The recruiting interest began to pick up for Madison infielder Luke Belt last summer while he was playing with the Evoshield Canes 17U Central squad.

Schools like James Madison, VMI, Radford and George Washington loved his arm strength and power at the plate but weren’t willing to pull the trigger on an offer.

With no offers on the table to begin this season, Belt was strongly considering going the junior college route in the hopes to land at a high level Division 1 baseball program. But before Madison went to its spring break tournament in South Carolina, the University of Cincinnati offered him an athletic scholarship.


Without even taking a visit, Belt committed to Cincinnati during spring break, putting an end to a strenuous recruiting process for the senior third baseman.

“When I got back from South Carolina, I planned to visit, but after talking to coach [Mark] Pudge [Gjormand] and the Canes program, I knew they were the right fit,” Belt said.

He finally visited the school last weekend and watched the Bearcats sweep Memphis.

“That visit was simply eye opening,” Belt said. “I loved everything about it. I spent a lot of time with freshman Bob Blissit, Jr. and a bunch of other guys showed me around as well. I got the full experience.”

Belt said he and first-year coach Ty Neal got along well, and he liked that the baseball team was attempting to become on the level of the basketball program, which is a frequent fixture in top 25 polls.

“I get to play in a power conference, and if the opportunity presents itself to play in the MLB, I will have every resource available to do so,” Belt said. “They have the best facilities and competition for all their sports.”

While playing third base this season, he’s hit .414 with six doubles and one home run. He’s also batted in 15 runs to go along with 12 stolen bases. This is his second season with the Warhawks varsity team after spending his freshman and sophomore seasons at Flint Hill.


The number of scholarships handed out to D.C. high school seniors by the D.C. State Athletic Association Wednesday night through a new scholarship program that it hopes to expand in the future. The 21 scholarships were given to student-athletes also involved in  student government, student newspaper and yearbook, a poetry club and the National Honor Society.


— Stone Ridge junior Katie Ledecky, a two-time All-Met swimmer and Olympic gold medalist, orally committed to Stanford Thursday.

— Wilson captured the boys’ and girls’ team titles at Thursday’s DCIAA outdoor track championships at Spingarn. The championship was the boys’ first title since 2006 and the girls’ first since 2003.

— The Washington Interscholastic Lacrosse League has expanded the sport’s reach in the District with public and charter schools vying for spots in the league’s inaugural postseason.

— In Montgomery County softball, Blair defeated Magruder 6-2 to advance to secure the 4A West region title and advance to the Maryland state semifinals.

— At a Thursday pep rally, Damascus All-Met defensive back Jalen Christian orally committed to South Carolina over Maryland, Virginia Tech, Kentucky and Wisconsin.


The Wilson Tigers took the boys’ and girls’ team titles back to Northwest at Thursday’s DCIAA outdoor track championships at Spingarn.