Lincoln-Way North baseball coach Joe Skarbek knew junior Reed Hero was something special.
He knew it this spring but elected to have Hero play with his longtime friends on the sophomore team. He also had a quiet leader to play in senior Brandon Collins at first base.
Skarbek also knew about Hero well before this spring.
"We've watched him since he was in fifth grade because we have camps, and we've loved him at the camps because he's a great guy that loves to have fun and joke around," Skarbek said. "What a great swing he has and a great feel for the game. Just watch him run the bases. He's so intuitive. I was really happy that he won that individual award."
The IHSBCA championship wasn't anything really new for Hero, who helped his Summit Hill Junior High team win a state title in 2008.
"I love to hit," Hero said. "It just comes natural, I guess. I like to get those fastballs and even now I'm starting to pick up the curveball and hit. It's just really easy for me. My guys get on base for me, and I get to hit."
After winning the Sandburg regional by rallying from a 12-0 deficit against Joliet Catholic Academy, Hero went 8-for-18 for the Phoenix with three doubles, a home run and 8 RBIs. He also played solid defense as Lincoln-Way North turned two groundball double plays in the both the semifinal and championship games.