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FHSI 2024 "The Classic" Tournament Preview

Before we kick off a great week of baseball in Sanford, here are the participating teams for this year's "FHSI Classic"


Mount Dora Christian Academy

Nickname: Bulldogs

Location: Mt.Dora, Florida

Head Coach: Jason Sanders

2023 Record: 17-10

Playoff Finish: District Champions

Key Players:

Justin Earle, UT, c/o 2024

Easton Workman, INF c/o 2024

Cael Reish, P, c/o 2024

Ethan Priest, P, c/o 2025

Head coach Jason Sanders is in his tenth year at Mount Dora Christian, as the Bulldogs look to improve on a succesful 17-10 season last year to make a deep postseason run in the highly competitive Class 2A. The Bulldogs will rely on a deep pitching staff to potentially carry them deep into the playoffs. The Bulldogs are in search for their fourth consecutive district title.

South Fork

Nickname: Bulldogs

Location: Stuart, Florida

Head Coach: Dan Harper

2023 Record: 16-11

Playoff Finish: N/A

Key Players:

Alijah Quintero, OF, c/o 2024

Merrick Barquin, P/OF, c/o 2024

South Fork comes into the 2024 season as a heavy senior loaded roster looking to win games with their experience. The Bulldogs are led by Dan Harper who is in his second season as head coach, and looking to build off of year one. South Fork is off to a good start with an opening season win over defending state champs American Heritage Plantation. This will be the sixth FHSI appearance for South Fork.

Ponte Vedra

Nickname: Sharks

Location: Pointe Vedra Beach, Florida

Head Coach: Tom Stanton

2022 Record: 15-13

Playoff Finish: Regional Quarterfinals

Key Players:

Matt Hoag, LHP, c/o 2024

Dominic Masto, INF, c/o 2024

This will be Head Coach Tom Stanton’s fourth FHSI appearance since 2015. Ponte Vedra comes into the 2024 season with high expectations of a good season from last years’ regional quarterfinal appearance. The Sharks have a deep pitching staff and powerful line-up that will help them have a great shot at winning their third consecutive district title in 2024.



Nickname: Tornadoes

Location: Clearwater, Florida

Head Coach: Jordan Banks

2023 Record: 12-14

Playoff Finish: District Quarterfinals

Key Players:

Dylan Wood, RHP, c/o 2025

Jacob Thomas, LHP, c/o 2024

CJ Moore, OF, c/o 2024

Ty Woodring, 3B, c/o 2025

Head coach Jordan Banks is in his seventh year at Clearwater, as the Tornadoes look to make a dent in the highly competitive Pinellas County baseball scene. They return looking to improve on their 2-2 record at the 2023 FHSI. Coach Banks and his staff look to create a culture of excellence on and off the field. The Tornadoes are in search of their first state playoff berth since the 2012 season, while Clearwater’s last regional championship came in 2001.


Nickname: Ascenders

Location: Bradenton, Florida

Head Coach: John Pawlowski

2023 Record: 13-11

Playoff Finish: N/A

Key Players:

Ethan Sipp, OF, c/o 2026

Tyler Barlow, C, c/o 2024

IMG-Royal enters the 2024 season with new head caoch, John Pawlowski, at the helm. This Ascender team is made up of players from around the world and looking to compete with some of the top area teams. The pitching staff will be the strength of this team this season.

Martin County

Nickname: Tigers

Location: Stuart, Florida

Head Coach: Brett Hawkins

2023 Record: 15-9

Playoff Finish: District Quarterfinals

Key Players:

Dylan Murphy, C, c/o 2024

Will Perry, P, c/o 2025

Martin County returns for their third straight FHSI having achieved a 6-2 record to date at the event. They enter the 2024 season with a young and talented team looking to improve from a 15 win season last year. The Tigers have a roster filled with good pitchers that should allow them to compete with many teams this season. The Martin County Tigers are led by FAU commit, Dylan Murphy and Stetson commit, Will Perry.

Christ School (NC)

Nickname: Greenies

Location: Arden, North Carolina

Head Coach: N/A

2023 Record: 16-5

Playoff Finish: N/A

The Christ School (North Carolina) comes into the 2024 season after a solid 16 win season in 2023 and a second place conference finish. The Greenies will look to build on last year’s success and win their conference in the 2024 season. This will be the first FHSI appearance for Christ School but they are no stranger to the Florida League as they were last here for Spring Training games in 2020 before the pandemic interrupted that event.


