Q: Who would you want at the plate with the game on the line?
A: The area is filled with talented hitters. Spencer VanScoyoc is right there with the best. The lanky Cedar Rapids Jefferson utility player ranks near the top, hitting .400 with 19 doubles, six home runs and 38 RBIs. More than half his hits a year ago were for extra bases. A key weapon for the J-Hawks.
Q: What player makes the biggest impact for his team?
A: Connor Klostermann did a little bit of everything for Dyersville Beckman last season. Even as the Blazers look to reload again, he will be a big component to their success. Klostermann returns the most pitching wins (six) and led returners in hits, runs, doubles and triples.
Q: What does this season have in store for Lisbon?
A: The sky is the limit for the Lions this season. They had a bit of a disappointing finish last year, suffering a postseason upset to Highland. Lisbon has a lot of talent returning, including all-stater Connor Woodward, big hitter Keegan Tritle and Brock Givens. Kent Allison takes over as head coach, but plenty of experience is there to finish a run for a state berth.
Q: What player will have a tough time matching his 2014 success?
A: South Winneshiek’s Jordan Rommes had one of the best individual seasons in the entire state, helping the Warriors to the Class 2A state quarterfinals. He ranked among the leaders in all classes in runs (56), home runs (13) and RBIs (57) with a .514 batting average, .594 on-base percentage and 1.009 slugging percentage. Those are big numbers to match, but Rommes can.
Q: Who could be this season’s sleeper team?
A: Linn-Mar could make a big leap from a 16-20 mark last season. The Lions had good numbers and some young talent. More experience should help cure some mistakes they made a year ago. They return two vital cogs of that team in all-stater Manny Jeffery and Ryan Wyant. Brandt Ollinger, a 2013 all-stater, is back and will make an instant improvement to the lineup.
Iowa City West should be tough again and Cedar Rapids Washington has some talented players.