The Sarnia Braves are proud to recognize Jake Marksís signing of a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Maine and play baseball for the Black Bears in 2013. Marks had signed during the NCAA's early signing period of Novenber 9 - 15. At 17 years old, the 6' 1" right handed pitcher, Marks has played for the Braves since he started with the Mosquito Braves at 10 years of age.
When announcing Maine Baseballís 2012 Recruiting Class, Head Coach Steve Trimper said ď Our goal, as always, is to find the right fit, both academically and on the baseball field to continue the successes we have accomplished as a team. Jake is among this years group of student - athletes that will certainly aid in our goal of future America East Championships and successful runs in the NCAA tournament. He is expected to be a key component to the 2013 pitching staff, and will challenge for a starting spot in the rotation. Both Coach Spaulding and Cather worked tirelessly this past year to identify and recruit an outstanding class ď.
By signing early, Marks said " I know what I have to do to get ready for college baseball - get bigger and stronger, and I don't have to worry about going to all of the different college prospect camps over the winter to find a school in the spring or summer. Maine's scholarship offer was very good and they let me know that they wanted me. They wanted to get all of their recruiting done in the fall. Hockey is king at Maine, but baseball is definitely the number two sport there, with no competition in the spring for men's sports. I was told that itís not unusual to have 500 people go on the road to attend games. Now that the recruiting stuff is over I can relax, and prepare for school next fall. I'll be going to Centrefield Sports in London with Adam Stern two or three times a week over the winter and then play my final season here for the Midget Braves, and hopefully get a shot at Canada's Junior National Team this spring / summer ".
Marks is leaning toward a degree in secondary education. When he visited the University of Maine campus in September he liked the layout because it combined the feeling of a major Division 1 school, yet had a small town atmosphere. Jake and his parents were also impressed with the amount of resources and support available to the student - athlete to make the task of juggling academics and athletics as smooth as possible.
In terms of the baseball program, Marks really liked what he saw of the facilities from the playing field ( and winter dome ) to the clubhouse to the weight room - one of, if not, the best in the Eastern U.S.. UMaine plays in the America East conference. Coach Trimperís upbeat style and support helped form his decision that the University of Maine was a good fit for him. " They really look after the athletes " said Marks. The fact that he already knew another recruit ( Alex Gagne of Team Ontario - from Ottawa ), and that there were 4 - 5 Canadians on the roster was also influential. Jeff Gibbs of the Black Bears ( from Toronto ) is widely expected to be the top Canadian selected in next springs MLB draft ( 97 - 98 mph fastball ). " I talked to him in September on my visit to U Maine, and he said he loved it there, but he's a Junior, and it's his draft year, and I'm guessing he'll probably be gone after the draft "
Marks had been contacted by several other colleges in Michigan, Ohio, New York, Colorado, Illinois, Massachussets and West Virginia after pitching for the U17 Ontario Youth Team at the Canada Cup in Moncton, New Brunswick in August of 2011.