By: Brian Burkhart Prep Reporter Twitter: @BrianESPN
1st - Clinton (12-4)
· The Clinton Cougars varsity team will try to repeat as Rock Valley South Champions for the second straight season. They were led by Justin Langley a 6’7 pitcher, who was awarded the team MVP in 2012. He will be a big loss for the team and for the starting pitching rotation. Justin is currently playing his college baseball for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
· Another ace pitcher Aaron Roth graduated last year for the Cougars, and will further more deplete the strength of the pitching for 2013. Also outfielder James Kollasch has moved on to play college baseball, he had the best batting average for the Cougars his senior year.
· The only junior that was put on the honorable mention list for Clinton is current two sport athlete, Cody Risseeuw. Also a star on the men’s basketball team, he will be looked at among the team as the senior leader, who can lead them to another conference crown.
2nd – Beloit Turner (10-6)
· The Trojans will be losing big time outfielder Sam Burns, who led the team in RBI’s last season.
· Brandon Noack a 1st team player in 2012 will be a returning bright spot for the club, as he is the only underclass man to make 1st team. The outfielder has the highest batting average on the team his junior year, making him a hot bat at the plate.
· Junior Pitcher Clayton Stenulson got 2nd team all honors, posting a 4-2 record with only a 3.2 ERA. He will be a big part of the pitching rotation going into the 2013 season.
· Freshman Zach Virgin and JC Hughes both received 2nd team honors for their production on defense and at the plate. Hughes was the starting right outfielder for Beloit Turner and Virgin was the utility guy.
3rd – Parkview (9-7)
· Junior Trevor Aasen earned 1st team honors in 2012 for his hitting and great plays behind the plate. Aasen was regarded as one of the top catchers in the conference, only being a junior. His batting average was .335, while hitting 6 home runs. With Aasen standing at 6’2 he is a big body behind the plate, which is one reason he has had so much success at that position for Parkview.
· Juniors Alex Hauri, James Lavery and Brendan Neal all received 2nd team honors, and will be returning for hopefully a very talented senior season. Lavery a 6’3 pitcher posted a 3-0 record allowing 0 earned runs, for the first games of the 2012 season. Parkview hopes that he can continue this trend into the 2013 season.
· Parkview sees five returning juniors to start their 2013 season, which looks to be loaded with talent and leadership. All five juniors made conference honors and along with star sophomore Nick Henning, Parkview looks to move up significantly in the conference standings this year.
4th – Palmyra – Eagle (9-7)
· Big Lose will be losing Senior Infielder Adan Covarrubias, who earned 1st team, honors in 2012. He was a jack of all trades player for Palmyra, who not only was an all-star shortstop but also earned a 2-1 pitching record during the season.
· Junior Tanner Gess will be a returning player earning 2nd team last season. Lucas Houk also a junior was honorable mention last year.
· Palmyra looks to improve on a mediocre season last year, finishing in the middle of the conference with a 9-7 record. They will be without Covarrubias their star senior player last year, and it will be expected for someone new to step into the leadership role. With no a lot of returning talent, they will need to work together as a team to improve their record from the previous year.
5th – Big Foot (8-8)
· The loss of both seniors, third baseman Luke Hahl and catcher Tyler Santeler will be a big blow to the team heading into the new year. Hahl was the star on Big Foot’s 8-8 team, earning himself 1st team with his defensive talents at third base. Santeler was another great player, among some of the best catchers in the conference even if the record may say different.
· Big Foot looks to finish the 2013 season above .500 and they look to be poised do to that with the underclassman having another year under their belt. Junior Carter Hehr, a first baseman for the Cougars, will be asked to become the captain of this young Big Foot team this season.
· With talent looking to be far and in-between for Big Foot this season, they will rely on steady pitching from a young pitching staff that is mostly comprised of juniors. Finishing second to last in the conference in 2012, Big Foot looks to get any sort of momentum early in the season.
6th – Brodhead (5-11)
· A big loss to the Cardinals is senior Tate Harnack, a two sport athlete who excelled on the basketball court as well as the baseball diamond. The starting centerfielder for the Cardinals last year earned 1st team honors because of his ball hawking abilities in the outfield. He was the lone bright spot, besides Tyler Malcook on a Brodhead team that finished at the bottom of the 2012 South standings.
· Sophomore Kyle Wescott, a left fielder for the Cardinals looks to be their best playing coming into the 2013 season. He was moved up the varsity the beginning of his sophomore year and has found a nice spot in the starting lineup. As only a sophomore he earned 2nd team honors in 2012, hitting .312 on the season.
· Junior Trent Gerlach, earned 2nd team honors. This Cardinal team can only move up this year, finishing last in the conference not only in standings up almost every other category. They bring in a 2013 team that doesn’t have any star power but does have good youth. If sophomore Kyle Wescott can produce even more his junior year, it may be enough to push Brodhead over the hump into relevancy.
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