Preseason Nebraska high school baseball capsules

CLASS A

Bellevue East

Coach: Don Kiviniemi, 16th year. 2016: 14-14.

Returning starters – Seniors: Nick Moeser, OF; Levi Lariviere, 3B; Zach Acamo, C; Tanner Crompton, 2B/P. Juniors: Jaxon Walls, SS/P; Alex Pavon, OF/P; Conner Brown, OF.

Outlook: Chieftains have potential but could use more offensive production.

Bellevue West

Coach: Jason Shockey, 3rd year. 2016: 22-7.

Returning starters – Seniors: Kenny Allred, OF; Bryce Walker, C; C.J. Hlavac, P/SS; Cam Taylor, P; Caleb Goetz, 3B; Duncan O’Boyle, C/INF. Juniors: Matt Koenigsman, OF/P; Micah Savine, P/2B.

Outlook: The Thunderbirds return several starters, including top pitchers Hlavac and Taylor; missing state last spring is added motivation.

Columbus

Coach: Scott Loseke, 2nd year. 2016: 7-21.

Returning starters – Seniors: Andrew Alstadt, C; Brady Dugan, 2B; Jarod Augustine, UTIL. Juniors: Jacob Morse, OF; Trevor Kaslon, 1B; Logan Mueller, SS.

Outlook: The Discoverers have some good young arms but those players lack experience.

Fremont Bergan

Coach: Jeff Hayden, 5th year. 2016: 12-12.

Returning starters – Seniors: Tyler Push, SS; Kaden Hendrix, 2B/P; Caleb Hartman, C; Drew Poulas, CF/P; Nick Hill, 1B.

Outlook: Young players will need to step up to fill the void left by graduation.

Grand Island

Coach: Joe Wells, 1st year. 2016: 22-7, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Juniors: Shay Schanaman, SS/P. Sophomores: Sam Wibbels, P.

Outlook: New coach Wells must replace 14 graduated seniors; the two returning starters anchor the pitching staff.

Lincoln East

Coach: Scott Standish, 3rd year. 2016: 9-18.

Returning starters – Seniors: Max White, CF; Cade Mahlberg, OF/1B/P; Jake Adkisson, UTIL; Josk Makovicka, OF. Juniors: Max Reinert, C; Rece Snyder, P/1B.

Outlook: Spartans expect to show improvement with the return of six starters.

Lincoln High

Coach: Daniel Beckmann, 2nd year. 2016: 6-16.

Returning starters – Seniors: De’Angelo Sommers, CF/P; Garrett Brockman, P; Cameron Wynne, SS/P; Max Streckfuss, P; Wyatt Vivier, 2B. Juniors: Bobby Mercier, 1B/P.

Outlook: The Links return four of their top five pitchers.

Lincoln North Star

Coach: Lanny Bolles, 14th year. 2016: 12-13.

Returning starters – Seniors: Kaden Barnes, P; Braden Dey, OF; Chase Lauver, OF; Jake Mangels, INF/P; Chase Martin, OF/P; Luke Recker, OF. Juniors: Wade Deist, INF/P. Sophomores: Gavyn Leitschuck, C/P.

Outlook: Defense is a strength for the Navigators.

Lincoln Northeast

Coach: Jeff Fagler, 2nd year. 2016: 18-11, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Talon Little, SS/C/P; Caden Highsmith, SS/C/P; Jacob Stewart, 2B/OF.

Outlook: The Rockets graduated nine off last year’s state tourney team; pitching staff appears solid.

Lincoln Southeast

Coach: Montana Jones, 2nd year. 2016: 16-9, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Brian Meyer, OF; Brett Sheppard, SS/2B; Aiden Bennett, C; Crew Charlton, P/2B. Juniors: Garrett Olson, P/SS; Nate Trenhaile, 3B. Sophomores: Logan Van Treeck, P.

Outlook: The Knights’ ability to replace their top three graduated pitchers will be a big key to this season.

