The Drill: A/E's Brent Hokeness determined to stay active

ADRIAN -- Shortly after Brent Hokeness received the bad news, he determined that he would make the best of it.

The 2020 high school baseball season was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic just when the Adrian/Ellsworth high school team got its spring practices under way. Organized practices suddenly screeched to a halt. The season, itself, was threatened.

But Hokeness, like many other spring athletes around southwest Minnesota, decided he must continue to be active. So he tossed baseballs with his friends, and he hit in the school’s batting cage.

“We need to continue to practice and keep getting better, so if we do start baseball season we’re ready to go. We’re not allowed to practice as a team or with a coach, but we can do work on our own if we choose to,” he said.

Since Hokeness spoke those words, hopes for the continuance of spring high school athletics have, if anything, become less likely. But in the meantime, active teen-agers must stay active.


Hokeness, a senior catcher who earned All-Red Rock Conference honors last season, is this week’s subject for The Drill. You can see the video online at . Here is a sampling of the interview:

QUESTION: How weird is this spring, anyway?

ANSWER: “It’s nothing we expected, for sure. We always worry about the snow, and the field being ready to play on. But this is certainly different.”

QUESTION: You enjoyed a very good baseball season as a junior. Tell us about it.

ANSWER: “As a junior I felt I hit very well, and as a team we made a good run into the section playoffs. As a catcher I feel I do a good job controlling the game and my pitchers, making sure everybody’s on the same page, and everybody’s comfortable with what pitch we’re throwing. … I have no problem with the pitchers shaking me off, because I want them to be comfortable with what pitch we’re throwing.”

QUESTION: Have you received some valuable baseball advice along the way?

ANSWER: “Some good advice I was given, I was at a Twins youth camp and I was told to swing hard in case I hit it. And I felt that was a good saying, both in baseball and in life.”

QUESTION: Tell us the most unusual thing about you that most people don’t know.


ANSWER: “My teammates have nicknamed me ‘Hokey.’ I don’t know if they’ve ever called me by my first name. I suppose some people think I’m a hokey guy.”

Brent Hokeness Drill 4 1 20 S1.jpg
Adrian/Ellsworth baseball player Brent Hokeness can't practice with his team, but he stays active by throwing and hitting on his own time. (Tim Middagh/The Globe)

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