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The 2020-21 Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year was announced on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. The honor went to Dylan Lesko, a pitcher from the class of 2022 who plays for the Buford Wolves varsity baseball team.

Lesko joins an elite list of the very best in high school baseball to win 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.”

Dylan Lesko had an exceptional junior year pitching for the Wolves. Photo by Jason Rank.

Winning the award was an honor according to Lesko. “It’s definitely a great honor to have my name on the list with so many of the past athletes who have gone on to do great things,” Lesko said. “It means a lot, especially since I am a junior.”

Lesko went on to add, “I am looking forward to next year; the last three years have been nothing less than exceptional. The players, the coaches, and the community support make me look forward to my senior year.” 

The Vanderbilt baseball commit is the first-ever to win the prestigious Gatorade Georgia Baseball Player of the Year award from Buford High School. This award distinguishes him as the best high school baseball player in the state.

“Dylan Lesko is, without a doubt, the most talented player I have coached in 30 years,” said Buford High head coach Stuart Chester. “His greatest quality is his character and ability to lead and make everyone better and feel important. He always puts others first.” 

If all of the time spent playing baseball was not enough to occupy his time, Lesko also participates in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club at BHS. He volunteers often at the North Gwinnett Co-Op, an organization based in Buford that provides groceries and services to the underserved members of the community.  Lesko also has given up some holiday time on Thanksgiving to pack, load and distribute food to families in need, as well as raise money for underprivileged families at Christmas.

Lesko has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his high school career thus far.

In July, one of the individual state winners will be named the Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year. Since Lesko has been selected as Georgia’s Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year, he will have a chance to win the national award.

“Through Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Lesko has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of their choosing. He said he would be open to donating it to the Buford Youth Leagues if he can,” the Buford Athletic Department said in a released statement.

This opportunity has also afforded Lesko the chance to submit a 30-second video explaining why he thinks that the Buford Youth Leagues is deserving of one of the twelve $10,000 spotlight grants. The recipients of the grants will be announced throughout the year.

Featured photo above:  Dylan Lesko pitching during the eighth annual Perfect Game High School Showdown in Hoover, Ala.  Photo by Jason Rank.

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