St. Christopher’s shortstop Griff O’Ferrall has been named the Gatorade state baseball player of the year.
O’Ferrall, a senior who has signed to play at Virginia, hit .449 with five home runs and 26 RBIs for the Saints (22-1-1).
He stole 20 bases, scored 47 runs and struck out only three times in 97 plate appearances.
The award recognizes athletic excellence and “high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.”
O’Ferrall maintained a B grade-point average, volunteered at The Healing Place, a residential recovery program, and assisted in relief efforts following Hurricane Harvey.
Gatorade has named the top high school player in each sport in every state since the 1985-86 school year. O’Ferrall is St. Christopher’s first baseball player of the year.
He becomes a finalist for the national player of the year award, which will be announced in July.
“Griffin O’Ferrall has the ability to control a baseball game like few others,” St. Christopher’s coach Tony Szymendera said in a release from Gatorade.
“He makes difficult plays seem easy and he puts immediate pressure on the defense when he’s on base. At the plate, he hits for average and power, to the point where most infielders take a step back when he’s in the box because the ball is coming at them hard every time.”
Benedictine’s Jay Woolfolk earned the award last year, though there wasn’t much of a baseball season because of the pandemic. The 2020 winners were chosen on past accomplishments.
Woolfolk also is headed to UVA, to play football and baseball. O’Ferrall and Woolfolk were co-players of the year in VISAA Division I.
Other local players who have won the award are Nic Enright of Steward (2015); Nathan Kirby (2012) and Austin Stadler (2008) of James River; and Matt Moses of Mills Godwin (2003).