Preseason Countdown: No.18 Air Academy

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: Air Academy
Preseason Rank: 18
2015 Record: 16-5
Conference: Pikes Peak
CHSAA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Doug Goldberg
Playoff Run: Lost to D'Evelyn 4-0 in Class 4A District 4 Championship Game
2015 Final Rank: 24
Returning Starters: 5
Returning Pitchers: 3

Bailey Hansen, OF/RHP, No. 13 2016 (Pacific)
Cole McKissock, SS, No. 25 2016 (Appalachian State)
Vance Harper, C, 2016
Josh Dudden, MIF, 2017
Mike Singleton, RHP, 2016

James Verlinde, RHP, 2017
Kobie Schmitt, OF, 2016


The Kadets have experience talent coming back. We expect this to help them get through the District Playoffs and make the Final 8 for the first time since 2012.

Ryan McCarthy: Santa Clara

The Kadets pitching was their strength in 2015. They only gave up 81 runs (3.8 runs a game)


The Kadets have been one of the more successful programs in the state over the last 8 years. Since 2008, the Kadets split between 5A and 4A have gone and impressive 105 and 42. This year might be another Final Four run for them as they return a lot of talent. 2016 RHP/OF Bailey Hansen (Pacific) returns a .386 batting average and 17 RBI's from 2015. Hansen also will be their number 1 option on the mound with an upper 80's fastball. Last year he pitched 21 innings on the mound. 2016 SS Cole McKissock (Appalachian State) hit .304 last year, and is one of the more athletic shortstops in the state. 2017 MIF Josh Dudden was second on the team in batting with a .407 batting average. He brings speed to the bases and also led the Kadets with 4 triples. 2016 C Vance Harper hit .391 last year and provides some pop in his bat. 2016 RHP Mike Singleton will be another starter on the mound returning. He had a 3 and 1 record and had 28 strikeouts in 22 innings. In limited at bats he also hit .318. The Kadets have a great opportunity to build off their success last year and could make a 4A Final Four run this spring.  

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