Prep Zone: Huntley pitcher Eric Luecht headed to Lewis
Huntley senior Eric Luecht knew Lewis University baseball coaches had seen him pitch twice over the summer with the Orland Sparks.
What Luecht was unaware of was that the Flyers actually had seen him in four other games. He learned this while visiting the NCAA Division II school Aug. 1 in Romeoville.
“It helps when a school shows it’s real interested,” Luecht said. “Throughout the summer, I was trying to keep an open mind, learn about schools and about their programs. I wanted to be with the right coaches, and I picked up on Lewis’ coaches being very committed.”
Luecht, a right-hander who was 7-3 with a 2.61 ERA last season, committed to the Flyers this week and will play there in the 2015 season. He was a Northwest Herald All-Area second-team selection in the spring.
Luecht started his sophomore season on Huntley’s varsity team, but then decided, along with Red Raiders coach Andy Jakubowski, he could get more work with the sophomores. Last season he was the Raiders’ ace and helped them grab a share of the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division championship with Crystal Lake South.
Lewis’ coaches told Luecht that along with his pitching ability, they liked his composure on the mound. It was a quality the coaches were able to pick up seeing him throw so often over the summer.
“They said I’m very competitive and lack emotion on the mound if there’s some error or home run or bad call,” Luecht said. “They said what stood out was when a teammate made an error and I pointed at him and said, ‘That’s all right.’
“My dad [Mike] always taught me if you can’t control it, don’t worry about it. That getting mad won’t make it better. It’s hard sometimes because it’s not what you want to happen. But I’ve played shortstop before and made a bunch of errors, too.”
Luecht (5-foot-10, 150 pounds) had a 0.99 WHIP with 54 strikeouts and 18 walks in 481/3 innings last season for Huntley. Last year was his first with the Sparks, and he liked working with Sparks pitching coach Bill Copp.
Hurricanes lose Dzialo: Marian Central athletic director Drew Potthoff hopes to have a new boys soccer coach hired by the end of the week. Former coach Jim Dzialo recently resigned to take teaching and coaching positions at Stevenson.
Dzialo had been teaching at Jacobs and coaching at Marian. The Hurricanes will lean on McHenry County College coach Karl Smith, who coaches the Hurricanes’ girls team, for the first days of practice.
“We’ll be OK,” Potthoff said. “I’m confident we’ll have somebody in place before the weekend.”
Potthoff has a candidate in mind, but Superintendent Thomas Landers has been on vacation, so Potthoff was unable to meet with Landers on that matter.
“I’m telling the parents we’ll be OK,” Potthoff said. “You can’t fault Jim for taking that job. It was a hard decision, and he didn’t want to leave. He did everything right.”
Planning ahead: The situation with Crystal Lake South’s renovations to Ken Bruhn Field have prompted Potthoff and South AD Jason Bott to discuss possibilities for the football season opener Aug. 30.
South was issued a restraining order on the remaining construction, and a judge may rule on the matter Wednesday morning.
In the meantime, Potthoff said he and Bott spoke Tuesday, and the game could be played at Marian’s George Harding Field if necessary.
Peltier to MCC: Jacobs senior Reilly Peltier, a 6-5 right-handed pitcher, has committed to MCC for baseball for the 2015 season. Peltier was 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 60 strikeouts in 451/3 innings for the Golden Eagles. Jacobs won its first regional championship in school history and advanced to the IHSA Class 4A Rockford Supersectional.
• Joe Stevenson is a senior sports writer for the Northwest Herald. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @nwh_JoePrepZone.