Preseason Team Countdown: No. 72 Crystal Lake South



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: Crystal Lake South
Preseason Rank:
72
2013 Record:
21-7
Conference:
Fox Valley (Valley Division)
IHSA Class:
4A
Head Coach:
Brian Bogda
Playoff Run: Lost in First Round (Jacobs)
2013 Final Rank: Not Ranked

Returning Starters: 5
Returning Pitchers:
3

TOP PLAYERS

Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)
Josh Smith, RHP, 2014
Casey Oliver, C, 2014 (North Park)
Paul Wille, OF, 2014 (McHenry County)
Garrett Bright, SS, 2015
Ryan Wilkening, INF/RHP, 2015
Dakota Siwula, 1B/LHP, 2016
Michael Avella, OF/RHP, 2015

X-FACTOR
Josh Smith
. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound right-hander is coming off an arm injury. His success on the mound will directly impact on how the Gators fare in the tough Fox Valley Conference.

NEWCOMER TO WATCH
Dakota Siwula
, 1B/LHP, 2016. The 6-foot-2, 170-pounder may be a two-way player this spring for the Gators.

STAT RAT
Paul Wille
, a 5-foot-11, 155-pound CF, posted an impressive .550 on-base percentage and .400 batting average as a junior last spring.

OUTLOOK
The Gators surprised some by tying for the Valley Division crown last season. Although they are more inexperienced than past years, they have the ability to once again be in the conference race mix. Coach Brian Bogda has solid pitching depth at his disposal, albeit untested. Unsigned senior RHP Josh Smith heads the staff. Senior C Casey Oliver returns to handle the inexperienced staff. Look for junior SS Garrett Bright to build off his solid sophomore campaign, when he batted .342 with 16 RBI and 19 runs scored.

BOTTOM LINE
The Gators aren’t the favorites to win the competitive Fox Valley-Valley Division title, but they have the ability to sneak up and have another 20-plus win season.

Season Countdown

+ Preseason Team Rankings

+ Updated Illinois 2014 Player Rankings

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