Lincoln Southwest

Coach: Mitch Vernon, 1st year. 2016: 24-9, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Max McGuire, C; Isaiah Peterson, OF; Logan Sartori, UTIL; Justin Matthews, UTIL; Skye Harnly, OF; Tyler Burgason, INF; Jared Ladd, INF. Juniors: Grant Bohling, INF; Matt Perez, INF.

Outlook: An inexperienced pitching staff will be the biggest hurdle for new coach Vernon.

Millard North

Coach: Dave Cork, 16th year. 2016: 16-16.

Returning starters – Seniors: Aaron Gerdes, SS; Andrew Wine, CF; Noah Sacco, LF; Josh Heller, C; Camden Parks, P; Jordan Ritzdorf, P; Jake Cera, P; Andy Waughn, P.

Outlook: Mustangs, who lost nine games by two runs or less last year, hope to build off a successful 2016 American Legion season.

Millard South

Coach: Greg Geary, 7th year. 2016: 25-8, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Joe Folkers, 3B/P; Zane McAtee, 1B/OF. Juniors: Drew Gilin, SS; Kyle Perry, OF/P; David Benjamin, C.

Outlook: The Patriots graduated 11 off last year’s 25-win squad; Gilin and Perry are Nebraska recruits.

Millard West

Coach: Steve Frey, 2nd year. 2016: 28-6, state runner-up.

Returning starters – Seniors: Garrett Kocis, INF/OF; Will Olson, C; Brandon McClintock, 2B. Juniors: Brenden Tauber, CF; Tyler Bandiera, RF; Colby Gomes, SS; Easton Young, P.

Outlook: Wildcats, in quest of their elusive first state title, appear to be the team to beat; Gomes is an NU recruit, Kocis a Wichita State recruit.

Omaha Burke

Coach: Scott Hodges, 11th year. 2016: 12-16.

Returning starters – Seniors: Jake Re, OF; Connor McGonigal, P. Juniors: Nick Hall, 3B; Hunter Waugh, P/1B; Will Maschka, 2B.

Outlook: Bulldogs have only three seniors but the younger classes appear to have some talent.

Omaha Central

Coach: Jerry Kreber, 5th year. 2016: 12-19.

Returning starters – Seniors: Colin Lefeber, UTIL; Mark Timmins, SS/P; Sam Messbarger, P/UTIL; Yogi Eubanks, P; CJ Nelson, OF; Marshall Biven, INF. Juniors: Brendan Andersen, C; Jonah Spencer, OF.

Outlook: Eagles have some pitching depth but offense needs to step up.

Omaha Creighton Prep

Coach: Pat Mooney, 18th year. 2016: 28-4, state champion.

Returning starters – Seniors: Josh Culliver, P; Tommy Steier, P; Nate Reiner, OF; Zach Philbin, P. Juniors: Dylan Phillips, P; Owen Richter, C.

Outlook: The graduation of 14 players from last year’s juggernaut will give many young players a chance to step up.

Omaha Northwest

Coach: Jordan Haas, 2nd year. 2016: 7-20.

Returning starters – Seniors: Mark Lewis, OF; Connor Chavis, OF; Frank Montanez, 3B. Juniors: Nick Adamy, SS; Zach Schlotman, 2B; Tyler Lyster, OF. Sophomores: Parker Lingelbach, OF; Austin Adams, C; Tyler Chavis, UTIL.

Outlook: Huskies made progress last year and hope to take another step forward.

Omaha South

Coach: Gene Felise, 3rd year. 2016: 2-22.

Returning starters – Juniors: Jose Martinez, 2B; Jaysson Valle, CF; Michael DeLeon, OF. Sophomores: Jeremiah Perales, UTIL; Jose Villagomez, 3B/P.

Outlook: Packers hope to use their speed to their advantage.

Omaha Westside

Coach: Bob Greco, 24th year. 2016: 11-20.

Returning starters – Seniors: Nick Henrichs, P/1B; Jaidyn Hoffman, OF. Juniors: Michael Reinert, INF; Brian Leiferman, INF.

