The Avon Lake High School baseball team sends productive and talented players on to play at the collegiate level nearly every year, and 2010 is no exception. Shoremen pitcher Dan Becks recently signed his letter of intent to play baseball and further his academic career at the University of Akron.
Becks was named first team All-Southwestern Conference, as well as honorable mention All-Lorain County this past season. He was amongst the starting rotation for the Shoremen, accumulating a record of 3-1 and averaging a strikeout for every inning pitched. The decision to play at Akron was not an easy one for Becks.
“It was a very difficult decision,” Becks admitted. “I wanted a good fit, both academically and athletically, and Akron seemed like a great fit.”
Aside from Akron, Becks also received contacts from other Division I schools, including Michigan State, Purdue, West Virginia and Creighton. Becks also strongly considered Division II schools Mercyhurst and Ashland, but in the end wanted to play Division I baseball.
“At Akron I felt very comfortable when I met both the head coach and my position coach,” he said. “I learned a great deal about the campus and the strength of their academic programs when I visited as well.”
Becks is confident he will see the mound as a Zip and help the team out in any way possible.
“The coaches strongly believe I can pitch at the Division I level and make a contribution to the Zips baseball team,” he said. “I will probably start in the bullpen in the fall and they will evaluate what role I will play that will best suit the team.”
Playing Division I baseball requires time and dedication in the off-season and Becks plans to begin a summer workout regime as soon as possible.
“My short-term goal is to come ready to play in the fall,” he said. “That means I need to condition well in the summer and be healthy when I report.”
Preparing for his short-term goal of playing in the fall, Becks hopes will allow him to capitalize on his long-term goals.
“I really want to make a significant contribution to the baseball team throughout my four years at the University of Akron,” he said. “I am looking forward to competing against colleges and universities throughout the country.”
Becks is undecided as to what he plans to major in but will start in the Business School and take a variety of courses to see where his interests lie.
Despite looking ahead to playing for the Zips, he still cherishes the time he spent playing for the Shoremen and will miss the friendships he formed with his fellow players over the last four years.
“My favorite memories are the times I spent with my teammates,” he said. “As a pitcher, I would start every fifth day, so a lot of the time was spent with teammates on the bench. We had some good laughs and enjoyed each other’s company.”