2015 Team Preview: Paola



By Sean McCann
Prep Baseball Report Kansas

As we prepare for the upcoming 2015 high school season, we will be taking a preseason glimpse at programs from around the state.

Team: Paola
Nickname: Panthers
Class: 4A-I
League: Frontier
Head Coach: Curtis Murdock
Years as Head Coach at School: 6
2014 Overall Record: 17-7
2014 League Record: 7-4
2014 Post-Season Finish: 4A-I state runner-up
2014 Final Top 25 Ranking: 20

Returning Starters: 2
Pitchers with 15+ Innings Returning: 1

TOP RETURNERS (College Commitment)
Nick Sloan, SS, 2015 (Fort Scott CC)
Avery Boehm, RHP, 2015

X-FACTOR
Mason McDow, RHP, 2016. The 6-foot-7, 200-pound right-hander returns after missing his sophomore season due to an injury. Prior to his injury the projectable right-hander reportedly worked in the upper 80’s with his fastball.

NEWCOMER TO WATCH
Brayden Pearce, 1B, 2015. Pearce started for Paola his freshman and sophomore year before spending his junior year at Bonner Springs, he returns for his senior campaign.

KEY PLAYER LOST
Trey Taylor, LHP, 2014 (Emporia State).
Taylor went 6-2 with a 1.55 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 55 innings last spring for the Panthers and was named KABC 4A-I First Team All-State.

2015 OUTLOOK
Paola must replace several talented players from their 4A-I state tournament runner-up team a year ago. They will be lead by two experienced seniors in shortstop Nick Sloan and right-handed pitcher Avery Boehm. In addition, Brayden Pearce returns to Paola for his senior year, providing the Panthers with a physical right-handed bat with experience in the middle of their line-up. The return of junior right-hander Mason McDow should bolster a pitching staff that lost four pitchers with 15+ innings last spring. Coach Murdock is looking for junior left-hand hitting outfielder Blain Ohlmeier to man center field this spring and senior Zachary Walker to start behind the plate.  A pair of juniors will be looked to step-up this spring to fill the void of significant losses to graduation: right-handed pitcher/infielder Garon Johnson and outfielder Nathan Staats.

For Kansas high school baseball news and updates follow us on Twitter @pbrkansas

COACHES PRESEASON QUESTIONNAIRE

We appreciate all of the help provided by high school coaches across the state assisting with our preseason coverage. If you have not already done so you can fill out our coaches' preseason questionnaire online by clicking here.

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