Prep Baseball Report

Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 6 New Trier

By: Tyler Defibaugh
Area Scout & Content

The Illinois high school baseball season kicks off on March 11, opening day for regular season action under IHSA regulations. Over the next two weeks, leading up to opening day, we’ll be publishing our team previews ahead of the 2024 spring season, touching on programs spanning all state classifications, counting down through the official Prep Baseball Illinois Preseason Power 25 Rankings.

Perennially, we’ve submitted a preseason questionnaire to high school head coaches across the entire state. Their responses have been flooding in and we’re using the detailed insight they’ve provided in our team-by-team preseason analysis.

Our 2024 preseason coverage continues today.

High School: New Trier Trevians
Preseason Rank: No. 6
Head Coach: Mike Napoleon
Classification: 4A
Conference: CSL South
2023 Record (Finish): 30-7 (3rd in State)
Key Players Lost: Graham Mastros (St. Louis), Brendan Stressler (St. Louis), Dylan Mayer (Manhattan), Henry Wolfe (Elon), Trevor Byrnes



No. of Returning Positional Starters: Five
No. of Returning Pitchers: Five
Team Strengths: Speed, Defense, Pitching

Max Kaplan IL 2024 2B USC-Upstate
James Novakovic IL 2024 SS Purdue
Noah Shapo IL 2024 LHP Denison
Justin Wood IL 2024 RHP -
Jack Wilson IL 2024 RHP Webster
Declan Spinner IL 2024 LHP Southwest Tennessee CC
Max Miller IL 2024 C Joliet JC
Aidan Nolan IL 2024 OF -
Evan Olesker IL 2024 2B/INF -
Sam Nigro IL 2024 INF Colby College
Alex Clark IL 2024 1B/OF Quincy
Henrik Conniff IL 2025 INF/RHP Columbia
Trey Meyers IL 2025 OF Indiana
Ben Toft IL 2025 OF Iowa
Jake Bentivenga IL 2025 C -


Playing a premium position for the Trevians this spring will be SS James Novakovic (2024; Purdue commit). Currently ranked No. 38 in the state, Novakovic has shown to be a defender who can make plays on the move naturally to pair with soft and comfortable hands. The left-handed hitter uses a middle-to-opposite field approach at the plate from the left side and will likely be the table-setter for an impressive New Trier lineup in 2024.


Looking to potentially crack an already talented outfield group in 2024 for New Trier will be OF Mason Bloom (2026). Bloom stands at a physical 6-foot, 198-pounds and had a strong showing recently at the O’Hare Preseason ID where he showed a combination of speed and power. He started the event off by running a 6.81 60 yard dash, and then displayed barrel strength (94.6 mph max EV) and bat speed (avg. 75.2 mph) from the right side.


The New Trier Trevians made a deep playoff run in 2023, making it all the way to State before taking 3rd place. They are led by Head Coach Mike Napoleon, who is entering his 28th season as head coach of the program and is the all-time winningest coach in IHSA history, winning two state titles for New Trier so far in his tenure (2000 & 2009). Run prevention will be a key for New Trier in 2024 as they expect pitching and defense to be the team’s strengths.

In the starting rotation, the Trevians will be led by LHP Max Kaplan (2024; USC-Upstate commit). Kaplan stands in at 6-foot-1, 184-pounds and was last seen running his fastball in the low 80’s (T83). The No. 59 player in the state complements his fastball with a swing-and-miss changeup to go as his out-pitch.

A pair of seniors will follow Kaplan in the rotation with RHP Justin Wood and LHP Noah Shapo (Denison commit) taking the next two spots.

When we last saw Wood, the 6-foot-6, 180-pound righty was working with a fastball/curveball mix, with the fastball sitting in the 83-85 mph range, while his curveball showed out-pitch qualities with a 12/6 shape and depth. Wood is currently ranked No. 107 in the state.

When he’s not playing the field, look for RHP Henrik Conniff (2025; Columbia commit) to fill out the rotation and get starts this season as well for New Trier. Conniff was seen as a big winner at the recent Preseason All-State: Upperclass event where he sat 89-90 mph with his fastball that had above-average spin (avg. 2400 rpm). He rounded out his pitch-mix at the event with a short, tight curveball and a mid-80’s changeup that was thrown for strikes 50% of the time. Conniff is currently ranked No. 67 in the state and will be an important two-way player for New Trier this spring.

The Trevians bullpen will have intrigue as well, primarily featuring RHP Jack Wilson (2024; Webster commit) and LHP Declan Spinner (2024; Southwest Tennessee CC commit).

Wilson is a strike-throwing righty that features a low-80’s fastball (T83 mph), while tossing two different breaking balls for his off-speed offerings.

Spinner is another strike-thrower that the Trevians will call out of the ‘pen and was last seen this fall running his fastball up to 81 mph.

The battery mates for the Trevian arms this spring will be No. 185 ranked player in the state C Max Miller (2024; Joliet JC commit), and C Jake Bentivenga (2025).

The Trevians lineup is not without intrigue either, featuring two recent Future Games participants in OF Trey Meyers (2025; Indiana commit) and OF Ben Toft (2025; Iowa commit).

Meyers is currently ranked No. 19 in the state and recently put up strong numbers at the Preseason All-State: Upperclass event where he started by running an impressive 6.58 60 at 6-foot-5, 214-pounds. During BP, he swung a quick bat (avg. 70.6 mph bat speed) that had barrel strength (93.9 mph max EV) to pair. Defensively, Meyers has a strong arm to go with the other impressive parts of his game, posting a max outfield velocity of 89 mph at the same event.

Toft is another Trevian that showed well on both sides of the ball at the recent Preseason All-State event. Currently ranked No. 22 in the state, Toft showed pop from the left side of the dish posting a max EV of 95 mph at the event. He has also shown to be an athletic defender with a strong arm (T91 mph) in the past as well. Look for the Meyers and Toft pair to lock down the corner outfield spots for New Trier this spring.

Patrolling center for the Trevians this spring is likely to be No. 134 player in the state, OF Aidan Nolan (2024; uncommitted). Nolan is another athletic defender that has shown to have some pop in the bat posting a max EV of 93 mph in the past for our staff.

Joining the previously mentioned Novakovic on the infield is expected to be No. 234 player in the state INF Evan Olesker (2024; uncommitted), INF Sam Nigro (2024; Colby College commit), the previously mentioned Conniff, and the No. 172 player in the state 1B/OF Alex Clark (2024; Quincy commit).

Some underclassmen to note heading into the spring to go along with the previously mentioned Bloom, are INF Luke Mastros (2026) and LHP James Berman (2026).


New Trier brings back ten players that helped lead the Trevians to third place in the state in 2023, and look to have the pieces for another deep run again in 2024. The rotation will be strong with seniors Kaplan, Wood, and Shapo to lead the charge, with the hard-throwing Conniff to round things out. The bullpen looks to be sturdy with seniors Wilson and Spinner who can fill up the zone when needed. Offensively, the Trevians look to have an athletic lineup with Division 1 commits scattered across the field with Novakovic (Purdue), Meyers (Indiana), Conniff (Columbia), and Toft (Iowa). That is without mentioning the talented senior class the Trevians have overall with guys like Olesker, Nigro, and Miller to help provide stability in the lineup and on the field throughout the season. New Trier seemingly has all of the pieces required to make it back to Joliet this season and will be a tough out come postseason time in 2024.

Find more information on the 2024 New Trier program below:

+ Follow them on X: @nt_baseball
+ Visit the Prep Baseball Illinois Preseason Power 25 homepage

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