Posted Online: Jan. 24, 2013, 10:18 pm
Dream fulfilled: Sharp to pitch for Hawkeyes
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By Tom Johnston, firstname.lastname@example.org
A three-year courtship was worth it for Jake Sharp, who will go from the Hawk to being a Hawk and ultimately fulfilling a dream.
On Thursday, the Black Hawk College standout pitcher inked his letter-of-intent to continue his baseball career at the University of Iowa, proving good things are worth the wait.
"Growing up a Hawkeye fan, this is a huge positive note for me," Sharp said. "It tells me that hard work does pay off. I really hope that it is a good experience for me."
Receiving the scholarship offer ended a process that began with the Hawkeyes having Sharp on their recruiting radar since his playing days at Alleman High School.
"I talked to them in high school but hadn't talked to them much since then," Sharp said. "Coach (BHC's Arnie Chavera) and the Iowa coaches have a great relationship, and I know they have talked."
According to Chavera, Iowa coaches suggested Sharp go to BHC to hone his skills for at least a year and get in some innings. Those innings proved to Iowa coach Jack Dahm that Sharp could be a nice addition to the Big Ten team's pitching staff.
Last spring, Sharp logged an impressive 8-1 record, not losing until his final start of the season, that in Region IV Tournament play. He recorded an ERA of about 3.00
Chavera, a former minor-league player in the Houston Astros organization, says he believes Sharp is ready for the jump into Big Ten play.
"He's gotten better through the course of the fall and still has the spring season to polish things up," said Chavera. "I'm happy for him. And with him committing early, it should take some stress off of him for this season.
"We're very thrilled for Jake since he's worked so hard. He is arguably the hardest worker on our team. His work ethic is tremendous, he's a high-character kid, highly coachable, and he's one of our captains."
Sharp is the third player in this sophomore class to commit to a Division I program. Redshirt sophomore Kendall Patrick (Mitchell, S.D.) is inked to go to the University of Michigan, and former Moline standout Seth Fuller has signed with Northern Illinois. Former Davenport Assumption prep Tommy Argo also is expected to make a decision on a four-year school in the upcoming weeks, according to Chavera.
"Going to a Division I school is great," said Sharp, noting he will join former BHC teammate Trevor Kenyon in Iowa City where he will major in business management. "He worked his butt off to get there, and I kind of followed in his footsteps."