Preseason Countdown No. 43 Horizon



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: Horizon
Preseason Rank: 
43
2015 Record: 13-7-1
Conference: 
Front Range
CHSAA Class: 5A
Head Coach: Ralph Garcia
Playoff Run: Lost in 5A District 3 Championship 9-2 to Monarch
2015 Final Rank: 41 

Returning Starters: 5
Returning Pitchers:
 3

TOP PLAYERS:
Austin Gussman LHP/OF No. 24 2016 (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley )
Jordan Humphries 3B, 2016
Daniel Moore Utility, 2017
Aaron Griffith 3B, 2017

OTHERS PLAYERS WHO COULD MAKE AN IMPACT
Dylan Bowman 1B, 2017
Charles Lund, Utility, 2016


X-FACTOR: 
Pitching. The Hawks have to find a way to replace 85 innings on the mound that graduated last year. They have Austin Gussman who will lead the staff, but for the Hawks to return to the playoffs this year, they will have to have some new arms step up.

KEY PLAYERS LOST:
Ayden Karraker
Jordan Hill
Tanner Nickoloff 

STAT RAT:  
Horizon was a perfect 25 for 25 on stolen bases last year.  Putting running pressure on the other team's defense is a good weapon to have going forward.

BOTTOM LINE:
Horizon will once again play in the formidable 5A Front Range League.  There are some questions that need to be answered as the season gets going, especially on the mound. Austin Gussman will be called upon heavily to lead the Hawks both on the mound to build upon his 3-1 record and at the plate where he finished with 9 runs scored and 3 extra base hits.  Jordan Humphries with his 16 hits, 7 of them for extra bases and 11 RBI will anchor the Hawks lineup and he will be called upon to solidify the left side of the infield. The last two years the Hawks have come close to making the 5A Final 8 but lost in the District Championship game. We will see if past year's experience can catapult them in the 5A State Championship Playoffs.