Preseason Team Countdown: No. 10 Providence

By Sean Duncan
Executive Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the top 75 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage:

Team: Providence Catholic
Preseason Rank:
2013 Record:
Chicago Catholic Blue
IHSA Class:
Head Coach:
Mark Smith
Playoff Run: Lost in Sectional Semifinal (Lockport)
2013 Final Rank: Not Ranked

Returning Starters: 4
Returning Pitchers:


Jake Godfrey, RHP, 2014
Dylan Rosa, RHP/3B, 2014 (Kent State)
Phil Kunsa, OF, 2014 (Middle Tennessee State)
Mike Madej, MIF, 2016
Cam Galgano, OF/C, 2014 (Lewis)
Richard Yusa, C, 2014 (St. Mary’s)
Jackson Stulas, MIF, 2016
Zach Pych, INF, 2016
Tom Jeffries, RHP, 2014 (Joliet JC)
Niko Kutsulis, RHP, 2014

Jake Godfrey.
The physical 6-foot-3, 210-pound right-hander is the No. 1-ranked senior in Illinois and is one of the top draft prospects in the country. In a one-game, must-win situation, the Celtics will have the upper-hand with Godfrey on the mound, as he has the current stuff to dominate any opponent. As a junior, Godfrey had a 1.99 ERA but had a tough-luck 4-5 record. He pitches in the low-90s and gets it up to 93, to go along with a polished arsenal of secondary pitches.

Mike Madej, MIF, 2016

Yianni Pavlopoulos, RHP (Heartland CC)

On a team that struggled to produce runs last year, OF Phil Kunsa quietly got it done for the Celtics. Kunsa blasted 8 homers and tallied 33 RBI while batting .333 as a junior.

The Celtics’ strength rests in their pitching. Godfrey and RHP/INF Dylan Rosa are as good of a 1-2 punch in the state. But beyond those two, coach Mark Smith has incredible pitching depth, evidenced by the fact he has eight returning arms back in the fold. As is often the case at Providence, even the guys who don’t see much action play college baseball. The Celtics pitched it well last season, too, but their inability to provide run support made for an uncharacteristically average season for the perennial powerhouse. The offense is once again a question mark this year. Smith will likely rely on a trio of talented sophomores in the infield - Mike Madej, Jackson Stulas and Zach Pych. Another big problem Smith had to deal with last season was not having a regular catcher due to injury. The return of senior backstop Richard Yusa will allow Smith to sleep easier at night. Cam Galgano, an outfielder signed at Lewis, served as the team’s catcher last year - a position he learned as he went.

For the first time in a while, Providence won’t be considered one of the favorites in the rugged Chicago Catholic Blue. But to sleep on the Celtics would be unwise, because they have the frontline pitching to match up with anyone in the state. With some inexperience in the infield, the Celtics may have some bumps along the way. But come playoff time, they should be a very dangerous club. Smith always plays one of the toughest schedules in the state, so they will be battle-tested. While they aren’t the favorites in the Chicago Catholic Blue this year, the Celtics have the pitching to make a serious run in the playoffs.

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