NIU baseball class features Hononegah's Sims - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

NIU baseball class features Hononegah's Sims

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The Northern Illinois baseball team announced its Class of 2014 for the early fall signing period Monday afternoon, as the Huskies collected nine letters of intent from players scattered throughout Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. Of the nine players that signed, eight will be incoming freshman, while the other is a junior college transfer.

"I'm real excited about this class," said Head Coach Ed Mathey, "I think like it has a lot of versatility and a lot of athleticism. These guys are going to make us better: in the classroom, on the field and in the community. Overall, I think there are some guys here that will find their way to the field. They are going to compete and that's a good thing for everyone in our program."

While four of this year's players hail from Illinois, the Huskies also usher in three from Iowa and two more from Indiana. It's also an even class of two catchers, two infielders, two outfielders and three pitchers.

"Coach (Tom) Carcione and Coach (Todd) Coryell did a tremendous job trying to figure out who the players in this year's class were going to be," continued Mathey. "They covered a lot of territory in a big region and have increased our recruiting foothold. These guys were grinding this past year so I want to commend them for that. They did a good job of finding guys who are going to help us in the short term and the long term."

The recruiting class is Mathey's 12th in his time at Northern Illinois. The Huskies are the reigning Mid-American Conference West Division Champions after finishing with a mark of 16-11 conference games and a 22-34 overall clip.

A complete breakdown of the signing class with player bios are listed below. Follow the Huskies on Facebook by liking "NIU Huskies" and on Twitter @NIUathletics and @NIU_Baseball.

CLASS OF 2014 PARTICULARS

Joe Boyle – IF | 6-0 | 185 | Wheaton, Ill. (Benet Academy)
Colby Carmichael – LHP/UTL | 6-1 | 185 | Des Moines, Iowa (Des Moines East)
Matthew Hoffman – C/UTL | 6-3 | 205 | East Dubuque, Iowa (Walhert Catholic)
Kevin Jones – RHP | 5-11 | 180 | Chesterton, Ind. (Portage)
Joe Jumonville – C/OF | 5-11 | 180 | Munster, Ind. (Munster)
Stephen Letz – OF | 6-1 | 200 | Oaklawn, Ill. (Lake Central/South Suburban College)
Donovin Sims – RHP | 6-2 | 185 | Rockford, Ill. (Hononegan Community)
Brad Wood – IF/RHP | 5-8 | 165 | Orland Park, Ill. (St. Laurence)
Malique Ziegler – OF | 6-1 | 165 | Des Moines, Iowa (Des Moines East)

BY STATE

Illinois – 4
Indiana – 2
Iowa – 3

BY YEAR

Freshman – 8
Junior – 1

BY POSITION

Catcher – 2
Infield – 2
Outfield – 2
Pitcher – 3



JOSEPH BOYLE

6-0 | 185
IF
Wheaton, Ill. (Benet Academy)

Ranked 86th nationally at third base and third in Illinois by Perfect Game USA .

BENET ACADEMY:
Member of the Redwings baseball and basketball teams … Earned all-conference honors in baseball as a junior … Also earned all-area honors … Conference champions 2012-2013 season with 12-4 record … Hit .333 his junior year with a .469 slugging percentage (30 hits) … Appeared in a total of 92 games since freshman year … Has only struck out 14 times in the first three seasons if his high school baseball career (273 at-bats).

PERSONAL/MISCELLANEOUS:
Born September 29, 1995 … Son of Michael and Annamarie Boyle … Interested in majoring in business … Wants to become an accountant … Volunteer for Feed My Starving Children Mobile Pack Events … Admires Evan Longoria, third baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays … Oldest brother, John, played baseball at Creighton University … Other brother Pat, plays football at Georgetown University … Played summer baseball with the Longshots.

MATHEY ON BOYLE:
"I've known Joe's coach, Scott Waller, for a very longtime and he loves his work ethic and approach to the game. He is a third baseman by trade but he has a lot of versatility in his game to move around and find a place on the field. Joe is also well versed in community and academic responsibilities so we're looking forward to having him in our program."

