OCALA-- College of Central Florida baseball pitcher Josh Harper was named the 2018 FCSAA Bill Tuten Scholar Athlete of the Year at the annual FCSAA State Baseball Tournament awards banquet in Lakeland. The prestigious award is given annually to the most outstanding baseball player in the state that exemplifies the highest character and performance in the classroom, in the community and on the field.
The sophomore from Ocala, Fla. recently graduated summa cum laude from CF at the beginning of May with a 3.83 GPA. Harper is a Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society inductee and was recently named the 2018 CF Male Scholar Athlete of the Year at the end-of-year athletic banquet.
Harper, a two-year pitcher for the Patriot pitching staff, finished 4-1 on the year with a 4.04 ERA. His excellence in the classroom and on the mound for CF stretched further than many would know as he was a leader in his dugout and in the Ocala community.
"I am just really proud of Josh," said head coach Marty Smith. "He personifies what the Bill Tuten Award is about. He was fantastic in the classroom, on the field, and serving his community... a great leader in our dugout and we are really going to miss him."
In between juggling duties on the field and in the classroom, Harper also makes it a point to give back through serving the Ocala community and beyond. He serves on the leadership committee for Ocala United, a local christian youth group in town, where he helps to renovate family homes and feed the hungry. He has also traveled to various countries on mission trips, with his fifth mission trip coming this summer to Nicaragua.
The nursing major is still undecided as to where he will continue his baseball and academic career this coming fall.