Preseason Countdown: No. 38 Valor Christian



By John Cackowski
State Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage. The top 50 teams are picked from all classifications, and are not divided up by class level. To see the entire list click here

Team: Valor
Preseason Rank: 38
2014 Record: 14-6
Conference: Jeffco
CHSAA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Keith Wahl
Playoff Run: Lost to Fort Morgan 3-2 in 4A District 3 Bracket
2014 Final Rank: 78
Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers: 4

TOP PLAYERS:
Levi Walters, OF, No 46 2016
Sean Rooney, SS, No. 48 2016 (Point Loma Nazarene University)
Nyk Crumrine, 3B/RHP, No 74 2016
Luke McNary, RHP, No. 78 2016
Luke Ziegler, 3B/RHP, No 4 2017
Noah Kuzma, C, No. 10 2017

Blake Donels, OF, No. 38 2017
Joel Pierce, OF, No. 44 2017
Jonathan Boulaphinh, SS, No. 45 2017

 

OTHER PLAYERS WHO CAN MAKE AN IMPACT
Calvin Schonebaum, OF, LHP No. 28 2018
Sean Morton, OF/RHP, 2016
Zach Reid, RHP, 2018
Davis Heller, RHP, 2019

X-FACTOR:

 Chemistry and leadership will be the main focus for the Eagles in 2016. With a team mixed with talent from the 2016 through 2019 classes, the seniors will be asked to lead the Eagles back for a deep 4A playoff run in 2016.

STAT RAT:
Valor was 9-11 in 2015, but 6 of their losses came against teams that were out of state or at the 5A level.

BOTTOM LINE:

Valor has had a very successful program since they opened in the spring of 2008, reaching two 4A Final Fours in the process, and have not been used to losing. 2015 was Valor's first losing season as a program and expect them to come back pretty strong in 2016. They return a lot of starters that produced offensively and on the mound from 2015. Staring with 2017 OF/RHP Joel Pierce, as a sophomore led the Eagles with a .412 batting average, and had 7 doubles. Another 2017 Jonathan Boulaphinh was a force at the plate in 2015 as well. He hit .397 in 2015 and led the team with 29 hits and 8 doubles.  2016 SS and Point Loma Nazarene University commit Sean Rooney. Rooney will be a three year starter in 2016. Rooney hit .321 last spring driving in 11 RBI's. 2016 OF Levi Walters returns to the middle of the lineup. In 2015 Walters hit .300 and showed some pop in his bat and was second on the team with16 RBI's. Walters also had 2 doubles, 3 triples, and 1 homerun. 2016 RHP Nyk Crumrine had a successful 2015 campaign on the mound pitching 36 innings with a 2.53 ERA, and 2016 RHP Luke McNary is fully healthy and could be the difference maker for the Eagles. McNary gave the Eagles 35 innings on the mound in 2015. The Eagles have an impact sophomore in 2017 OF Blake Donnels who hit .300 and led the Eagles in homeruns with 2. Look 2017 C Noah Kuzma to make an impact behind the plate, and look for 2018 Luke Ziegler to be an impact player as well. The Eagles have talent coming back. We might have them ranked a little too low in the Preseason Top 50, however they are dinged a little based off their 2015 record. We would not be surprised if the Eagles are in the mix in the 4A Final 8.


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