Outlook: Warriors, coming off a very un-Westside-like season, hope to get back on the winning track.

Papillion-La Vista

Coach: Nate McCabe, 5th year. 2016: 20-11.

Returning starters – Seniors: Mike Ripa, INF; Ben Crnkovich, P; David Richardson, OF. Juniors: Caleb Feekin, INF/P; Caiden Hill, INF.

Outlook: Always-tough Monarchs appear to have another quality team; a loss to Prep in last year’s district final will serve as motivation.

Papillion-La Vista South

Coach: Bill Lynam, 14th year. 2016: 20-12, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Aaron Palensky, 3B; Dakota Smith, 1B/P; Evan Horton, LF; Matt Hunt, RF. Juniors: Ryan Petersen, P/1B; Jadyn Frederick, SS.

Outlook: Titans could use more pitching; hitting and defense will be strengths.

CLASS B

Arlington

Coach: Rusty Hilgenkamp, 2nd year. 2016: 16-4, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Andy Theiler, INF/P; Braden Johnson, INF/P; Garris Karr, OF/P; Trevor Toebben, INF; Grant Miller, INF/P; Noah Reed, C/OF; Hayden Penny, C/OF. Juniors: Jackson Borgmann, INF; Clayton Koch, P/OF.

Outlook: Eagles return much of the team that reached state last season for the first time since 1970.

Bennington

Coach: Scott Heese, 8th year. 2016: 9-12.

Returning starters – Seniors: Todd Cerny, 1B/P; Seth Krayneski, 3B/P. Juniors: Grant Carl, OF/P; Mitch den Bosch, P; Cole Schumacher, P; Jacob Wageman, SS/CF; Zach Wullenwaber, C/DH.

Outlook: Badgers should show improvement; consistent hitting will be the key.

Blair

Coach: Mike O’Kane, 1st year. 2016: 18-8, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Mills Macek, P/INF/OF; Dylan Rahlfs, OF.

Outlook: The Bears graduated eight seniors off last year’s state tournament team; less-experienced seniors will need to step up.

Crete

Coach: Jeremy Fries, 6th year.

Returning starters – Seniors: Spencer Steinhoff, 3B/P; Garrett Skillett, C/INF; Hunter Persing, 1B/OF; Trevor Nickel, INF/P; Payton Schaneman, INF/P. Juniors: Carter Kent, 1B/P; Blake Feeken, SS/P; Logan Adam, OF/P; Ethan Mach, OF/P.

Outlook: Hopes are high for the Cardinals, who lost just one pitcher to graduation.

Douglas County West

Coach: Trey Baker, 1st year. 2016: 3-17.

Returning starters – Seniors: Nick Kahlandt, 3B/P; Travis Glidden, C. Juniors: Anderson Graham, SS/P; Bryce McClarnen, 1B/P; Peyton Weiss, OF/P; Trevor Wald, OF/3B; Brock Renter, UTIL/P; Caden Hays, OF/P; Jake O’Connor, 2B.

Outlook: The squad hopes to continue its success from the summer American Legion season.

Falls City

Coach: Kory Huppert, 3rd year. 2016: 4-16.

Returning starters – Seniors: Parker Thompson, P/2B; Brett Black, 3B. Juniors: Noah Milam, P/1B; Ransom Campbell, C/P; Jake Craig, P/INF. Sophomores: Collin Cook, SS/P; Phoenix Martin, OF.

Outlook: Pitching and defense will be the keys for the Tigers to keep making progress.

Fort Calhoun

Coach: Roy Prauner, 6th year. 2016: 6-13.

Returning starters – Seniors: Cole Bradburn; Hunter Howell; Brennan Clausen. Juniors: Jamie Warner; Connor Linnebrink; Gatt Ware; Jave King; Zach Imig.

Outlook: Speed is one asset for the Pioneers, who set a school record for stolen bases last season.

