Defending Del Val champion Interboro is ready to mount a charge at repeating atop the league standings, and a contingent of 13 seniors – including seven three-year starters – buoys the Bucs’ chances.
The Bucs boast a rarity in three established, multi-year starters in the outfield in Brady DiGiacomo, Noah Brisach and C.J. Cardell patrolling South Avenue’s unfenced wilderness. Jon Polillo and Jason Lincoln anchor the staff, while Billy Ketler and Jeff Finley extend the veteran seasoning to the infield. Coach Anthony DiNicola steered Interboro to the first round of the District One Class AAAA tournament last spring, and the hope is that after a 16-win season, the Bucs can take yet another step.
Dan Singley takes over at Chichester after 15 years involved with the Eagles program. He inherits from Joe Thomas a solid group that will push Interboro for the crown.
The Eagles’ rotation is laden with veterans, led by Ryan Janvier and Mike Franzini. Fellow seniors Bobby Jones and Pete Mosely comprise the left side of the infield, while Will Mitchell will alternate between first base and catcher. Sophomores Jason Ribeiro and Andrew Rodriguez, who saw plenty of time last year, will occupy larger roles.
Among the newcomers who could contribute are Matt Dwyer, Aaron Smith, Dylan Coordingly and Joe Renzi, while Hunter Killinen and Allan Ziccardi should vie with Mitchell for time at first base.
Academy Park benefits from a strong returning core, including the infield triumvirate of Mike Brodzinski, Sal Piccone and Nick Wisely. Junior pitcher Taylor Moors will be the presumptive staff ace, while senior Dominic Lomonaco could supply significant innings.
Newcomer Chris Thomas should take over behind the plate, while sophomore Matt Thomas and junior Zac Cleary are also new faces tabbed to contribute.
Justin Watson takes over at Penn Wood after the Patriots were held winless last season. Watson, who has been involved with the program for seven years under former coach Mike Shalon, is taking the long view, hoping to prime the pump with youthful talent.
Watson expects to start as many as six freshman and sophomores, led by sophomore catcher/pitcher Tyshaun Triutt. Seniors Kevin Parks and Rian Bluford likely won’t see the payoff this season, but they’ll play a role in laying the groundwork for future generations.
Sun Valley came within a win of the District One Class AAA title and the PIAA tournament last year, though they lost a major portion of that team. The role of staff ace will be transferred from All-Delco C.J. Pruitt to Christian Bateman, who successfully split time between the mound and shortstop as a sophomore. Junior Tyler Ungarino and senior Vinnie Carter will back Bateman on the mound while alternating at first base for the Ches-Mont squad.
Adam Robinson and Jeremy Russo have two outfield slots covered, while Dave Montella and Nick Wright will surround Bateman in the infield most days.
Graduation delivered good news and bad for Delco Christian. The good is that the top half of their order returns intact. The bad is that the Knights’ top three pitchers have departed, including the transfer of senior Danny Browne to Bishop Shanahan. A pair of freshmen, Tyler Rossini and Penn Schmidt, will help fill the void on the mound while contributing elsewhere on the diamond.
The good news for coach Jeff Wisnewski is that the offensive production should carry over from last year. Five seniors – catcher Dylan Campbell, first baseman Jack Grim, second baseman Luke Butler, third baseman Kyle Winters and shortstop Josh VanMeerbeke – have the infield taken care of, having seen significant action for several years each. VanMeerbeke, the defending Bicentennial Constitution Division MVP, is committed to play next year at Covenant College in Georgia.
David Cook takes over at Christian Academy in its first season in the PIAA, navigating an independent schedule. Nick Scott and Jake Sitkowski will alternate between shortstop and the mound, while seniors Dan Force and Kevin Jeong are well established at catcher and third base, respectively.
Senior transfer Micah Sterritt should captain the outfield.