2016 Team Preview: Chopticon HS



Northeast Prospect ID

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By Ryan Hudspeth
MD/DE Scouting Supervisor

Team:  Chopticon
Nickname: Braves
Class:
4A
Conference:
SoMd Athletic Conference (Chesapeake)
Head Coach:  Ray Sapp
Years as HC: 3rd
Team Twitter: @ChopBaseaball
2015 Record:  22-1
2015 Conference Record: 13-1
2015 Post Season: 3A State Champions

Returning Position:  1
Returning Pitchers: 1

PLAYERS WITH POST-SEASON HONORS
Jake Wood – All-county

PLAYERS TO WATCH
SS/RHP Jake Wood 2017
1B Jeff Lacey 2016

3B/RHP Zach Roberts 2018
P Rob O’Dell
OF/P Trey Linassi 2017
P/UT Dylan Russell
OF/UT Chase Burroughs
C Sean Lemmon 2017

SEASON OUTLOOK
The defending 3A State Champions will have a tall order this year if they want to make it to the state championship having been moved up to 4A. The Braves will be without Maryland Player of The Year in Ljay Newsome (28th Rd.) who is now playing in the Seattle Mariners organization. He will be very tough to replace on the mound and offensively. Besides Newsome, the Braves will have to replace nine important seniors from the 2015 roster including Nick Gray, Jay Hammett, Zach Jerew, Robbie Kidwell, and CJ Hill. With a large amount of new faces in the lineup for the 2015 season, the Braves will be looking at key returners Jake Wood and Jeff Lacey from their state champion team to provide the leadership for this green roster.

The Braves might have to manufacture more runs this year as opposed to the powerful hitting lineup in 2015. Wood, a junior shortstop, and sophomore OF Andrew Hill will be the table setters for the braves with Lacey anchoring the middle of the lineup. Trey Linassi as well as Derek Welch and Sean Lemmon should all be strong options in the lineup for the Braves. Keep an eye on sophomore Zach Roberts to be a key young player for the Braves as he could be looked upon to make up for some of the power lost in the middle of the lineup. Roberts and utility player Chase Burroughs both have the potential to make a big impact for the team quickly.

The Braves will need to establish consistent pitching early on from Rob O’Dell, Dylan Russell and Wood. Although 2016 is definitely considered a transition year for the Braves, don’t tell them that. Look for the Braves to be competitive this year in the tough 4A playoffs.

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