2015 Team Preview: Tonganoxie



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: Tonganoxie
Nickname: Chieftains
Class: 4A-I
League: Kaw Valley
Head Coach: Mitch Loomis
Years as Head Coach at School: 4
2014 Overall Record: 15-9
2014 League Record: 10-4
2014 League Finish: 2nd
2014 Post-Season Finish: Lost in 1st round of 4A-I state tournament

Returning Starters: 7
Pitchers with 15+ Innings Returning: 3

TOP RETURNERS (College Commitment)
Connor Wentz-Hall, 2B, 2015 – All-Kaw Valley League, 2nd Team
Justin Wagner, RHP/1B, 2015 (Highland CC)
Brady Swedo, RHP/SS, 2015 – All-Kaw Valley League, 2nd Team
Tyler Novotney, RHP/OF – All-Kaw Valley League, 2nd Team
Billy Kelley, C, 2016 – All-Kaw Valley League, Honorable Mention

X-FACTOR
Connor Wentz-Hall. The 2015 All-League standout has been a fixture in the Chieftains line-up since his freshman year.

NEWCOMER TO WATCH
Jordan Brown, IF, 2017.

KEY PLAYER LOST
Travis Woods, RHP/3B, 2014. Woods was named 1st Team All-League and 2nd Team KABC All-State after leading Tonganoxie in innings pitched, wins, ERA, strikeouts on the mound and posting the teams second highest batting average.

NOTEWORTHY
Last spring’s state tournament team was the first since 1993.

2015 OUTLOOK:  
The Chieftains return a significant number of key contributors but will be without their two top players from their 15-9 state championship qualifying team in KABC 4A-I All-State honorees RHP/3B Travis Woods (7-2, 1.55 ERA),  and OF Shane Levy (.423 BA, 25 RBI), both of whom graduated. Four All-League performers from a year ago are back in seniors 2B Connor Wentz-Hall and RHP/SS Brady Swedo (four-year starter); as well as juniors RHP/OF Tyler Novotney (expected to be the No. 2 on the mound) and C Billy Kelley (two-year starter). Highland CC commit senior RHP Justin Wagner, who was the winning pitcher in last May’s regional title game, looks to be the staff ace.

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