Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 23 Appleton North

By Steve Nielsen
Illinois & Wisconsin Scouting Supervisor

The Wisconsin high school season kicks off on March 27th, the first day for regular season games.

Leading up to the opening week of games 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 will bring you a snapshot of what to expect along with top players and keys to success for that particular team.

Team: Appleton North
Preseason Rank: 23
2017 Record: 11-14
Conference: Fox Valley Association
WIAA Division: 1
Head Coach: David Eagan
Playoff Run: Regional semifinals
2017 Final Rank: NR
Returning Starters: 4
Returning Pitchers: 3


Carl Valk, OF (Madison College)
Evan Sankey, RHP (Iowa Lakes CC)
Justin Sanders, LHP/OF (Alma College)
Brandon Kolgen, 1B


Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Will Monroe
WI Appleton North 2018 LHP/1B Wisconsin-La Crosse
Wes Sommers WI Appleton North 2018 RHP/UTL Wisconsin-La Crosse
Tony Krueger WI Appleton North 2018 C/RHP Lake County CC
Adam Zeratsky WI Appleton North 2018 OF/INF Judson
Jacob Tomassetti WI Appleton North 2018 OF  
Quin Henwood WI Appleton North 2019 3B
Grant Ver Voort WI Appleton North 2019 RHP/OF  
Thomas Otto WI Appleton North 2020 C  


Sophomore Thomas Otto is one of the top catching prospects in Wisconsin’s 2020 class. Otto has a big right-handed bat that flashes advanced power out of his 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame. His large durable build will surely handle the rigors of varsity catching duties, but with Tony Krueger returning for his senior season, you could also see Otto’s bat in the lineup at least as a DH and splitting time behind the dish. If Otto does contribute on varsity this season, he would surely add some punch to the middle of the Lightning lineup.


All eyes were about to be set on junior Carter Robinson, who we thought would be making his varsity debut this season. He’s talented and would bring a lot to the table for the Lightning. However, Robinson is also a track star which may hold his baseball endeavors at bay. Robinson is a super-utility type of athlete that would add to an already versatile North lineup. Robinson is a plus runner who can play the infield, the outfield and even pitch. His athleticism would likely keep him in the middle of the diamond on defense, whether that’d be in center field or at shortstop. The 6-foot, 186-pound two-way player also brings a strike-pounding, low-80s fastball to the pitching staff as well. If Robinson is able to suit up for the Lightning this season, look for him to jumpstart this lineup in 2018.


On paper, Appleton North looks to be trending in the right direction. They have a versatile group of athletes that will give Coach David Eagan several different options on a game-by-game basis. There is plenty of help returning in the senior class and they’ll be expected to pull their weight.

On the mound, seniors RHP Wes Sommers, LHP Will Monroe, and RHP Tony Krueger all bring valuable innings back into the fold. Sommers, a UW-La Crosse commit, has the stuff to be an ace of any staff, a mid-80s fastball and feel for his curveball should be enough to retire any team in the Fox Valley Association, but he’ll have to compete more in the zone and improve on his 0-2 record and 5.15 ERA from a year ago. RHP Grant Ver Voort is an emerging arm in the junior class. Ver Voort recently showed a fastball that touched 87 mph and a hard breaking ball that makes him a swing-and-miss type arm. His emergence could put a fix to the back-end of the bullpen and shore up the six one-run losses the Lightning suffered last season.

Four of the team’s top six hitters return from a year ago which means the offense should stay intact. Add some newcomers from a 17-5 JV squad last year and the expectations look bright. Adam Zeratsky, Monroe, and Sommers all hit over .350 last year and should anchor the middle of the lineup.


North has to execute some team victories in 2018. As we mentioned they struggled in close games, losing six in 2017 by just a run. That fix will likely come by way of executing down the stretch and a shoring up the bullpen. The Lightning have versatile athletes, seniors to lean on, and talent that will play at the next level, putting it all together on the same page will be the key for Coach Eagan and his squad.

Find more information on the 2018 Lightning below:

Team Website
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