COLBY CARMICHAEL
6-1 | 180
LHP/UTL
Des Moines, Iowa (Des Moines East)

Ranked 20th best pitcher in Iowa and second ranked left handed pitcher by Perfect Game USA.

DES MOINES EAST HIGH SCHOOL:
First team all-state and first team all-conference his junior season … Led the Scarlets to a conference championship and to the state tournament semifinals in the 2013 season … Appeared in all 43 games for the Scarlets… Pitched in 13 games with 12 starts his junior year… Sported an overall record of 11-1 with an ERA of 1.30 in 70 innings … Batted .385 in 124 at-bats, registering 42 RBI … Holds the school record for career wins (27) and tied for most wins in a season (11) … Started playing with the varsity team as an eighth grader … Carried a 1.91 ERA in 22 innings of pitching in eighth grade to earn honorable mention all-conference honors … Also played football … Won two conference championships at Des Moines East.

PERSONAL/MISCELLANEOUS:
Born Sept. 26, 1995 … Son of Bob and Melanie Carmichael … Major is undecided … Enjoys listening to music, spending time with family, and playing video games with friends … Idolizes former New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera for his hard work and confidence … Involved with Kiwanis Miracle Baseball League, helping disabled children play baseball … Three-sport high school varsity athlete … Honor roll student five consecutive semesters … Academic Letter his freshman and junior years.

MATHEY ON CARMICHAEL:
"I really like Colby, I like his makeup. He's got a quiet demeanor but I think he is a kid that's going to work and do well for us. He's a super competitive kid. Right now he is currently throwing 85-86 miles per hour. He is a heck of an athlete, he's strong, and we think there is a higher ceiling there and right now, he's playing as much football as he is baseball. He is a two sport athlete and he falls in line with a lot of the multi-sport guys that we have and had here."

MATTHEW HOFFMAN

6-3 | 205
C/UTL
East Dubuque, Iowa (Walhert Catholic)

Rated the 47th best player in Illinois and 169th nationally at his position by Perfect Game USA.

WALHERT CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL:

Member of the Golden Eagle's baseball team … Earned two varsity letters … Second team all-state by the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association and first team all-area in 2013 … Team captain … Led team to conference championship … Second team All-Valley Division as a junior and Honorable Mention All-Mississippi Division as a sophomore … Batted .347 with two homeruns and 27 RBI … Recorded a .504 slugging percentage in the 2012-2013 season … Also earned two varsity letters in basketball and another in football.
PERSONAL/MISCELLANEOUS:
Born July 17, 1996…Son of Micheal and Natalie Hoffman … Intended Engineering major … A member of the Golden Eagle's Honor Roll for four consecutive years … An active member of the Step Up Club … Lists fishing, trap shooting and biking as his hobbies … Admires Dustin Pedroia, as an athlete, for his hard work ethic … Grandfather, Eugene, pitched at Iowa … Mother, Natalie, was a member of the track team at Loras College.

MATHEY ON HOFFMAN:
"There's a lot of physical talent and ability with Matt. He can hit, he has great arm strength and has power. Some people think he might be the best catcher in the state of Iowa but in addition to that, he may find himself in outfield or at corner infield spot, he's just that kind of player. He's a great competitor and is another guy that likes to work."

KEVIN JONES
5-11 | 180
RHP
Chesterton, Ind. (Portage)

Rated the 22nd and 30th best prospect at his position by Prep Baseball Report and Perfect Game USA, respectively … Named the 192nd best in the Midwest by Prep Baseball Report.

PORTAGE HIGH SCHOOL:
Member of the Indians baseball team …Earned three varsity letters …Carried the teams highest batting average for two consecutive seasons, batting .393 as a junior and .325 as a sophomore … First team all-conference his junior year … Named to The Times All-Area team his junior year … Played in the Junior All-Star Indiana Crossroads game … Completed seven games in 11 starts in the 2013 season, with a 6-4 record … Had 10 earned runs in his junior year, in which he allowed 24 walks and 84 strikeouts … Also sported a 1.21 earned run average.

