Preseason Team Countdown: No. 38 Niles Notre Dame

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:

Team: Notre Dame College Prep
Preseason Rank:  38
2014 Record: 20-16-1
Conference: East Suburban Catholic Conference
IHSA Class: 4A  
Head Coach: Nelson Gord
Playoff Run:
Lost in Regional Championship (2-1 to Evanston)
2014 Final Rank:
Returning Starters:
Returning Pitchers:

Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Thomas Norton, SS, 2015
Michael Ferri, 2B, 2016 (UW-Milwaukee)
Sam Ferri, C/RHP, 2016
(Notre Dame)
Scott Kutschke, LHP, 2016
Joe Rimac, LHP, 2015
Matt Segovia, INF, 2016
Brandon Nowak, LHP, 2015
Adnan Sator, RHP, 2015
(Lincoln Trail JC)
Tim Simon, OF/RHP, 2016
Ranko Stevanovic, 1B/RHP, 2016

Notre Dame commit Sam Ferri is an elite catch-and-throw prospect, but is also one of the top two-way talents in the state of Illinois. He sat at 90 mph with an easy delivery and a hard 77-78 mph slider at the Preseason All-State Showcase. His 1.84 pop time led the event as well. He’ll catch and close, where he went 3-1 on the mound with four saves and a 2.74 ERA in the spring of 2014.

The Dons return a majority of their roster, but look for junior two-way talents OF/RHP Tim Simon and OF/RHP Ranko Stevanovic to be impact players both in the field and on the mound. Simon has impressed with bat speed (89 mph exit velocity) and low 80’s mound velocity this winter, while Stevanovic impresses with a physical 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame and a similar profile (91 mph exit velocity, up to 84 mph on the mound).

Vince Surdo, C

A.J. Boehmer, OF (Cardinal Stritch)

Senior LHP Joe Rimac returns after going 6-1 in 2014 with a 3.69 ERA. Expect Rimac, Sam Ferri, and junior LHP Scott Kutschke (4-2, 1.07 ERA) to anchor the staff. SS Thomas Norton returns after leading the Dons with a .372 batting average, while junior INF Matt Segovia should provide some thump in the middle of the order after leading the team in home runs (2) and RBI (25) in 2014.

This is the year for Head Coach Nelson Gord’s ball club, as the Dons return five three-year starters in the field, as well as four experienced arms. With Norton and 2B Mike Ferri, Notre Dame boasts one of the top double play combinations in the state of Illinois. Add in Sam Ferri behind the plate with experienced arms returning and they’ll be extremely talented up the middle of the diamond.

After finishing eighth in the ESCC in 2014, look for the Dons to be in the mix with Joliet Catholic, Nazareth, Carmel, and Benet for the conference championship. The conference is always a dogfight, and this year will be no different with the depth returning at both Joliet Catholic and Nazareth (who squared off in the IHSBCA Summer State Finals). The Dons could be primed for a deep playoff run thanks to their impressive positional depth. They may not possess the power arms at the top of the rotation, but their impressive left-handed pitching depth should prove tough for opponents come spring time.

Preseason Countdown

+ Top 50 Preseason Countdown Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2015 Rankings

+ June Event Schedule

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