Friday, September 22, 2023

Fairport’s Colin Hites excited to represent the Air Force All-Stars

Most baseball players consider it an honor to participate in two post-season all-star games.

Fairport Harding’s Colin Hites will play in two.

The first was the Heartland Classic in Norman, Oklahoma.

“Coming into the year, [the Heartland Classic] was one of my goals, but I didn’t really expect it,” Hites said. “It was actually Cuyahoga Heights’ head coach, who helps coach us in summer ball. He called me earlier in the year and said he wanted to nominate me, which was pretty cool to have someone else’s coach to nominate me.”

He also was selected to play for the Air Force All-Stars in the 2014 Ohio Varsity All-Star Classic, which will be played on Sunday at Kenston High School.

“One of the kids from our high school was selected and the atmosphere around the game is so much different than all the other all-star games around,” Hites said. “All of the buildup for it, the jerseys, everything about it is a whole different atmosphere. When I was selected, I was really excited.”

Like the Heartland Classic, Hites’ top priority is to have fun. He will also be able to play with teammate, Nathan Vale, one last time, which he is also excited about.

He is also looking forward to playing against his Heartland Classic teammate, Zac Lowther of Cuyahoga Heights. Lowther will pitch for the Xavier Musketeers next spring

After the all-star game, Hites will focus his attention on his own college baseball career.

He signed with Hillsdale College after being contacted by one of the coaches during summer ball season.

“That kind of blew me away,” he exclaimed. “When I went out there, I was thinking if they offer me anything, I don’t want to accept it on pure emotion, but I was so excited when they offered it to me.”

He did, however, tell them he would like to wait a week to make two more college visits. That only lasted a day before he cancelled his visits and accepted the offer from Hillsdale.

“The coaches there were awesome,” he added. “Great academic school, which is really what you need. Plus I get to join the [Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference]. My dad coaches at Lake Erie, so I get to beat up on him a couple times a year.”

While at Fairport, Hites participated in the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option in which he was able to earn college credit while still in high school. Because of PSEO, he will enter Hillsdale with junior standing.

He plans to double major so he can play baseball all four years instead of just two. His junior status also will reward him with a lot of flexibility if he changes his mind on his major. As of now, he plans to study economics and international business.

Hites said he wants to take it as slow as possible to make sure he will be able to play ball as long as he can.

He was surrounded by baseball for as long as he can remember, as his dad was a coach. His dad used to bring him to all of the practices and games and he can remember trying to help out in any way he could.

Despite being around the game at such a young age, it wasn’t until 2004 that he really fell in love with the sport. He was attending Fairport’s district final game and the team’s ninth hitter was up to bat.

“He was honestly, probably not very good,” Hites said. “But he hit a walk-off to win it and the feeling, the atmosphere, the place went nuts. Right there, I was like, I want to do that; I want to be that guy.”

From that moment on he was dedicated to the sport and stuck with it all throughout high school. One of his favorite games was during his freshman year when the Skippers beat Cuyahoga Heights, 1-0, in the district final.

“It was probably the most fun game that I have ever been a part of,” Hites said. “Every pitch, every mistake was magnified by 100. Everything was just so much more important.”

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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