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Future is bright for LCHS’ Zakye Hawkins


Las Cruces High’s Zakye Hawkins is wrapping up his high school baseball career, but knows there is plenty to look forward to in his future. 

The 18-year-old senior announced he had committed to the University of Utah back in October of 2022, later signing his letter of intent to play with the Utes baseball team on November 11, 2023. 

While on his visit to Salt Lake City he said the clean fresh air and the aura of the city attracted him right away, But talking with the Utah baseball coaching staff and hearing their knowledge and love for the game attracted him even more. 

“Todd Guilliams is our hitting coach out there. They call him the ‘guru’ and I agree with them,” Hawkins said. “For two hours on our visit we just talked, me, my dad and my mom, went in his office and talked about hitting and I did not want to leave at all because I’m fascinated with hitting.” 

Hawkins said coach Guilliams played a large role in his decision after their discussion about hitting. The young man understands he needs to continue to develop his game and after his visit, he felt Utah was just the place for that. 

Zakye Hawkins approaches the end of his high school baseball career with a .485 batting average.
Zakye Hawkins approaches the end of his high school baseball career with a .485 batting average.

Utah wasn’t the only Division I school fighting to get Hawkins on their squad. In fact, there was a whole list of teams intrigued by the 6-foot-1 shortstop. At the time New Mexico State, University of New Mexico, Utah Valley, Air Force, Grand Canyon University, Arizona State University and Utah were all looking at him.

He said Utah is hoping to use him at either shortstop, third base or second base – but he’s willing to play wherever they need him. As of right now, Hawkins is posted up as the Bulldawgs’ standout shortstop and pitches as well. 

That’s not all that’s happening for Hawkins. He’s also gained interest from several MLB organizations who are hoping to add his talent to their respected teams in this year’s draft or later down the road. 

Some of those teams include the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics and New York Mets. 

“They’re good people, they say, ‘Text me if you need anything, if you need any knowledge’ stuff like that, they’re good people,” Hawkins said about his conversations with pro scouts. 

Hawkins played varsity football for LCHS as well, before making the tough decision to focus solely on baseball. He said having that conversation going into his junior year of high school with Coach Mark Lopez, the head football coach, was hard but at the end of the day he’s always dreamed about becoming a professional baseball player. 

“Those two days after I went in there and talked to him (Coach Lopez) about it, I was crying, I got really emotional just because I felt like I was leaving my brothers that I built a huge relationship with,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins comes from a talented athletic family. The legendary Bulldawg and NM State basketball player Gordo Castillo is his uncle. Hawkins called him his role model.

“Just him being there is a really big help for me and the legacy he’s left in this town made me want to be the next person to leave a legacy and show people that Cruces is a place where a lot of ballplayers can come out of,” Hawkins said. 

As his high school baseball career approaches its end, Hawkins has a batting average of .485, with 10 RBI’s, four doubles, one triple and one home run. He’s also superb on the defensive side, with a .945 fielding percentage. 

And it is possible Las Cruces may soon have a young athlete representing the city and state not only at the college level, but even one day at the pro level. 

Zakye Hawkins, high school baseball, Las Cruces High