boys and girls.