The Bolles School

Nickname: Bulldogs

Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Head Coach: Mike Boswell

2023 Record: 15-13

Playoff Finish: N/A

Key Players:

Chayce Kieck, RHP, c/o 2024

David Martin, RHP, c/o 2024

Head coach Mike Boswell is in his 25th year and has accumulated over 500 career wins as his career record is an astonishing 507-173. The Bolles School returns for their third FHSI this season and they will look to equal their 2019 success when they won The Classic. The Bulldogs will be led by a large senior class that will look to its pitching depth to carry them to a championship.


Nickname: Ascenders

Location: Bradenton, Florida

Head Coach: John Pawlowski

2023 Record: 16-8

Playoff Finish: N/A

Key Players:

Jake Gregor P, 2024

Koby Seelig, P, 2025

Truett Weninger, P, 2024

Evan Androvett, C, 2024

James Carter, IF/OF, 2024

Parker Loew, IF, 2026

Grant Wilson, IF/P, 2024

Aaron Babaev, OF/P, 2024

IMG-Gray enters the 2024 season with head caoch, John Pawlowski, at the helm. This Ascender team is made up of a mix of a lot of upperclassman committed to play college baseball with a few talented underclassman that can compete with any team.

Montverde Academy

Nickname: Eagles

Location: Montverde, Florida

Head Coach: Victor Valancia

2023 Record: 25-4

Playoff Finish: Class 3A State Champions

Key Players:

Christian Borbely, P, c/o 2024

Anthony Picciano, OF, c/o 2024

Montverde Academy is a mainstay at the FHSI. This will be their 11th appearance and they are one of just four programs to ever win the event twice, including their most recent Championship in 2023. Montverde is led by Victor Valancia who is in his 8th season as head coach. The Eagles enter the 2024 season as the defending Class 3A champions as a very young team with only 2 returning players.


Barron Collier

Nickname: Cougars

Location: Naples, Florida

Head Coach: Adam Johnson

2023 Record: 16-12

Playoff Finish: District Runner-Up

Key Players:

Brody Graham, SS c/o 2025

The Barron Collier Cougars will make their 7th appearance in the FHSI and their first since 2021. They have reached two FHSI Championship games (‘14 & ‘15) but are searching for their first trophy. They come into the 2024 season looking to build from a solid 16 win season last year in Coach Adam Johnson’s first season. The Cougars will look to win their 8th district championship title in the last nine years after falling short last year.


Nickname: Panthers

Location: Eustis, Florida

Head Coach: Tony Thomas

2023 Record: 11-14

Playoff Finish: Districts

Key Players:

Ledger Pleasant, INF, c/o 2024

The Eustis Panthers return for their sixth FHSI. In 2015, they won this tournament behind the leadership and dominant performance of Brady Singer. They come into the 2024 season looking to lean on senior leadership to win a lot of games and make a run in the playoffs. The Panthers will look to play competitive baseball and win another district title as their last one was in 2022.

Tampa Prep

Nickname: Terrapin

Location: Tampa, Florida

Head Coach: A.J. Hendrix

2023 Record: 8-19

Playoff Finish: District Quarterfinals

Key Players:

Ignacio Gonzalez, INF, c/o 2024

Tampa Prep Head Coach, A.J. Hendrix is entering his 24th season as a head coach and has accumulated over 300 wins in his career. This will be the 10th appearance for the Terrapins at the FHSI. The Terrapins expect to improve on last year’s season with senior leadership from Will Jennewein and Ignacio Gonzalez.

Normal University (IL)

Nickname: Pioneers

Location: Normal, Illinois

Head Coach: Steve Paxson

2023 Record: 20-16

Playoff Finish: Class 2A Playoffs

Key Players:

Charlie Vercruysse, RHP, c/o 2024

Devin Tupper, RHP, c/o 2024

Normal University is lead by Steve Paxson who is in his 23rd season as a head coach. Paxson who is an astounding 497-217 for his career will surely achieve 500 wins this season, perhaps at this event. The Pioneers return 7 out of 9 starters for the 2024 season but are still a young team with only 4 seniors. They return for their third FHSI and look to compete for a Class 2A championship in Illinois this season.


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