Preseason Countdown No. 4 Valor Christian




By PBR Staff

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the Top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage. The Top 50 teams are picked from all classifications, and are not divided up by class level. To see the entire list click here   

Team: Valor Christian
Preseason Rank: 4
2016 Record: 23-4
Conference: Jeffco 4A
CHSAA Class: 4A
Head Coach: Brian Bonn
Playoff Run: Defeated Pueblo West 9-6 to win the 4A State Championship
2016 Final Rank: 2
Returning Starters: 6
Returning Pitchers: 2

TOP PLAYERS:
Luke Ziegler, No. 7 2018 (Pepperdine)
Erik Ohman, No. 49 2017
Blake Donels, No. 63 2017
Joel Pierce, No. 70 2017
Jonathon Boulophinh, No. 40 2017 (Yale)

OTHER PLAYERS WHO MIGHT MAKE AN IMPACT:
Noah Kuzma, No. 24 2018
Calvin Schonebaum, No. 66 2018

KEY PLAYERS LOST:
Sean Rooney
Levi Walters
Nick Crumrine

Stat Rat:  
The Eagles racked up 189 K’s as a staff last year.  100+ of those K’s are coming back this year which will help take pressure off the defense once again in 2017.


Bottom Line:  
Valor’s 2016 State Championship was the final chapter of a nice four year run that saw this program getting stronger each year.  Prior to 2016, the Eagles post season resume featured 2 trips to the final 8 and one 4A State semi-final appearance.  The 2017 squad will look to repeat their post season success and be led offensively by, Luke Ziegler, .409 with 38 hits, 28 RBI and 10 doubles, Erik Ohman, .424 with 14 RBI, Blake Donels, .422 with 35 hits and 30 RBI, Jonathon Boulophinh, 28 hits, 18 RBI and 3 doubles and Joel Pierce, .337, 29 hits, 25 RBI and 4 homeruns.  This is a stacked lineup that has the ability to score runs in bunches.  On the mound the Eagles return one quality young arm.  2018 Pepperdine commit Luke Ziegler who went 6-1 with 49 innings and 48 K's.  The big key will be finding an arm to replace Davis Heller. Noah Kuzma and Calvin Schonebaum who gained valuable experience in 2016 will be called upon to be consistent contributors in 2017.  Valor went into the championship series needing to defeat Pueblo West twice, rallied together and pulled off the upset over the number 2 overall seed to win the 4A State Championship.  The 2017 team returns a deep roster that was part of this run, with that experience and talent Valor is in great shape to defend its crown in May.