Preseason Team Countdown: No. 22 Jacobs

By Ryan Quigley
Illinois Scouting 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:

Preseason Rank: 22
2014 Record: 24-14
Conference: Fox Valley Conference – Valley Division
IHSA Class: 4A 
Head Coach: Jamie Murray
Playoff Run: Lost in Sectional Final to Prairie Ridge
2014 Final Rank: NR
Returning Starters:
Returning Pitchers: 6

Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Brenden Heiss, RHP, 2016 (Arkansas)
Ryan Sargent, RHP/OF, 2015 (Ohio)
John Rohde, RHP, 2016
Mike Addante, OF, 2017
Casey Dennison, RHP/OF/1B, 2016
Matt Kozlak, SS, 2015 (Roosevelt)
Daniel Tenayuca, RHP/MIF, 2015
Nate Meland, 2B, 2016
Owen Oreskovich, 3B, 2015 (McHenry County College)

Junior RHP Brenden Heiss flashed 90-92 mph fastball velocity, touching 95 mph, in August at the PBR Future Games. Reports have his fastball touching 96 mph this winter. Currently ranked No. 4 in Illinois’ loaded 2016 class and No. 15 overall, Heiss has the pure stuff to dominant any offense if he’s on his game. The Arkansas commit will also provide some punch in the middle of the lineup with his bat.

Junior RHP/OF/1B Casey Dennison was compared to potential ace RHP Ryan Sargent by head coach Jamie Murray for his ability to make an impact at the plate and on the mound. Murray also said to watch for junior 2B Nate Meland, a highly athletic middle infielder with Division-I tools.

Reilly Peltier, RHP, 2014 (McHenry County CC)
Ben Murray, INF, 2014
Grant Kale, INF, 2014

The Golden Eagles finished second in conference in 2014 behind Huntley, and the incoming juniors won conference as sophomores last season. Murray’s squad will look to capture their first conference championship in school history.

Murray noted, “We have a group of players who have won at all levels and have high expectations. Winning our first conference title in school history and making to Joliet are on top of the list. They understand nothing will be handed to them and we feel very confident in their ability to take it one game at a time.” On the mound, Heiss and Sargent could form one of the top 1-2 punches, capable of competing with any staff in the state. Junior RHP John Rohde is capable of touching the upper 80s and could be a weapon at the back of the bullpen. The Golden Eagles are also strong up the middle with the return of senior shortstop Matt Kozlak, who’ll lead the offensive charge. The lineup boasts additional accomplished hitters including Sargent, Heiss, sophomore outfielder Mike Addante (ranked No. 19 in the PBR Class of 2017 rankings), Daniel Tenayuca, and Owen Oreskovich.

Murray has purposely scheduled a tough non-conference schedule (Jacobs has highly ranked programs such as Metamora and Brother Rice on the slate) to prepare for the deep Fox Valley Conference and the postseason. Look for Jacobs to be the early favorite to capture their first conference crown, and they have the pitching depth to make a run to Joliet in 2015.

Preseason Countdown

+ Top 50 Preseason Countdown Rankings

+ 2015 Schedules Released

+ Updated Illinois 2016 Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2015 Rankings

+ June Event Schedule

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