Gretna

Coach: Jake Wolf, 7th year. 2016: 13-19, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Grant Bruner, C/INF; AJ Cotton, P/UTIL; Brayden Hardies, INF; Carter Kocian, INF; Gage Larsen, P/INF; Caden Mason, OF/P; Ryan Samuelson, P. Juniors: Brody Riecken, OF/P.

Outlook: Several seniors return from the squad that went 2-2 at the state tourney last year.

Hastings

Coach: Blake Marquardt, 1st year.

Returning starters – Seniors: Vincent Schmidt, 2B/P; Cade Aker, OF/P; Blayne Dreher, OF/P. Juniors: Josh Brooks, UTIL; Connor Laux, SS/P; Tyson Gatto, OF/P; Tyson Bonham, UTIL/P; Michael Shaw, P; Bryant Warrick, 2B. Sophomores: Jackson Hoops.

Outlook: The Tigers hope to make some noise for new coach Marquardt.

Lincoln Pius X

Coach: Troy Charf, 12th year. 2016: 15-10.

Returning starters – Seniors: Riley Ward, INF; Brock Wordekemper, INF/OF; Derek Kolbush, INF; Jackson Arndt, C.

Outlook: Thunderbolts have a nice mix of returning players and promising newcomers.

Nebraska City

Coach: Tom Bales, 18th year. 2016: 13-8.

Returning starters – Seniors: Brennen Bales, INF; Andrew Harrah, C/P; Hayden Miller, INF/P; Jared Nemec, INF/P; Jake Kreifel, OF/INF.

Outlook: The outfield positions and a lack of depth are concerns for the Pioneers.

Norris

Coach: Sean Bartholomew, 1st year. 2016: 23-8, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Garrison Gustin, UTIL; Tommy Sullivan, P. Juniors: Austin Schultz, INF; Will Reetz, INF; Zach Argo, P/C.

Outlook: New coach for the Titans, who appear to be back in the title hunt once again; Argo was 8-1 last season on the mound.

Omaha Concordia/Omaha Brownell-Talbot

Coach: Dan Kraft, 4th year. 2016: 14-8.

Returning starters – Seniors: Nate Schwanke, P/1B; Kamen Mahoney, 3B/SS; Thomas Tews, 3B/SS; Jared Hemphill, OF/P; Jackson Cummins, C/OF; Jacob Day, 2B/P. Juniors: Ryan Ehresman, CF; Buck Leinen, P/1B.

Outlook: The Mustangs look solid with the return of eight seniors, including Class B’s top hitter Mahoney (.556); Schwanke expected to help anchor a strong pitching staff.

Omaha Gross

Coach: Mike Filipowicz, 28th year. 2016: 11-11.

Returning starters – Seniors: Alex Knicky, P/OF.

Outlook: Cougars have only one returning starter. New players will get a chance to prove themselves.

Omaha Roncalli

Coach: Jake Hoover, 3rd year. 2016: 10-12.

Returning starters – Seniors: Tyler Kloewer, SS; Zach Wiese, OF. Juniors: Tommy Alitz, INF; Noah Rheinheimer, C; Logan McGill, INF; Max Anderson, OF. Sophomores: Alex Rodgers, OF.

Outlook: Crimson Pride will be young once again. The return of shortstop Kloewer (.364) is a positive.

Omaha Skutt

Coach: Shawn Exner, 7th year. 2016: 23-5, state runner-up.

Returning starters – Seniors: Ryan Moritz, SS/P; Brandon Anderson, P/1B; Brett Miller, C/P/3B; Hunter Schwartzkopf, P/1B; Billy McGuire, P; Ethan Hall, OF/P; Connor Fenton, C/1B; Drew Perry, 3B/P; Michael Evans, UTIL. Juniors: JD Daro, OF; Jackson Gordon, 2B/P; Jack Johnson, OF/P.

Outlook: SkyHawks appear to be one of the top Class B teams, coming off a state runner-up finish last spring and a strong American Legion season last summer.