PERSONAL/MISCELLANEOUS:
Born October 8, 1995… Son of Elise Jones… Intended Communication major… Lists hanging out with friends as a hobby… Played club with the Chicago White Sox Ace and Duneland Flyers…Earned academic recognition via the Honor Roll for four terms during his high school career… Admires Peyton Manning because he carries himself as a professional.

MATHEY ON JONES:
"Kevin is small in stature but he's got a big time arm and a big time breaking ball. He's a kid who plays in the Chicago White Sox ACE (Amateur City Elite) Program and has done a good job with them. He's the type of kid people might regret not taking later due to his size but we think he's the type of kid who's going to come in, knock some guys off the dish early and come in to compete."

JOE JUMONVILLE
5-11 | 180
C/OF
Munster, Ind. (Munster)

Ranked the 30th best prospect in Indiana by Perfect Game USA … Ranked 35th in Indiana by Prep Baseball Report
MUNSTER HIGH SCHOOL:
Member of the Mustangs baseball and football team … Earned two varsity letters … All-Northwest Crossroad Conference … Accounted for 23 runs last season … Went 33-for-72 (.458) as junior with 11 doubles and three triples … Had a 99-yard touchdown run on the gridiron as a junior … Has hit over .400 the last two seasons Munster … Football team finished 8-3 last fall, qualifying for the state playoffs … Went out for the football team in 2013 after sitting out the first three years of high school, starting at quarterback.

PERSONAL/MISCELLANEOUS:
Born November 7, 1995… Son of Joe and Marge Jumanville… Intended Radiology major… Hobbies include fishing and hunting … Volunteers at local soup kitchens … Admires Yadier Molina for his hard work ethic.
MATHEY ON JUMONVILLE:
"Joe's out of the Sparks program and is very strong kid. He has some versatility and he competes. He's going to bring a blue collar mentality to this program and we like to have that approach in our program. He's a catcher by trade but he's a multi-positioned player. He has a strong bat and he loves to swing. He gets it done academically in the community."

STEPHEN LETZ
6-1 | 200
OF
Oaklawn, Ill. (Lake Central/South Suburban College)

SOUTH SUBURBAN COLLEGE:
An NJCAA First Team All-American in 2013 and was the only freshman in the country to earn all-america honors … Played in 52 games for the Bulldogs … Batted .421 with 10 homeruns and 65 RBI in 183 At-bats … Also accounted for 53 runs … Registered four RBI and a homerun in a 4-for-4 day in a 10-1 win over Illinois Valley Community College (March 29) … Named the top player in Region-IV … Voted Most Valuable Player at the NJCAA Regional Tournament.

LAKE CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL:
Two season varsity starter his junior and senior years … Started all 31 games for the Indians in 2011 … Batted .358 with six homeruns and 32 RBI his senior year … Helped Lake Central to the conference championship and the sectional championship … Varsity Letter his senior and junior seasons.

PERSONAL/MISCELLANEOUS:

Born Sept. 16, 1992… Son of Robert and Maureen Letz … Major is undecided … Enjoys hanging out with friends … Admires Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout because of his success at a young age.

MATHEY ON LETZ:
"Letz is a package. He can run, he has arm strength and he can hit. He had 11 homeruns last season in junior college, which is a ton in this day and age with the change in bats. He was a first team all-american outfielder and was the only freshman to earn that honor. He has a great work ethic and he's a blue collar kid that's going to help everyone on this team with their approach to the game."

DONOVIN SIMS
6-2 | 185
RHP
Rockford, Ill. (Hononegan Community)

Top-500 prospect by Perfect Game USA … Ranked 22nd in the state of Illinois by Perfect Game … Also ranked 250th best prospect in the Midwest, 47th in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report.

