Oklahoma high school baseball: How Fort Cobb-Broxton's Jaxon Willits, an OU commit, is following in footsteps of his father
FORT COBB — Jaxon Willits has an intimate view of life as a professional baseball player.
There are several perks of having a father who is the first base coach for the New York Yankees, and this is definitely one of them.
The Fort Cobb-Broxton sophomore shortstop tries to soak in as much as possible during his frequent visits to Yankee Stadium.
“They come focused every day,” Willits said. “There’s a lot to learn from them. Just the way they are mentally in the game all the time.”
Willits has a similar obsession with the game.
An OU commit, he’s one of the top young high school players in the state and will lead Fort Cobb-Broxton in the Class A fall state tournament this week. The Mustangs play Vici in the quarterfinals Thursday at Dolese Park.
Willits is following in the footsteps of his dad, Reggie, who also starred at Fort Cobb-Broxton. The father played at OU and was an outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels from 2006-11. After a successful stint as Binger-Oney’s coach, he accepted a position in 2015 with the Yankees, who are in the midst of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“I’ve always kind of followed him everywhere and done everything he’s done,” Jaxon said.
Fort Cobb-Broxton coach Dale Bellamy has noticed a bunch of similarities between the two.
Bellamy attended Fort Cobb-Broxton, which is roughly 80 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. He is a few years younger than the elder Willits, but his older brother was one of Reggie’s closest friends during high school.
Bellamy watched Reggie work his way from small-school high school baseball to the big leagues. Reggie’s work ethic stood out, and Bellamy is seeing the same thing with Jaxon.
“He’s definitely one of the better ones I’ve coached,” Bellamy said. “He’s a product of his dad. His dad was a hard worker. I mean, he worked his butt off to get where he’s at. He’s kind of instilled that in Jaxon.”
Jaxon and his two younger brothers visit New York about once or twice a month and spend even more time there in the summer.
The boys practice with their dad at Yankee Stadium and have a nice routine in the Big Apple.
“He’ll take us into the field probably from like 11 to 1, then we’ll go back home and come back for the game that night,” Jaxon said.
Jaxon has formed connections with some of the best baseball players in the world, including Yankees right fielder and two-time All-Star Aaron Judge.
Jaxon has played catch with the 6-foot-7, 282-pounder a few times and even received a glove from him.
“He’s pretty close to our family,” Jaxon said.
Jaxon, a switch hitter like his dad, is starting to make a name for himself.
He’s enjoying his high school career and is thrilled about his commitment to the Sooners.
“I chose OU because they were the first school to ever show a whole lot of interest in me,” he said. “I had always grown up going to football games and basketball games there because my mom and dad both went there. I just really felt like it was a good place for me.”