2016 Season Preview: Hickory Hawks



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By John Nolan
Assistant Director of Scouting/Content Management 

As we enter February, the high school season is quickly approaching. As the month progresses and February turns into March, we will take a look at high school programs throughout our coverage area as they prepare for the 2016 season.
 

Covenant School

Team: Hickory
Nickname: Hawks
Class: 5A South
Conference: PennSouth Conference 9
Coach: Hank Kraft
Twitter: @HickoryBaseball
2015 Record: 22-4
2015 Post Season: Conference and Regional Champions, State Semi-finals
Returning Starters/Position: 6
Returning Pitchers: 3

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Ryan Berglund (OF/RHP, 2016) Berglund is ranked 103rd in the Class of 2016.
Hunter Gregory (RHP, 2017, Old Dominion) Gregory is a lanky righty with a projectable frame who has shown consistent mid-80s velocity with the potential for more. He is currently ranked 30th in the Class of 2017.
Brenden McQueeney (C, 2016)
Mikey Polansky (3B, 2017, Virginia Tech) Polansky is a big-time power bat with very real left-handed power and the ability to hit for high average as well. He is currently ranked 3rd in the Virginia/DC Class of 2017.
Cody Schneider (OF, 2016, Radford) Schneider is a projectable outfielder with a pretty swing and power potential as well as athleticism and a big arm in the outfield. Schneider played for the Padres Scout Team at the Arizona Senior Classic last fall and is currently ranked 14th in the Class of 2016

 

SEASON OUTLOOK
Hickory is coming off of an outstanding 2015 season that saw the Hawks spend the majority of the year highly ranked in the PBR VA/DC Power 25. The won the PennSouth Conference and the 5A South Regional Championships before being eliminated in the State Semifinals. The Hawks will be hurt by the graduations of Connor Eason (LHP, Virginia) and Stephen Polansky (OF, Virginia Tech), but should be a very talented team again in 2016. The strength of the 2016 Hawks will very clearly be their powerful lineup which will be anchored in the middle by the dangerous combination of Polansky and Schneider. The Hawks will be younger on the mound but have the talented Gregory to potentially anchor the Hickory rotation. Hickory will again be one of the most talented teams in our coverage area and will have a chance to return to the 5A State Tournament this spring with the offensive talent to win.

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