HONONEGAN COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL:
Member of the Indians Baseball team … Earned two varsity letters … Named to the All-Conference team both his sophomore and junior year … Named MVP of NIC-10 Conference for the 2012-2013 season… Carried a 1.41 earned run average in 79.1 innings pitched with eight complete games (13 starts) … Amassed 94 strikeouts and only eight walks during the season … Finished with a 10-2 record in 2013 … Had a 9-2 record in 71.1 innings pitched as sophomore with a 1.86 ERA … Fanned 66 batters with 20 walks in 2012 … Batted .372 with eight RBI his junior year … Played football as well … Baseball team won back-to-back regional championships in 2012 and 2013.
PERSONAL/MISCELLANEOUS:
Born January 17, 1996..Son of Melissa Hoey…Undecided major with an interest in Computer Science and Sports Medicine …Volunteered at Rockford Sharefest and attended Heartland Community Church Youth Group mission trips to Ohio and Missouri …Lists spending time with family and friends as his hobby … Admires Mariano Rivera as an athlete because of his accomplishments throughout the years, as well as his efforts as a positive role model.

MATHEY ON SIMS:
"Donovan is a righthanded pitcher with an electric arm and is a quick twitch muscle guy. His pitches have a little violence on them and his breaking ball can be quite good as well. We believe there's going to be a lot more room for improvement and his consistency in his velocity and on his breaking stuff. He's an athletic guy, who played football as well. It's good to have another guy from the area as well."

BRAD WOOD
5-8 | 165
IF/RHP
Orland Park, Ill. (St. Laurence)

Rated the seventh best shortstop in the state of Illinois by Perfect Game USA … Rated 287th in the Midwest, 59th in the state of Illinois, by Prep Baseball Report.
ST. LAURENCE HIGH SCHOOL:
Member of the Vikings baseball team … Earned two varsity letters … Named Captain of the Vikings baseball team for the 2012-2013 season … First team All-Conference both his sophomore and junior year … Accounted for six saves in 16 appearances his sophomore year, helping the Vikings go 5-2 … Batted .355, registering 40 hits and walking 17 times … Carried a .475 average as a sophomore with 60 hits … Sported a combined on-base percentage of .512 during his sophomore and junior seasons … Named the team's best pitcher during his junior year and best hitter as a sophomore … Brother, Kyle, is a utility player at Purdue, playing in the outfield, infield and appearing as a pitcher.
PERSONAL/MISCELLANEOUS:
Born May 2, 1996 … Son of Mike and Lynn Wood … Interested in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences …Was a member of Illinois Sparks baseball, Orland Knights football, and Pioneer wrestling teams …Has volunteered for Special Needs Nights and various children's baseball camps in his community … Lists Peyton Manning as the athlete that he admires most because of his leadership qualities and skills.
MATHEY ON WOOD:
"Brad can pretty much play any position we ask him to. He's a guy that's going to help us in the middle of the infield and he's also a guy that going to help us on the mound. He's a great competitor and he knows the game well. He loves it. I really look forward to having Brad Wood on board."

MALIQUE ZIEGLER
6-1| 165
OF
Des Moines, Iowa (Des Moines East)

Ranked in the top-500 in the country, No. 1 outfielder in the state and No. 5 in the state of Iowa by Perfect Game USA.
DES MOINES EAST HIGH SCHOOL:
Member of the Scarlets baseball team … Earned two varsity letters … Earned all-conference honors both sophomore and junior year… Was named to both the all-area and all-state team for the 2012-2013 season … Holds school records for stolen bases in a season (56), career (82) and most runs in a season (63) …Batted .394 with five homeruns and seven triples as a junior … Also recorded a .717 slugging percentage as a junior … Played basketball, football and was also a member of the track team.

PERSONAL/MISCELLANEOUS:
Born September 8, 1996…Son of Harold and Samantha Clay… Intended Physical Education major, Sociology minor… Earned an Academic Achievement for African American Students Award…Was a volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club coat drive and the YMCA "Toys for Tots' toy drive… Hobbies include playing video games and spending time with family, friends, and his girlfriend… Admires Yasiel Puig because he is unique, strong, and fast.

MATHEY ON ZIEGLER:

"Malique is an outfielder and great runner. He might be one of the fastest players coming in that we've had in my time here. He has the ability to change games with his type of speed. He wants to be Huskie and with his speed and desire to play at Northern Illinois, that's a really great combination. We're anxious to see how far that can take him. When guys like him get time to focus one sport and specialize their skills, those skills start to jump."

 

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