Preseason Team Countdown: No. 8 Edwardsville



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: Edwardsville
Preseason Rank: 8
2014 Record: 32-8
Conference: Southwestern (finished 11-3, 2nd Place in 2014)
IHSA Class: 4A 
Head Coach: Tim Funkhouser
Playoff Run:
Lost in Super Sectional 6-5 to Class 4A State Champion Providence
2014 Final Rank:
8
Returning Starters:
6
Returning Pitchers:
5

TOP PLAYERS
Name, Position, Class (College Commitment)

Brock Weimer, C, 2015
(SIU-Edwardsville)
Aaron Jackson, 3B/RHP, 2015
(SIU-Edwardsville)
Daniel Lloyd, RHP, 2015 (Parkland)
Jordan Hovey, SS/RHP, 2015 (Wabash Valley)
Matt Zielonko, OF, 2015 (Parkland)
Tynan Zeller, LHP, 2015
Fahd Shakeel, OF, 2015 (Parkland)
Collin Clayton, CF/SS, 2016
Jake Garella, INF/OF/RHP, 2016
Cole Cimarolli, OF/MIF, 2016

X-FACTOR
3B/RHP Aaron Jackson hit .450 with 8 doubles, 4 home runs, and 32 RBI in 2014. He also plays solid defense at third base, and went 5-2 on the mound with a miniscule 0.82 ERA, earning 1st Team All-Conference honors. 

NEWCOMERS TO WATCH
Several talented underclassmen could make contributions this spring. Sophomore RHP/OF Mark Smith reportedly has been up to 88 mph on the mound, and is a 6-foot-3 lanky and athletic right-hander who also starred on the hardwood for the Tigers. Sophomore 2B Kade Burns impressed with his left-handed bat and middle infield actions this winter at the Underclass Invitational.

KEY PLAYER LOST
Alex Meyers, RHP
(Concordia, IL)

STAT RAT
Senior RHP Daniel Lloyd returns after going 9-0 on the mound with a 0.71 ERA in 2014. Lloyd struck out 69 in 49 innings, while only allowing 30 hits and 19 walks. His fastball sits in the 83-85 mph range but can touch 87-88, while utilizing a three-pitch mix with an above average slider.

OUTLOOK
Coach Tim Funkhouser has an enviable problem, as the Tigers have the most depth he’s seen in twenty years at the helm. Fifteen position players could potentially start in the field. The lineup is balanced and defensively they’ll be as good as Funkhouser as seen. Three arms who pitched extensively during last year’s playoff run to the super-sectional return in Lloyd, Jackson, and Jordan Hovey, who is a solid defender at short and should be a top-of-order threat. Brock Weimer will provide veteran leadership behind the plate after a 2014 season that saw him named to the IHSBCA All-State team. Weimer hit .430 with 16 doubles, five home runs, and 33 RBI. 6-foot-4 senior LHP Tynan Zeller impoved this winter with a velocity jump from the end of the summer, and now sits in the 83-85 mph range.

BOTTOM LINE
Funkhouser noted that “the pitching depth will be tested not only in the Southwestern Conference, but also in  non-conference games as we face toughest schedule in my seventeen years at EHS that includes: Moline, Glenbrook South, Springfield SHG, Collierville (TN), DeSmet, Vianney, Lockport, and Chatham Glenwood”. O’Fallon finished first in conference in 2014, but Alton and Belleville East also return solid ball clubs, so the Tigers will be tested throughout the season. After being one victory away from the state finals in 2014 (falling to eventual state champion Providence) and with several experienced returnees, Edwardsville has a legitimate opportunity to hoist some serious hardware in Joliet.

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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