Lake Howell enters the week with a distinction no other team can claim - defending FHSI champions. The Silverhawks will be challenged by one of the deepest pools in the tournament, with four of the five teams finishing the 2022 season with a winning record. Eau Gallie, a regional champion last season, figures to be the main contender to dethrone Lake Howell, but Deltona, South Fork, and West Orange are all more than capable of making a run.
Location: Deltona, Florida
Head Coach: Anthony Campanella
2022 Record: 16-12
Playoff Finish: District Finals
Matt Chase, RHP/IF, c/o 2024
Garrett Thompson, C, c/o 2024
William Martinez, 3B/OF, c/o 2024
Miguel Cortes, RHP, c/o 2024
Jaydan Lochiatto, IF, c/o 2025
Deltona has been a team on the rise in Central Florida. They got within one win of the state playoffs last season as the Wolves took perrenial powerhouse Bishop Moore to the limit in the district championship game. Deltona is a team led by its junior class, and Campanella describes the Wolves as a "Very young group with a promising future," adding that the Wolves' strength lies in their dedication and work ethic.
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Head Coach: Bob Collins
2022 Record: 23-7
Playoff Finish: Regional Champions, State Semifinals
Riley Jackson, C, c/o 2023 (Florida State commit)
Garrett Smith, 1B, c/o 2023 (South Florida commit)
Elijah Syrkus, 2B/RHP, c/o 2023 (Trinity Baptist College commit)
Eau Gallie made a run to Fort Myers last season, and return several pieces from that team. The headliner is Florida State commit Riley Jackson, who is considered one of the top defensive catchers in the nation. Jackson isn't the only player to keep an eye on, as two-way Garrett Smith is ranked as one of the top ten first basemen in the state of Florida. Head coach Bob Collins, who has won nearly 450 games in his coaching career, said his team doesn't quite have the pop of last year's regional champs, but will still compete at the plate.
Location: Winter Park, Florida
Head Coach: Eric Martinez
2022 Record: 13-14
Playoff Finish: District Finals
Matt Misiti, RHP/INF, c/o 2023 (Florida Gulf Coast commit)
Chance Fitzgerald, RHP, c/o 2023 (Clemson commit)
Camden Curley, RHP, c/o 2023 (Johns Hopkins commit)
Ryley Chapman, INF/RHP, c/o 2024 (UT San Antonio commit)
The defending champs are back in Seminole County to defend their crown, and most of the pieces from that team return. Division I commits Matt Misiti and Chance Fitzgerald both pitched in the championship game, with tournament Most Valuable Pitcher Fitzgerald earning the win and Misiti picking up the save. Those are just two of head coach Eric Martinez's ten returning seniors, as Lake Howell looks to become just the third team ever to repeat as FHSI champions.
Location: Stuart, Florida
Head Coach: Dan Harper
2022 Record: 17-7
Playoff Finish: District Semifinals
Grant Jones, RHP/1B, c/o 2023
John Roberts, INF/RHP, c/o 2024
Conner Wiggins, SS/RHP, c/o 2024
Curtis Vining, C/UTIL, c/o 2024
Head coach Dan Harper takes over a South Fork program on the rise, as the Bulldogs return much of their production from a 17-7 team. Harper points to his team's "fast outfield and experienced infield" as a strength heading into the 2023 season. A junior-led roster - five juniors and three seniors make up the bulk of South Fork's everyday lineup - will look to qualify for the playoffs in a district that includes national powerhouse Plantation American Heritage.
Location: Winter Garden, Florida
Head Coach: Kyle Flanigan
2022 Record: 18-7
Playoff Finish: Regional Quarterfinals
Nathan Diedrick, RHP/UTIL, c/o 2023
Tanner Cullen, RHP/UTIL, c/o 2023 (Queens University commit)
Nick DeGeorge, C/UTIL, c/o 2023
Max Eidelman, OF, c/o 2024
This year's version of the West Orange Warriors will look different from last season's Metro champions, thanks to a senior-laden roster. New head coach Kyle Flanigan brings a much younger roster to the FHSI, albeit one led by Division I signee Tanner Cullen. Flanigan still expects the new-look Warriors to be a contender on the district and metro stages, and spotlights a young pitching staff that gives West Orange reason for optimism going forward.