Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 6 Arrowhead

By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer

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: Arrowhead
Preseason Rank: 6
2017 Record: 22-5
Conference: Classic Eight
WIAA Division: 1
Head Coach: Nick Brengosz
Playoff Run: State semifinalist
2017 Final Rank: 5
Returning Starters: 5
Returning Pitchers: 2


Blake Cottrell, 2B (Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Tanner Williams, SS (Winona State)
Derek Crawley, RHP
Collin Thiel, 1B


Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Jeff Holtz WI Arrowhead 2018 C Indiana
Luke Dubnicka WI Arrowhead 2018 SS/3B
Alex Tanke WI Arrowhead 2018 OF  
Jacob Johnson WI Arrowhead 2018 RHP/1B St. Mary's (MN)
Bryce Toussaint WI Arrowhead 2018 3B/SS McHenry County JC
Davis Zeutzius WI Arrowhead 2019 RHP


Senior RHP Jacob Johnson (St. Mary’s, MN) and junior RHP Davis Zeutzius will take over for the since-graduated Derek Crawley atop this rotation. It’s unclear which righty will be the opening day starter for the Warhawks, but it’s a problem many teams would like to have. Both are gifted at what they do on the mound. Johnson may have the edge given his additional year of experience, but Zeutzius had the better season in 2017 and did it as an underclassman.

Johnson is a captain for Arrowhead and was 2-0 with a 1.52 ERA on the season. He pitched five innings of relief in last year’s state state semifinal meeting with Sun Prairie last year and threw admirably, keeping his team in the game, allowing two runs but just one earned. He has shown command of his low-80s fastball and his curveball has become an outpitch for him, while his changeup was his offseason project. 

Zeutzius was actually given the ball to start the state semifinal game last spring and he pitched well, especially for a sophomore in that kind of high-pressure atmosphere. He scattered two runs across four innings of work and settled in after he walked the first two batters of the game. He put together an excellent season that earned him a second team all-conference honor thanks to a 7-1 record and an 1.18 ERA. He’s athletic on the mound and can ramp his fastball up in the mid-80s and it pairs well with a sharp curve. He has the stuff to really take over as the team’s ace in 2018.

Davis Zeutzius (3.11.18)


The schedule looks different than it did last year for head coach Nick Brengosz. The Division-1 powerhouse, coming off back-to-back trips to the state semifinals, is moving from the recently abandoned historic Wisconsin Little Ten Conference to a realigned Classic Eight. Regardless of the name of the conference, the Warhawks are seeking a fourth straight title and they certainly have the squad to do it, in fact, despite their competition in Oconomowoc and Catholic Memorial, they’re probably the favorites.

It doesn’t take long to see why. They’re led by a concentrated and talented group of seniors that have as much experience as any prep player could gain along the way to their last seasons before graduation. Senior C Jeff Holtz (Indiana) is a name you might already recognize. He’s been one of the strongest catchers in the state since he walked onto O’Driscoll Field for the first time. He was the Little Ten’s Player of the Year a season ago and he’s earned second team all-state honors in consecutive seasons. He’s committed to play his college ball at Indiana, but the MLB draft might prevent him from taking any swings as a Hoosier.

Holtz is a tank and an excellent defender behind the plate, especially for someone 6-foot-4 and 226 pounds. He hit .452 last year and was the team’s power source. Regularly, Holtz would be the one driving in 3B/SS Luke Dubnicka, the Warhawks’ leadoff man. Dubnicka actually led the team with a .493 batting average in 2018 and is constantly praised for his sky-high on-field IQ, helping earn him a first team all-conference pick. His IQ has made him a pest for opposing pitchers, the ideal leadoff man for Coach Brengosz. He was a stellar defender at third base last year, but with the graduation of Tanner Williams, he might move to shortstop this spring. The CEC’s Player of the Year in soccer this past season has the athleticism to make that transition a smooth one.

Fellow seniors OF Alex Tanke and 3B/SS Bryce Toussaint (McHenry County JC) will make up the rest of the top half of this lineup. Tanke didn’t begin 2017 as a starter but his work ethic and swift adjustment to his new position in the outfield earned him regular playing time by season’s end. He hit .439 for Arrowhead last year and was a second team all-conference selection. Toussaint mostly operated as the team’s DH last season, hitting .377, but will shift into the infield this year and most likely third base. He’s an adept hitter and his coach lauded him for his ability to stay on offspeed pitches which will help him at the next level.

Arrowhead isn’t exactly sure what it’s going to get out of their junior class this season. Despite all of the all-conference talent they’ll deploy each and every gameday, there are some holes on this roster that need filling and no one yet appears to have a grasp on who those role players will be. The junior varsity team was 19-2 last season, so there’s certainly some skill among the class, but it’s a question about who will emerge from it.

Zeutzius and Johnson have a grip on the No. 1 and 2 spots in the rotation, but who will bring up the back-end? They shouldn’t have much trouble driving in runs, but will there be junior who can lead the bottom half of the lineup?

These are questions that the Warhawks will need to take the early spring to answer. They’ve been so close to lifting the D-1 state trophy these past three years, losing in the semifinals the past two -- including last year’s heartbreaking, extra innings defeat.

Bottom Line

The Warhawks no doubt have some of the best individual players sharing one dugout in the state and they’re led offensively by one of the most potent prep bats in the Midwest. They have experience on both sides of the ball and are eager to take advantage of the senior class’ last shot at a state championship.

A regular season schedule in such a competitive conference could help weather an inexperienced junior class and help Coach Brengosz decipher which juniors can slide in as reliable role players once the state playoffs roll around.

Find more information on the 2018 Warhawks below:

+ Team Website
+ Twitter

Make sure to follow @PBRWisconsin on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the season.