Coach: Mike Hillman (3rd year)
Last year: 11-5
Key returnees: Mitch Omelenchuck, Jr.; John Keegan, Jr.; Matt Ferris, Jr.
The Braves are coming off a fine showing in 2012, racking up 11 wins to finish just shy of Pittsfield in the North. With three junior starters back, a shot at the division title is well within striking distance. Hillman figures it will still take a solid showing in 2013 for that to happen, guessing 12 or 13 wins will do the trick for his team.
The junior trio of Omelenchuck, Keegan and Ferris seem to have the No. 1 -3 spots locked up. Omelenchuck has been the top player the past two years and recently won the junior club championship with a 76. Keegan was two shots back in second. Ferris is entering his third season in a starting role, which means there is a plethora of experience -- Omelenchuck and Keegan are both captains -- on a deep Braves squad.
That depth may prove to be the Braves' biggest weapon. Three strong players at the top is great, but without a complete team, a return to the postseason won't happen. Taconic has 10 players that will be fighting for the final two roster spots. Hillman said the players wanting one of those last two spots will have to play their way into it; nothing will be given. He added it's nice to have the depth to have options throughout the season. He noted three underclassmen -- Brett Murphy (Fr.), AJ Bowman (So.) and Matt Vogel (So.) -- as players to keep an eye on.
Two seniors, Brandon Walton and T-Bone Lingebach, will be looked to for added leadership.