Hampton’s Eric Weeks makes headlines in 3 sports

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Saturday, April 15, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Hampton senior Eric Weeks’ offseason between basketball and baseball this year lasted about 12 hours.

The morning after Hampton’s PIAA basketball playoff loss March 14, he joined his baseball teammates to take a bus to North Carolina for a three-day camp.

The hectic schedule is standard procedure for Weeks, a rare three-sport varsity athlete at the mid-sized WPIAL school.

“This year, there hasn’t been one week where I haven’t had a five-practice week,” he said. “I’ve loved playing three sports in high school. It’s never been a huge problem for me.”

In an age of increased specialization for young athletes, Weeks moves seamlessly from football in the fall to basketball in the winter to baseball in the spring, starring in each sport and rarely getting any sort of a break.

“You don’t see that, at all, anymore,” Hampton baseball coach Kellen Wheeler said. “The thing that is most amazing is that Eric excels in all three sports.”

Weeks, a wide receiver/defensive back, was named first-team all-Greater Allegheny at all-purpose back last fall and earlier this month earned all-Section 1-4A honors as a guard for the Talbots’ 24-4 basketball team.

In November, the right-handed hitting shortstop signed a national letter of intent with Division I Canisius. Weeks picked the defending MAAC champion over a couple of Division II PSAC schools. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Weeks said he didn’t receive any offers for football or basketball.

“It’s a really good program,” he said of the Buffalo, N.Y., school. “I really liked the head coach (Matt Mazurek) and his coaching philosophy. I’m definitely looking forward to that next year.”

There is still work to be done in Hampton. The Talbots (2-4 as of April 10) snapped a four-game losing streak with an 8-3 victory over Section 4-4A foe North Catholic on April 4 behind a seven-run sixth inning.

“That was a huge energy booster and morale booster for everyone on the team,” Weeks said. “We’ve been capable of that. We just haven’t shown it.”

Through six games, Weeks, who hits third in the lineup, was batting .444 (8 for 18) with a team-leading four stolen bases.

“After the long basketball season, he fell right into everything we needed him to fall into, with hitting, fielding,” Wheeler said. “He’s done a very good job.”

Weeks will graduate with nine varsity letters, earning four in basketball, three in baseball (covid scrapped his freshman season) and two in football, which he didn’t start playing at Hampton until his junior year. He also played travel baseball during the summer with the Pittsburgh Stars before beginning football minicamp each August.

Weeks disagrees that young athletes must specialize in one sport and play year-round to become successful.

“A lot of people think that if you play multiple sports, you can’t excel in one. But I think that’s flawed,” he said. “I don’t think I would be the athlete that I am without playing all those sports. … There are lifelong memories that I have, and I wouldn’t trade anything to focus on one sport, even if (it meant) I could get a little better in baseball.

“I would tell anyone younger than me to play as many sports as you can for as long as you can, because you are going to miss them when they are gone.”

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