NEW LENOX – In his three years as head varsity baseball coach at Lincoln-Way North, Mitch Nowicki compiled an 86-30 overall mark and won three SouthWest Suburban Red championships.
His 2015 Phoenix summer squad won the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Phil Lawler Summer State Tournament. Along with pitching coach Joe Skarbek Sr. and associate coach Bill Cravens, Nowicki take over the reins at Lincoln-Way Central this spring.
“We have a lot of talent,” Nowicki said. “We are very young. We have 18 juniors and a sophomore. The kids won at all the lower levels and are very confident to continue to be successful.
“Cam Post is our leader and we look for big things from him. Dylan Post will join him behind the plate, and we look for the brothers to lead us offensively. Due to the amount of talent we have, everyone is in a fight for starting positions. That is a great problem to have because it will make everyone better. I truly believe we will win the SWSC Red this season.”
Oakland (Michigan) University-bound Cam Post, a senior catcher/outfielder, looks to be the Knights’ leader.
In 2016, when Central finished 16-15, he hit .425 with a homer and drive home 19 runs. He also was one of the best defensive catchers in Illinois.
Joining him behind the plate and in the outfield will be his little brother, sophomore Dylan Post. Dylan recently committed to Houston.
“We are really excited about the upcoming season,” Cam Post said. “We have a great group with a great attitude and are looking for big things this spring. I’m looking forward to having a big year personally. It helps to have my college situation behind me. We will have a great season.”
“This is the first time I have been able to play with Cam,” Dylan Post said. “With Cam being a senior and me a sophomore, this is the first time we can play together. Moving up from sophomore baseball to varsity is a big step, but I’m really looking forward to it and like Cam said, I think it will be a real exciting season for us.
“I just want to go out and have a lot of fun this year backing up Cam behind the plate and playing in the outfield.”
Junior second baseman Brandon Bennitt, junior first baseman Tyler Schuerg and junior right-handed pitcher Jake Blount return from the 2016 Knights. Junior Matt Duske will lead off and patrol center field.
“I believe we are going have a fine season,” Bennitt said. “We believe we can win the SWSC Red. I want to do everything I can do to help us win. I have been working really hard on my hitting and hope to improve on last year.”
“I’m confident we’re going to have a big year,” Duske said. ”I’m looking forward to batting leadoff and playing center field this season. I want to do anything I can do to help us win.”
The Knights’ pitching staff will be anchored by junior right-handers Ryan Vice and Andy Hancock (Evansville). Senior lefty Josh Currier looks to be at the No. 3 spot in the rotation. With the IHSA pitch-count rule, one never can have enough quality arms.
With North gone, the SWSC Red looks to be a battle involving Central and its crosstown rival, Lincoln-Way West, along with Bradley-Bourbonnais and Andrew.