Walsh Jesuit senior Joe Mockbee made an oral commitment to continue his academic and baseball careers at the University of Cincinnati.
Mockbee, whose birth name is Jeffrey, is a 6-foot-3 and 185-pound left-handed pitcher.
Mockbee had a 3-0 record in 2012 with a 1.50 ERA. He struck out 22 in 23 innings pitched and only six walks in 2012, and helped the Warriors win the North Coast League. Mockbee received All-NCL second-team honors and has recently been named a Collegiate Baseball Magazine/Louisville Slugger Ohio Player to Watch.
“Joe has a remarkably consistent and confident demeanor when he takes the mound, and he is a winner,” Walsh coach Chris Kaczmar said. “I admire so much his passion for life, passion for excellence, and his passion for baseball. Being part of the baseball program at a program like Cincinnati and a conference like the Big East is a tremendous opportunity, and it speaks volumes about the determination that this intense, skilled, and humble young man possesses.”
Mockbee, who intends to major in accounting, lives in Bath Township with his parents.
Miles commits to Purdue
Canton McKinley senior Antoine Miles made a commitment to continue his academic and football careers on scholarship at Purdue University.
Miles, a defensive end, originally made a commitment to Nebraska, but he decided to make the switch to Purdue.
Darrell Hazell is Purdue’s new coach after guiding Kent State to an 11-3 record this past season and its first bowl appearance in 40 years.
Miles finished with 73 tackles as a senior, including 17 for a loss and 12 sacks.
Aquinas set to join NCL
St. Thomas Aquinas will join the North Coast League next school year.
Aquinas is coming into the NCL White Division to fill the sport vacated by Bedford St. Peter Chanel, which announced it would be closing its doors for good once this school year ended.
Matt Bing is in his sixth year as the Aquinas athletics director. He graduated from Aquinas in 1994 and competed in football and swimming.
The NCL White Division features Cleveland Central Catholic, Parma Heights Holy Name, Garfield Heights Trinity, Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph and Warren John F. Kennedy.
The NCL Blue Division consists of Archbishop Hoban, Cleveland Heights Beaumont School (girls’ sports only), Cleveland Benedictine (boys’ sports only), Mentor Lake Catholic, Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, Parma Padua Franciscan and Walsh Jesuit.
Aquinas last belonged to a league in the 1980s when it was in the Inter-County Conference, which also included Canton Central Catholic, Walsh and St. Vincent-St. Mary. The league was gone by the late 1980s. Aquinas has made inquiries to join various area leagues since but never found a fit.
Because of existing scheduling contracts, not all of Aquinas’ team sports will be able to join the NCL in 2013. Bing expects Aquinas to be a full member of the NCL by the fall of 2014.
OHSAA sets dates
The Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors recently announced the 2013 state football championship game dates under the new seven-division format.
The board approved a recommendation from the OHSAA staff to play one game Thursday night (Dec. 5), three games Friday (Dec. 6) and three games Saturday (Dec. 7). The 2013 state championships will be held in Canton and Massillon, concluding a contract. The state finals will move to Ohio Stadium in Columbus in 2014 and 2015.
Exact game times and assignments for which divisions will play on which date/time slots will be determined later.
The board also approved an initial group of four referendum items to be voted upon by the member schools in May, including a bylaw referendum item that proposes separating postseason tournaments for public and non-public schools.
Goodhart signs with URG
Kent Roosevelt senior Nate Goodhart signed with the University of Rio Grande to continue his academic and running careers.
Goodhart plans to compete for Rio Grande cross country/track and field coach Bob Willey. Goodhart is a four-year letter winner in cross country and a two-year letterman in track for Roosevelt coach Julie Healy.
“I’m excited to continue competing – and at a higher level,” Goodhart said. “I decided a couple of years ago that I wanted to run in college. I’m just happy to get that opportunity.”
Goodhart, who is 5-foot-7 and 125 pounds, was named his team’s Most Valuable Runner in both 2011 and 2012 and was also a first-team All-Portage Trail Conference selection each of the two years.
“We’re excited to add a quality young man and a quality runner to our program,” Willey said. “I think he’ll be able to come in right away and help us out with both cross and track.”
Goodhart said that his intended field of study, Fine Woodworking, played a big role in his decision to sign with the RedStorm.
“Rio Grande was one of the only schools to offer a major I was interested in and the chance to continue running,” Goodhart said. “Plus, it’s a great school where everybody knows everybody. That’s part of why I liked it.
“I feel like I can bring more teamwork and cooperation to the team because I’m so easy to get along with. I just want the chance to compete at a high level while, at the same time, enjoying myself.”
The University of Akron offered a scholarship to Massillon junior offensive lineman Nathaniel Devers, according to ScoutingOhio.com. Devers also reportedly has an offer from Toledo, according to Rivals.com. ... Louisville junior quarterback Joey Duckworth will reportedly take a visit to the University of Illinois Junior Day on Saturday, according to 247Sports, which says he has offers from Akron, Bowling Green, Buffalo and Toledo.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.