Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 1 Arrowhead



The Wisconsin high school season kicks off on March 29, the first day for regular season games. Most teams will begin practicing on March 21, getting their rosters set and finalizing their lineups.

Over the next several weeks, leading up to opening day, we will be rolling out team previews of high school teams all across the state and across all classifications, eventually launching our Preseason Power 25.

We have been sending out our annual Preseason Questionnaire to coaches all across the state and as the responses flood in we will bring you a snapshot of what to expect along with top players and keys to success for that particular team. If you don’t see your team’s season preview make sure your head coach fills out his Preseason Questionnaire.

Team: Arrowhead
Preseason Rank: 1
2015 Record: 26-2
Conference: Little Ten
WIAA Division: 1
Head Coach:
Vince Mancuso
Playoff Run: Lost in Sectional Final
2015 Final Rank: 3
Returning Starters: 8
Returning Pitchers: 3


TOP PLAYERS

Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Johnny Duranso WI Arrowhead 2016 OF

Nate Brown
WI Arrowhead 2016 RHP Florida
Ryan Schmitt WI Arrowhead 2016 RHP Illinois
Dominic Clementi WI Arrowhead 2016 OF Michigan
Jeff Holtz WI Arrowhead 2018 C Indiana
Tyler Jones WI Arrowhead 2016 OF
Nick Bastien WI Arrowhead 2016 OF  

 

X-FACTOR
Motivation. My guess is the Warhawks have some unfinished business to take care of  this year with a bad taste in their mouth of the way last year prematurely ended. Arrowhead will again be playing with the target on their back as they did much of last year. However, this year the Warhawks return with more experience under their belt as a team and a solid core of senior leadership. 

KEY PLAYER LOST
Jack Bredeson, RHP
(Michigan)
Mike Bauer, C (McHenry County JC)

STAT RAT
Nathan BrownRyan Schmitt<1: Arrowhead's top two pitchers, RHP Nathan Brown (5-1, 0.95 ERA) and RHP Ryan Schmitt (8-0, 0.23 ERA) combined for an ERA less than one. That proves to be a tall task for opponents if that holds up again this year. The dynamic duo of 90 mph arms will be tough to beat come playoff time.


OUTLOOK
Johnny DuransoArrowhead looks to be the clear favorite this year with loads of talent and deep crop of high end seniors. The Warhawks have even grabbed national headlines this preseason when Baseball America tabbed them as one of the top 50 high school teams in the country. All that being said, Arrowhead still has to get it done on the field. The Warhawks were bounced way to soon from last year's playoffs and should have a bit of a chip on their shoulder this year.

Dominic ClementiPitching will obviously be a strength for Arrowhead with the aforementioned Brown and Schmitt. But the offense is capable of putting up big numbers every night. Their leading returning hitter is OF Johnny Duranso who hit .477 and a first-team all-state winner. Jeff Holtz burst onto the scene last year and hit a whopping .465 as a freshman, his sophomore campaign is likely to be more of the same. Senior Dominic Clementi returns to the middle of the lineup as well with a .422 average. Nate Brown and Tyler Jones will round out some of the returning offense, both hitting .373 last year.

If you are a high school coach and have yet to send in your Preseason Questionnaire please fill one out HERE.