PLEASANT HILL —It has been a successful year for Newton High School teams and athletes and that is expected to continue this spring.
Another sign of that came Tuesday, when Newton senior baseball pitchers Treg Jackson and Cole Weaver made their college choices.
Jackson will pitch for Wright State University-Lake Campus, while Weaver will pitch for Urbana University.
“It is not just good for the program, it is good for the school,” Newton baseball coach Jordan Kopp said about having players go on and play at the next level. “We have a lot of good athletes at the school that are going on to play, so that is great to see.”
Kopp said both his players made great choices.
“I think it is a great fit for both guys,” Kopp said. “WSU-Lake is a smaller school not to far from home — which was what Treg (Jackson) was looking far. And he still will get to live on campus. Urbana University is a bigger school. It is a Division II program, but it is still close to home and Cole (Weaver) really likes the program.”
Kopp said both players offer something different on the mound.
“Treg (Jackson) is a crafty lefthander who throws in the 70s and 80s,” Kopp said. “Cole (Weaver) is more of a power pitcher who throws in the mid-80s. The big thing is both of them can throw three pitches for strikes and that is what the colleges are looking for.”
The son of Tony and Lynee Jackson, is coming off 10-0 record a year during Newton’s 26-3 season and was named Division IV All-Ohio.
“I really liked the school (WSU-Lake) and just felt like it was a good spot for me,” Jackson said. “I had always wanted to play college baseball, even as a kid.I do feel like it is a place where I can go and play (right away). It just felt like the right spot for me.”
Jackson said there is still some unfinished business at Newton.
“Definitely, I can’t wait to get out there this spring,” he said. “We want to get over that district finals hump from the last couple of years and move past that.
The son of Chris and Jennifer Weaver said Urbana University coach Jake Oester was a deciding factor.
If that name sounds familiar, Oester is the son of former Cincinnati Red Ron Oester.
“Urbana has a new coach in coach (Jake) Oester and that was one of the big things that drew me there,” Weaver said. “ I am hoping (to play right away), but I know nothing is promised.”
Weaver, like Jackson, has three “out” pitches.
“I have a good fastball,” Weaver said. “I have really been working on my slider — it has improved a lot and I feel like my changeup is good enough now where I can throw it consistently. For sure, from the time I was a little kid I thought about playing college baseball.”
Weaver, who transferred to Newton last year and was injured for part of the season, can’t wait to put his talents on display at home.
“I am still waiting for a chance to pitch a home game at Newton,” I transferred here last year and it hasn’t happened yet. So, hopefully it will work out that I get a chance to do that soon. We are going to have a good team and I can’t wait to get out there.”
Kacie Tackett was glad to make her college committment before the start of her senior season with the Newton softball team.
Because for her, high school is far from over.
Tackett recently signed her letter of intent to attend Edison State Community College in Piqua, joining a fledgling softball program that, under the tutelage of coach Dan Cain, is quickly becoming a Miami County-area all-star team. And with that signing out of the way, she can now focus on her final season as a member of the Newton Indians.
“It’s a weight off my shoulders,” she said. “I’m excited to go there next year, but I also have to focus on my high school season before thinking about softball at Edison. That’s at the forefront right now.
“Obviously choosing a school makes it less stressful, knowing where I’m going after high school. But I’m not done with high school by any means. I’m ready to keep playing hard for my team.”
Tackett will be joining teammate Maddi Weaver, who signed on the same night, as well as Troy’s Hallie Snyder on Edison’s roster in the fall.
“Maddi signed the same night as me, he signed Hallie Snyder from Troy and a girl from Triad. He already has two girls from Covington that graduated last year. He’s recruiting good girls,” Tackett said of Cain’s lineup. “I feel like we’re going to have a good team. I’m not afraid of any competition that gets thrown at us. He’s starting a new tradition that’s going to be really strong right out of the gate.”
Another thing that helped with her decision was looking at her future after school.
“I plan on going into teaching when I’m done, and Edison was the cheaper option,” Tackett said. “Teachers don’t make that much, so I wanted to choose the cheapest route possible to go to school, and Edison gave me that opportunity. As well as staying close to home — I’m kind of a homebody.
“I’m excited, both for this year and for next year.”