Platte Valley

Coach: Shawn Emanuel, 2nd year. 2016: 11-10.

Returning starters – Seniors: Trevor Ziemba, C/P; Jarred O’Malley, P/3B; Scott Wuster, P/SS; Ross Manley, 1B; Levi Kalt, CF.

Outlook: Squad hopes to improve on last year’s 11-win performance.

Platteview

Coach: Bryan Dutcher, 4th year. 2016: 12-11.

Returning starters – Seniors: Corey Stanton, P/OF; Gage Duda, P/3B; Trent Lorenz, 2B. Sophomores: Caden Mathewson, P/SS.

Outlook: The Trojans appear sound defensively; will still need younger players to step up.

Plattsmouth

Coach: Jim Olsen, 6th year. 2016: 3-15.

Returning starters – Seniors: Richard Hasty, P/3B; Johnny Mumford, CF. Juniors: Josh Aho, C; Luke Setlak, INF; Draven Ray, 1B/P. Sophomores: Dylan Mayfield, P/UTIL.

Outlook: The Blue Devils hope to begin reaping the benefits of a select program it started when it began varsity baseball.

Ralston

Coach: Tim Winters, 4th year. 2016: 15-9.

Returning starters – Seniors: Jackson Tingwald, P/1B; Donovan Warren, CF/P; Jared Remar, LF/P; Noah Petersen, C; Connor Beck, RF; Robbie Chleborad, P. Juniors: Nate Sailors, P/SS.

Outlook: With the return of seven starters and the addition of three transfers, the Rams are poised for a solid season.

Seward

Coach: Brock Anderson, 6th year. 2016: 11-9.

Returning starters – Seniors: Jake Reeves, C; Max Slepicka, OF; Taryn Dredge, P; Corbin Ruth, OF. Sophomores: Brett Meyer, SS; Joseph Krause, 2B; Derek Holtorf, DH.

Outlook: The Bluejays will need seniors to step up to bolster the pitching.

South Sioux City

Coach: Jared Small, 2nd year. 2016: 5-14.

Returning starters – Seniors: Micah DeHarty, P/INF; Denten Porter, P/INF; Alan Dungan, OF; Mason Hetrick, OF; John Horner, P/OF; Anakin Porter, P/INF.

Outlook: The Cardinals have senior experience and should show improvement.

Thurston-Cuming County

Coach: Clay Haymart, 7th year. 2016: 3-12.

Returning starters – Seniors: Dylan Roth, SS/P; Aaron Ras, P; Caleb Gubbles, 2B. Juniors: Brady Oliver, OF; Blake Erikson, DH; Jacob Zulhke, C.

Outlook: Young team will need the underclassmen to step up.

Wahoo/Raymond Central/Lincoln Lutheran

Coach: Kyle Weyers, 10th year. 2016: 14-11.

Returning starters – Seniors: Mitchell McGill, OF/P; Brenton Davis, UTIL/P; INF/P; Tow Tewes, INF/P. Juniors: Cameron Quick, UTIL/P; Kasey Ohnoutka, INF; Billy Hancock, C/INF; Dylan Egr, UTIL/P.

Outlook: The return of three three-year starting seniors is a plus.

Waverly

Coach: Kyle Parker, 1st year. 2016: 12-12, state qualifier.

Returning starters – Seniors: Tyson Brown, P/2B; Trevor Steinmeyer, P/1B. Juniors: Rylan Gubbles, P/OF.

Outlook: The Vikings graduated 11 from last year’s state tourney squad. Young players will need to step up.

Wayne/Wakefield

Coach: Adam Hoffman, 6th year. 2016: 2-16.

Returning starters – Seniors: Payten Gamble, UTIL/P; Adam Bentjen, P; Tyler Lutt, INF/P; Caden Korth, INF/P. Juniors: Zane Jackson, C/P; Julio Sanchez, INF/P; Brennen O’Reilly, OF.

Outlook: Several starters return so improvement is expected.

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