Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 25 Champaign Centennial
March 2, 2017
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 few weeks 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: Champaign Centennial
Preseason Rank: 25
2016 Record: 27-9
Conference: Big 12
IHSA Class: 3A
Head Coach: Ryan Remole
Playoff Run: Sweet 16
2016 Final Rank: 25
Returning Starters: 4
Returning Pitchers: 5
|Kellen Sarver||IL||Champaign Centennial||2017||C
|Jordan Willliams||IL||Champaign Centennial||2017||1B/RHP|
|Evan Jordan||IL||Champaign Centennial||2018||OF|
|Brandon Olion||IL||Champaign Centennial||2018||OF
|Joel Sarver||IL||Champaign Centennial||2020||RHP/C|
|Isaiah Jackson||IL||Champaign Centennial||2020||OF/RHP|
Kellen Sarver. Illinois commit. A natural catcher, he may be called on to play a variety of roles this spring. He has the athleticism to play shortstop, catch and also pitch. The left-handed hitter has a gap-to-gap approach and smooth left-handed stroke.
Kellen Sarver (6.16.16)
KEY PLAYERS LOST
Catcher Mike Namoff
RHP Luke Smith
The Chargers are looking to build off a 2016 campaign in which they made a sweet 16 appearance and finished the year with a 27-9 overall record. Along with Sarver, the Chargers have two big bats in the middle of the lineup in Chris Monroe and Jordan Williams (a Ball State football recruit). Despite losing their entire outfield from last year's team, three juniors, Corey Hall, Evan Jordan and Brandon Olion are in line to help pick up the slack. Left/left Olion, who may also see some time at first base, could be in line for a breakout season. Olion has a projectable frame and a loose swing. The Chargers need a big year from C/SS Kellen Sarver who has the potential to shut down an opponent’s running game with his strong arm from behind the plate. It would not be a surprise if one of the following freshman, Isaiah Jackson, Joel Sarver or Lucas Brown stepped in and played a role on varsity by the end of the year. Big game pitching remains the biggest question mark despite returning five arms from last year’s team.
The Chargers, who lost in the Sweet 16 to eventual Class 3A runner up Springfield, have a solid blend of young talent and returners this season. If someone can emerge as an ace of the staff, Centennial has a chance to make a run at the Class 3A state title.
- IL Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 1 Brother Rice 3/16/17
- IL Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 2 Plainfield South 3/15/17
- IL Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 3 St. Laurence 3/15/17
- IL Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 5 Mundelein 3/14/17
- IL Preseason Power 25 Countdown: No. 4 St. Charles North 3/14/17
Make sure to follow @pbrillinois on Twitter for the most up-to-date coverage throughout the season.