SPRING VALLEY — This time next year, Hall senior Brett Fanning will be pitching for the Division II Upper Iowa University Peacocks. Fanning celebrated his decision alongside his coaches and parents Tuesday afternoon at Hall High School.
“I’m pretty excited. But, I still want to finish out the high school season and accomplish more on the baseball field for high school,” Fanning said.
Fanning looked at other schools, like Lewis University and the University of Illinois in Springfield," but, Upper Iowa is the only one I actually visited. I liked it the first time I visited,” he said.
"And they made me feel more at home when I was there. If you don’t do well your first try, they’re not just going to forget about you. They’re going to keep you in the rotation. And, they really have high expectations for me."
Having LaSalle-Peru alumnus Cody Booker on the team was a plus, Fanning said. About those expectations Fanning said, “I’m pretty sure they want me to start. But, we’ll get into more of that when I actually get there. But, I’m just hoping to make the bus.”
Hall baseball coach Tom Keegan said, “There’s no drama that goes along with him. He does what he is supposed to do. Those kids are refreshing.” He then added, “He was the proverbial cup of coffee as a freshman.”
Fanning will no longer have to play multiple sports or even positions on the diamond. He will become a pitcher only.
“I like it more that I can just focus on pitching. I don’t have to worry about how I am hitting the ball or fielding percentage," he said,
Keegan echoed that statement saying, “I am very excited to see the next stage of development in his career when he can isolate on one sport.” He added that when given the opportunity to make pitching his focal point without having to worry about other sports or positions, Fanning could do very well.
Keegan said he thought Fanning showed next level abilities his junior year.
“I think he, probably, proved it last year. He came in full force," Keegan said. "Some kids just carry themselves or lift themselves up along with their physical ability. I’m very excited for him. Like he said, there’s still a month, weather permitting, here at high school so he’ll be the first to tell you he wants to be able to make another good push here at the end of the year.”
Like coach, like player, Fanning said that he was proud of his accomplishments but that he wasn’t finished at Hall yet.