Lincoln's Sola stands tall in batter's box

Fighting Zebras' star is only a sophomore
By: Jim Linsdau News Messenger Sports Editor
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Sometimes athletic talent isn’t always obvious, but with one Lincoln youth it stands out like a sore thumb, or perhaps a broken hand. Jake Sola, a 14-year-old sophomore at Lincoln High School, was a three-sport athlete until he realized too much participation might jeopardize his one major love – baseball. For that reason he gave up football, but plans to continue playing basketball for the Fighting Zebras. “I played football my freshman year,” Sola said, “but I didn’t want to hurt my knee further.” As an underclassman, Sola suffered a strained ACL playing basketball. Sola recently returned from a 22-day trip back east where he played in the Continental Amateur Baseball Association (CABA) 14U tournament for NorCal under Bob Bruno out of the Bay Area. They traveled back to Chicago and Tennessee for a couple of tournaments where Sola opened some eyes. He hit .630 for a batting average in Nashville, and hit a monster shot over the left-field fence. His play helped his club take second out of 50 teams. Sola then joined the NorCal 15U team in Chicago and hit a 390-foot blast over the centerfield fence in that tournament. “He was playing travel ball when he was 8-years-old,” said Jeff Sola, Jake’s father. “He started playing Little League at 4.” At 6-foot, 3-inches, 190 pounds, Jake Sola is already an imposing figure on the field. He makes a great target at first base, but played shortstop as a freshman because the Zebras didn’t have anyone else to play there. His swing is so strong that he once broke his hand hitting a home run; however, he didn’t know it until six months later. When his hand started to bother him they took him in for an MRI and discovered he’d broken a bone. Jake Sola also excels in the classroom where he carries a 3.6 grade-point-average. “I’m a scholar-athlete,” said the young Sola. “My dream is to some way go to college and get drafted, or get drafted out of high school.” Jeff Sola said his son’s travels did add to the family’s bills, but he wants Jake to have every opportunity to achieve his goals. Although Jake Sola seems well on his way in baseball, he has another goal in life – charity. Jake Sola is starting a Toys for Tots program in Lincoln, and wants to get started right away. It’s a fundraiser he and his grandmother started and he asks anyone willing to please make a donation by e-mailing, or call (916) 778-7996. “I want to start now so I can be ready for the year,” said Jake Sola. “I’ve always liked helping people out. It’s a way for me to give back.” E-mail News Messenger Sports at