Your Prep Sports
It is almost time to play ball.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought the sports world to a virtual halt in March causing the cancellation of the entire spring sports season and putting the future of prep sports in Iowa in peril.
After months of anxious waiting it was revealed last week that the summer sports season would take place with an abbreviated season starting competition on June 15.
The state tournament is set for July 27- August 1 at Principal Park in Des Moines.
Before getting caught up on state title contenders we offer nine players to keep an eye on in the Your Prep Sports area over the next month.
Junior, West High
Morgan established himself as one of the top players and most dominant pitchers in the state with a stellar sophomore season in which he earned first-team all-state honors.
The hard-throwing right-hander led Class 4A in wins (10) and strikeouts (105) and had the top ERA in 4A among players with at least 35 innings.
Morgan posted a 10-0 record with a .71 ERA in 59 1/3 innings allowing just 31 hits and 22 walks and also hit .404 with 31 runs scored and 32 RBI.
Senior, Liberty High
Frey enjoyed a breakthrough junior season at the plate and on the mound earning second-team Class 4A all-state honors.
The versatile Frey ranked 12th in 4A with .431 batting average and second in triples with eight while posting a team-high 23 extra-base hits and 42 RBI.
Frey had 15 doubles, 15 stolen bases and 37 RBI and went 4-2 with a 3.86 ERA in a team-best 49 innings.
After working a career-high innings during a breakthrough junior season Walker takes over atop the Solon rotation this summer where he hopes to cement his status as one of the top hurlers in Class 3A.
A Mount Mercy recruit, Walker posted a 5-3 record with a 1.36 ERA in 51 1/3 innings last season.
The left-hander struck out 62 and walked 24 while allowing just 32 hits.
Sophomore, City High
One of the top young talents in the state Mitchell got his feet wet at the varsity level last season leading the Little Hawks in runs and ranking third on the team with 32 hits.
Mitchell batted .267 as a freshman with a team-leading five triples and scored 34 runs while driving in 18.
The shortstop also drew 21 walks and stole 12 bases and posted a 3.23 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings of work on the mound.
Senior, West Branch
Paulsen emerged as the ace of a budding West Branch pitching staff as a junior while earning second-team all-state honors in Class 2A.
The right-hander posted a 4-2 record and 3.45 ERA while striking out 47 in a team-high 46 2/3 innings.
Paulsen also led West Branch with a .439 batting average and scored 30 runs.
Sophomore, Clear Creek Amana
Already a two-year varsity starter Young will look to improve on what has been a stellar start to his career.
The slick-fielding shortstop followed up a debut campaign in which he hit .330 as an eighth-grader by batting .328 with 29 runs scored and 12 RBI last season.
Young also posted a 3-2 record and a 2.18 ERA last season striking out 29 and walking 10 in 41 2/3 innings.
Becker had an immediate impact in his first season at Regina leading the Regals in batting average, hits, extra-base hits, RBI and walks on his way to third-team all-state honors.
In his first season at Regina Becker hit .417 with 12 doubles and 28 RBI and also drew 27 walks and stole 29 bases.
Becker also posted a 2-6 record and 3.65 ERA while striking out 42 in 30 2/3 innings.
Junior, Liberty High
A key performer in the best season in Liberty High history a year ago Secrist a prime candidate for a breakthrough season this summer.
Secrist hit .343 with 22 extra-base hits and 29 RBI last season as a sophomore hammering a team-high 16 doubles and two home runs.
The third baseman also posted a 3-4 record and a 4.42 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings.
Senior, West Branch
A breakthrough season from Eagle last summer was one of the key contributing factors in helping West Branch put up its highest win total in seven seasons while reaching the 2A state tournament for the first time since 2012.
Eagle hit .395 with and had four home runs among his team-leading 16 extra-base hits while ranking second on the team with 33 RBI.
Eagle also went 5-0 on the mound with a 2.69 ERA and a team-best 57 strikeouts in 41 2/3 innings.