Ickes named Gatorade Player of the Year

A memo to the people of Nanaimo — don’t miss the chance to see Elijah Ickes while you can.
The star shortstop for your Nanaimo NightOwls, strong and lean at 6-0/175, is heavily on the radar for the upcoming MLB draft (July 9-11) — and for good reason. He can hit, he can field, and man can he run, a pure athlete who stands out game after game.
His arm from short, his game instincts on the basepaths, and his aggressive style of play while showing composure beyond his years has caught the attention of his coaches, teammates and the opposition.

“Elijah has been impressive, and earned the starting role at short right from the start,” said Jim Swanson, GM of the NightOwls. “For his age, and being away from home for the first time, he’s adjusted well and is a pleasure to be around, not just at the park but with his host family and in the community. He’s dedicated to being the best, and the work he puts in at the gym is a further testament to that.”

The University of Hawaii commit from Wahiawa, HI, which is located north and inland from Honolulu, was named the Gatorade Hawaii Player of the Year for this past spring with Kamehameha Schools Kapalama High School. The Kamehameha Warriors infielder batted .448, stole 26 bases and scored 36 runs to anchor Kamehameha’s run to the state championship. Ickes went 3-for-3 and scored the game-winning run in a 4-3 state final win over Baldwin.


The University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors are excited to have him at Les Murakami Stadium come fall, where he can develop into a true pro prospect after three years of NCAA baseball.


Through 17 games for the NightOwls this season, he’s batting .293 with four doubles and 12 runs driven in, stealing four bases. On defence, he has sparkled with just two errors in 117 innings playing shortstop — and he makes all the tough plays.


Ickes was also named the 2023 Interscholastic League of Honolulu Player of the Year — “The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Ickes as Hawaii’s best high school baseball player,” said a release in early June. Ickes ranks among the state’s top five prospects by PerfectGame, and he maintained a 3.54 GPA — all while volunteering at local food drives and finding time to umpire youth baseball games.


This is as well-rounded a person — not just a player — as you will see on the diamond, and scouts are giving him strong consideration for the upcoming draft.

The NightOwls are home at historic Serauxmen Stadium this weekend, facing the Port Angeles Lefties on Friday night (6:35pm) and day games on Saturday and Sunday (1pm both days), after this current trip with three games against the Yakima Valley Pippins (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday).


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