Sign in
Create Account
High School  | General  | 2/17/2022

Hanover Seniors Ready For Final Run

Blake Dowson     
Photo: Levi Huesman (Perfect Game)
2022 High School Baseball Preview Index

Hanover High School (Va.) didn’t get to play baseball in 2020, much like most of the teams across the country.
Last season, they got 16 games in, going 13-3 in that stretch. That’s not much baseball. Head Coach Tyler Kane said he and the rest of the coaching staff shifted focus a bit during that time.
They put an emphasis on the fact that what they did during that time away would affect their success when they did finally get a full slate of games.
“Last year, after missing 2020 due to COVID, we had to do a lot of teaching and a lot of explaining and had a lot of talks about our process,” Kane said. “The exciting thing about this year is that basically everyone is back. These guys now know the system and the expectations.”
Kane has an incredible senior group at Hanover. He said himself he’s never seen anything like it. At this point, it looks like they will have 14 seniors on the roster. He said they plan on carrying 18 or 20 on the varsity roster.
And these guys were all huge contributors last year. That can actually pose a bit of a challenge, Kane said, with so many guys able to produce but only so many spots on a lineup card to fill out.
The buy-in at Hanover is off the charts, though. The coaching staff talks to players about how they can contribute, and then it’s all about winning games after that. Kane acknowledged that it’s a pretty remarkable dynamic for a high school team to have.
“It can be challenging sometimes, especially early. But with their personalities, it’s pretty easy because they are all about Hanover baseball,” he said. “They play for their respective teams during the summer and they go to showcases, so we really emphasize during our season that it’s all about Hanover. We’re very clear with those guys about roles and expectations up front. They’re mature enough and positive enough where they just go out and own their role, and that’s a really special thing.”
Lefty Levi Huesman will lead the rotation for Hanover. Those who follow the happenings at Jupiter each year will recognize Huesman’s name. He became a rather famous prospect after his 18-strikeout, no-walk complete game for the Richmond Braves in which he was sitting 92-95 mph.
He was well-known beforehand as a top-100 prospect, but now he sits at No. 12 in the most recent 2022 rankings and has a commitment to Coastal Carolina.
It’s been a fun development for Kane to follow. Huesman showed up to Hanover right before his freshman year when his dad accepted the head coaching position for the University of Richmond football team.
At that point, not much physical development had happened.
“We put him on the mound because we wanted to see what he could do, and he was like 68-70 mph,” Kane said of the first time he saw Huesman throw. “But we saw and loved how efficiently he moved, he just wasn’t very strong at that point. He was a competitor. He threw a ton of strikes, and threw his breaking ball for strikes…He’s really dedicated himself to the weight room and to his long tossing program. The attention to detail in his bullpen sessions has really changed the trajectory of his career, and we’re really excited for him.”
Huesman will be joined by a handful of other seniors in the rotation. He and Seth Keller were the 1-2 punch last season, and will retain those roles this year. Keller is another who has been in the mid-90s with his fastball, though he tosses from the right side.
Chase Hustead and Anthony Gabello, a pair of James Madison commits, and Jackson Barnett, committed to Hampden-Sydney College, will round out the stable of starters to begin the year.
Cannon Peebles, a top-20 catcher in the 2022 class and a North Carolina State commit, will impact the lineup in a big way. He hit close to .500 last season, and Kane expects similar production from him in his last go-around for Hanover.
Keller was right there in average with Peebles, and he will again fill a two-way role. Owen Deshazo, another senior and Boston College commit, has made big strides with his swing in the offseason and will bring his 6.6 speed to the lineup. Nolan Williamson is a junior on the roster who will make a huge impact as well, after finding himself in the two- and four-hole in the lineup much of last season.
There’s a trend here. These Hanover seniors will be given every opportunity to make one last impact on this program, and hopefully a lasting one.
“We rally around those guys,” Kane said. “Really when you look at the roster, all those seniors are leaders. They’re always at the field early…Because of their work ethic and what they’re willing to do, everyone else just follows them and they learn how to work from those guys.”