Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 16 Lincoln-Way Central



By Drew Locascio
Illinois Scouting Director

The Illinois high school season kicks off on March 13, the first day for regular season games.

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.

Team: Lincoln-Way Central
Preseason Rank:
2016 Record:
16-15 
Conference: Southwest Suburban
IHSA Class:
4A
Head Coach:
Mitch Nowicki
Playoff Run:
Lost in Regionals
2016 Final Rank:
Not Ranked
Returning Starters:
6
Returning Pitchers:
3


Top Players

Name State School Class Pos Commitment
Cam Post IL
Lincoln-Way Central
2017 C
Oakland
Josh Currier IL Lincoln-Way Central 2017 LHP
Ryan Vice IL Lincoln-Way Central 2018 RHP  
Andrew Hancock IL Lincoln-Way Central 2018 RHP Evansville
Jacob Blount IL Lincoln-Way Central 2018 SS/RHP

Trey Korbel IL Lincoln-Way Central 2018 RHP

Brandon Bennitt IL Lincoln-Way Central 2018 SS
 
Dylan Post IL Lincoln-Way Central 2019 C Houston

X-FACTOR
LHP Josh Currier. Currier is a 6-foot-5, senior southpaw who did not play his junior year at Lincoln-Way East. Now at Lincoln-Way Central he is in line to be one of Central’s big three starters. Currier supposedly sat in the mid 80’s this fall and has continued to fill out his frame in the off-season. Currier, still uncommitted, could be a key to Central making a deep run in the playoffs.

Josh Currier (8.9.16)

 

NEWCOMER TO WATCH
Catcher Dylan Post. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound left-handed hitting sophomore backstop is in line to split time behind the plate with his older brother Cam and could also get some starts in the outfield. Dylan, a Houston commit, is ranked No. 18 in the 2019 class.

KEY PLAYERS LOST
RHP Andrew Farbak (Wisconsin-Whitewater)

STAT RAT
C/OF Cam Post (2017). Last season the Oakland commit hit .425 with seven doubles, a triple, home run 19 runs batted in, 15 walks and five stolen bases.

OUTLOOK
Despite Central going 16-15 during the 2016 season, Coach Nowicki has a lot of talent at his disposal during his first spring season at the helm. Nowicki comes over to Central from Lincoln-Way North, where he spent three years as the head coach. During those three years, he accumulated an overall record of 86 wins and 20 losses, good for a .811 winning %. Catching should be one of the biggest strengths for the Knights in 2017 as they have two Division I catchers. Cam (2017) and Dylan Post (2019) Oakland and Houston commits respectively, are in line to split the catching duties and should be two of the top hitters in the lineup. LHP Josh Currier (2017), RHP Ryan Vice (2018) and RHP Andrew Hancock (2018) should get a majority of the innings on the mound this spring as they all have potential No. 1 type stuff. Vice, one of the top uncommitted juniors in the state, recently attended an event and topped out at 93 mph. Hancock, is a 6-foot-6 right-hander committed to Evansville with a mid-80’s fastball and some deception in his delivery. Jacob Blount is an athletic SS/RHP who started on varsity last year as a sophomore and reports have his fastball in the mid 80's. Another sophomore who started on varsity last year was Brandon Bennitt. Bennitt is a switch hitting middle-infielder and also pitches.

BOTTOM LINE
With the reshuffling of players, the addition of new coaches and movement across the Lincoln-Way district it may be a challenge to bring everyone on the team together, but if they can, this team has a chance to make some noise deep into the playoffs. The trio of quality arms will have a chance to knock off anyone come playoff time.

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

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