2016 Team Preview: Francis Howell Vikings

Shon Plack
Prep Baseball Report-Missouri

As we prepare for the upcoming 2016 high school season, we will be taking a preseason glimpse at programs from around the state.

Team: Francis Howell HS
Nickname: Vikings
Class:  Class 5
Conference: Gateway Athletic South
Head Coach: Tony Perkins
Years as head coach at school: 22
Twitter Handle: @howell.baseball
Team Website: www.angelfire.com/mo2/fhbb
2015 Overall Record: 23-12
2015 Conference Record: 5-3
2015 Post-Season Finish: Lost in district semifinals
2015 MHSBCA Preseason Rank:

Number of Returning Starters/Pitchers: 4
Number of Returning Starters/Position Players: 7

Player with 2015 Post Season Honors
Ryan Perkins, OF, 2016, 1st Team All-State (Murray State)
Justin Perkins, 3B, 2016, 1st Team All-State (Murray State)
Luke Kahle, C, 2016, 1st Team All-State (Neosho County)
Chase Beiter, RHP, 2016, All-District (Maple Woods CC)
Brady Wildschuetz, UTL, 2016, All-District (Missouri S&T)
Braydon Cook, RHP, 2016, All-District (Murray State)

Impact Players
Zach Hunsicker, RHP, 2018
Jacob Kostyshock, RHP, 2016 (Arkansas)

Season Outlook
Francis Howell is no stranger to the post-season having played in three of the last five Class 5 state championship games.  The Vikings have an experienced senior class ready to make a run to get back the the Missouri Final Four and improve on their 23-12 season from last season.  Francis Howell has three players that received 1st Team All-State honors in 2015. Senior OF Ryan Perkins led the Vikings in batting with a .495 batting average, while senior C Luke Kahle hit at a .400 clip and senior 3B Justin Perkins hit .358 on the season. The trio of All-Staters will have ample support, especially in the senior class. Look for senior Brady Wildschuetz to build on his .295 batting average from last season and play multiple positions for the Vikings.  Braydon  Cook finished the 2015 season 2.43 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 31-plus innings.  Cook is battle tested and pitched in may big games for the Vikings, including starting the 2014 state championship game.  Senior RHP Chase Beiter saw significant innings last spring and finished with a 4-2 record and will be once again called on throw important innings this spring.  The Vikings also have senior RHP and Arkansas commit Jake Kostyshock returning after sitting out the 2015 season due to injury.  There is definitely no shortage of pitchers on the Vikings staff.  Sophomore RHP Zach Hunsicker, one of the state's top RHP in the 2018 class, will be ready to step in continue the tradition of talented pitchers that have come through the Francis Howell program.  Howell remains as one the the premier teams in Class 5 and should be considered as one of the top teams in the state to compete for the state title.

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