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Season Preview: Spartans Look To Add To Their Tradition in 2017

Coming off of their eighth state tournament appearance in program history in 2016, the Rocori Spartans look to add to their storied tradition yet again in 2017.

Rocori finished the 2016 campaign with a 21-5 record and won the Central Lakes Conference title and the Section 5-3A en route to the Class 3A state tournament.

In the state tournament, the Spartans fell to Little Falls 7-2 in the opening round of the Class 3A state tournament and later lost to New Ulm 3-2 in the consolation bracket.

In 2017, Rocori will have a lot of experience returning from last year’s team.

Of the 23 players on last year’s roster, 13 of them are set to return this season. Those include seniors Jordan Barth, Connor Schoborg, Chandler Bacon, Nick Penick, William Huls, Sam Young, David Holbrook, Grant Thomes, Eli Backes, Max Fuchs and juniors Dylan TeBrake, Brandon Gill, Mason Primus.

Altogether, there will be 10 seniors, 12 juniors, 16 sophomores and 31 freshmen in the Rocori program this season.

The coaching staff to this year’s Spartans squad is similar to that of year’s past. Rocori will be led by varsity head coach Jeff Illies, who will kick off his 12th season as the varsity coach. In his 11 years leading up to the 2017 season, Illies has tallied a record of 177-93 (66 percent) overall.

Jon Czech, Russ Huls, John “Boogs” Rausch and Derek Sauer will make up Illies’ assistant coaching group for the varsity team. The junior varsity coach is Aaron Schneider and the ninth-grade coaches are Dean Kron and Greg Spanier.

The Spartans will kick off the 2017 regular season at 5 p.m. April 11 against St. Cloud Tech at the St. Cloud MAC.

New Website

The Rocori baseball team has a brand new website that is up and running (

The site contains current and past stats, all information regarding Rocori baseball and will feature game recaps/writeups daily.

As well as following the website, you can follow Rocori baseball on Twitter (@Rocori_Baseball) and GameChanger for live coverage on the games.

Where Are They Now?

There are currently nine Rocori alumni that are playing at either the collegiate or professional levels currently. To view the list, click here.

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