The Emery Weiner Jaguars enter 2017 looking to build on the foundation their senior class has laid the past few seasons. The Jags made their first ever playoff appearance last year and the 2017 squad aims to make their first state tournament appearance. Emery returns everyone, including 10 everyday players, from a squad without seniors last season and should expect to challenge for a district title.
The greatest strength for Emery Weiner will be their pitching staff. Led by Gerogetown signee Jacob Grzebinski and fellow senior Evan Sack, the Jaguars will feature one the top rotations in the state. The pair were the team co-MVP last season while Grzebinkski took home first team all-district and all-state honors in 2016. The lefty ace will enter his fourth season as a starting pitcher for the Jaguars and gives the team the much needed experience come playoff time.
Sack, a right-hander, earned first team all-district honors a year ago in addition to being recognized on the all-state second team. Juniors Joe Sondock and Ben Blachman will round out the rotation. Seniors Jacob Arnold, Jake Feldman, Will Bazarsky, and junior Noah Brener will see action out of the bullpen. With no underclassmen seeing quality time on the mound, expect the Emery pitching staff to really carry the team this season.
Junior Coby Lowenstein returns to start his third season behind the plate. Lowenstein is the backbone of the team, handling the pitching staff and leading the defense. He should also have a breakout year at the plate. Around the infield, Sack will anchor one corner at 3rd base when not on the mound while senior Michael Ran returns at shortstop after earning second team all-district honors last year. Manager Adrian Adams raves about these two and describes them as two of the top infielders in the district and in the Houston area the last few years. Blachman will again start at 2nd base and Grzebinski and Sondock will platoon at 1st when not pitching. Senior Jordan Hudson and sophomore Ethan Samuels are expected to fill in as needed in the infield. Both of these players are solid defensively and can produce when in the lineup.
In the outfield, Hudson leads the way in center field. His biggest assets are his speed and strong arm, a perfect combination for his position. Junior Ryan Tiras will play in left and should also see time at DH. Senior Garrett Glover is the most natural outfielder as he holds down right field. Sondock will also be used in the outfield when he is not pitching or playing first base as he is a mainstay in the lineup due to his productivity on the field. Also expect to see Samuels get some time in the oufield.
The Jaguars kickoff their 2017 campaign on February 18th against TAPPS powerhouse Brazosport Christian and continue a very challenging schedule against defending 2A champion Rosehill Christian, now non-district rival Northland Christian, and Division I stalwart Concordia Lutheran before taking part in the annual John Cooper tournament. Also on the schedule for Emery are SPC powers Episcopal High School, Houston Christian, and Kinkaid.
The district lineup sees Northland Christian and Cypress Christian exit due to realignment while Katy Faith West enters. Emery Weiner will challenge Second Baptist for a district title this season barring injuries while getting challenged by winning programs Lutheran South and Fort Bend Christian.
Manager: Adrian Adams
Coaches: Michael Jonkins, Aaron Reichek, Dabo Rodriguez
2016 Record: 15-15-1 (9-5, 2nd)
Notable alumni: Blake Glauben (Rhodes College)