Heelan preseason No. 1 in IHSBCA baseball rankings
By Nick Filipowski, Weekend Sports Anchor - bio | email
Heelan finished 35-5 last season.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
"It's just going to motivate us that much more to get back here and win it. and not lose in the semifinals. It's not going to happen next year for us."
That's what Trent Solsma said after Heelan was upset by Assumption in the state baseball semifinals last year.
It marked the second straight season the Crusaders lost in the semis.
With 13 members returning from that state qualifying team, the Crusaders are ready for another run at a title, and might be the team to beat.
Led by eight seniors, Heelan is ranked number one in the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 3A preseason poll.
On the mound, four of Heelan's six pitchers are back, including senior Tyler Cropley who posted a perfect 7-0 record.
At the plate, the Blue and Gold return six of their top hitters including Philip Jacobson, who led the team with 39 RBIs.
They're anxious for a shot at redemption.
"We're starting to get that mindset of we want to win this and not have the season end last year and the year before that," Cropley said. "We don't want the same locker room feeling we had after those two years."
"A big thing is to just relax and keep a clean mind," Jacobson added. "You can't go up thinking about your last at-bat or an error you had in the field. You have to come in clean and just got out there and play."
Heelan opens the season Thursday at Sioux City West.
2014 IHSBCA Preseason Baseball Rankings
1. Twin Cedars 2. Mason City Newman 3. Van Buren (Keosauqua) 4. Lisbon 5. Pleasantville 6. Martensdale-St Mary's 7. Don Bosco 8. Coon Rapids - Bayard 9. St Mary's - Remsen 10. BGM
1. Dyersville Beckman 2. North Polk 3. Roland Story 4. Mt Vernon 5. Van Meter 6. St Edmond, Ft. Dodge 7. New Hampton 8. Wilton 9. Albia 10. St. Albert, Council Bluffs
1. Bishop Heelan 2. Assumption 3. Harlan 4. Clear Lake 5. Central Dewitt 6. Fairfield 7. Glenwood 8. Sergeant Bluff-Luton 9. Norwalk 10. West Delaware
1. DM East 2. Iowa City West 3. WDM Valley 4. Dowling Catholic 5. SE Polk 6. Ankeny Centennial 7. Waukee 8. Pleasant Valley 9. Cedar Falls 10. Ft. Dodge
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