Brian Hakes, an all-state baseball and football player during his recently-concluded career at Bellmont High School, has accepted a scholarship to play baseball at Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne.
A three-year starter as both a catcher and third baseman for the Braves, Hakes led the team in most offensive categories the past two seasons.
He also was named all-state in hockey as a member of Team Indiana after playing four seasons in the Fort Wayne high school league as well as on several travel teams.
"We are very excited to have Brian along with us," said Kip McWilliams, a Bloomington native entering his fifth year as baseball coach of the Tech Warriors. "I believe Brian has the work ethic and the desire to win. This is the mentality that we look for in our players at Indiana Tech.
"In addition, he has excellent grades and takes his education very seriously.."
The 6-3, 215-pound Hakes will major in engineering.
"I picked IT for several reasons," he said. "First, they have a great baseball program. Second is Coach McWilliams and the team. He has made a great impression on me. I can tell he will be a good coach to play for and will help further my baseball career.
"Third is the great facilities; nice field, nice weight room; nice indoor facilities."
Hakes said he is "very excited to start this chapter of my life. I want to make it as far as I can in baseball and will work very hard every day to achieve my goals."
First as varsity assistant and then as head coach at Bellmont the past two seasons, Ben Fawbush has been around Hakes all four years. "Brian was a pleasure to work with," Fawbush said. "Seeing him grow was awesome ... the kid grew into a man in a short amount of time. His work ethic is one of the best I have ever seen. His dedication and determination are like no other. He had that 'You're not gonna beat me at anything" attitude' and he backed it up with his physical prowess and his stats both offensively and defensively.
"We are definitely going to miss Brian and the other eight seniors. You don't
just lose a Brian Hakes-type of guy and replace him right away. If we find
a guy in the next 10 years with Brian's type of demeanor we will be lucky," Fawbush continued.
"The thing that probably impresses me most about Brian is his off-the-field
persona. He is a down-to-earth, have-fun, live and love life-type of kid. The tough, mean, intimidating Brian that is on the baseball field is a softy when it comes to real-life."
The son of Greg and Jill Hakes of Decatur played key roles in Bellmont's Regional championships in both baseball and football during the past school year. He turned in one of the most memorable efforts in school history in the football Regional title game at Western, blocking a late punt to keep his team in the game, scoring a touchdown to force overtime, then blocking another kick on a PAT try to win the contest.
Hakes won 11 letters in high school, three each in football and baseball, four in hockey (for North Side and Dwenger) and one in wrestling, during his senior year.
He hit .463 for the Braves last spring, leading the team in doubles,13; RBi, 40 (in 30 games); home runs, 7; on-base percentage, .505; and slugging percentage, .843. He struck out only six times all season and committed just four errors, playing third base and catching.
Moved up to the varsity in mid-season by then-coach Randy Hisner, Hakes took over the starting catcher's job his sophomore year. As a junior, he hit .418 with 6 home runs and 25 RBI.