Former Lenape Standout Jake Topolski Looking for Next Challenge at Duke

Former Lenape Standout Jake Topolski Looking for Next Challenge at Duke
Recent Lenape graduate Jake Topolski is already at Duke, taking summer courses and working out with his new baseball teammates, anxious for the next chapter in his life.
The previous chapter was pretty impressive, where he was a three-sport standout and helped lead the Indians to their first ever South Jersey football title.
Besides football and baseball, Topolski was a starting guard and not surprisingly, a key defensive player.
All told, he had a blast, and before leaving for Duke on July 1, he talked about his past and future.
“I am going to miss the other sports, especially football, which was one of my favorite sports, but it is hard to say goodbye to both of them.”
No doubt it’s just as hard for the Lenape coaches.
When Topolski was in eighth grade, Lenape went 4-6. The Indians were 9-1 in 2013, but lost in the first round of the playoffs. Lenape then went 8-3, winning a playoff game in 2015 and was 11-1 in each of the last two years.
As a junior, Topolski and Lenape advance to the South Jersey Group 4 final before losing to Timber Creek, 31-10.
Last year the Indians went a step further, going 11-1 and beating Rancocas Valley, 10-7 in the South Jersey Group 5 championship. Since the advent of NJSIAA playoffs in 1974, it was Lenape’s first sectional title.
Topolski was a first-team all-conference wide receiver where he had 24 receptions for 519 yards and five touchdowns. As a defensive back he added two interceptions.
“When we entered Lenape it wasn’t the greatest program and turning around to state champions, you couldn’t ask for anything more,” he said.
While he also enjoyed basketball, baseball is the sport where he has enjoyed great success.
This past season he was a consensus first-team all-South Jersey player, after batting .360. He ended his career playing in all places, Citizens Bank Park.
Competing for the Burlington County Carpenter Cup team, Topolski competed in both the semifinal and final.
In a 6-1 semifinal win over the defending champion Jersey-Shore team, Topolski sparked the victory with a two-run home run.
“It felt amazing and is something you want to do your whole life,” Topolski said and his no-doubt-about-it home run.
A shortstop in high school, he was recruited to be a middle infielder at Duke, which is developing into one of the top programs in the country.
This past season Duke was one game away from going to the College World Series after losing 6-2 to Texas Tech in the third and deciding game of the best-of-three NCAA super regional. The Blue Devils finished 45-18
Duke competes in the ACC, among the top baseball conferences in the country.
“I am excited to compete first with my Duke teammates to get on the field and then compete with the entire ACC, which I think is the best conference in the country,” Topolski said.

 

He understands how difficult it is to earn playing time Duke, but Topolski appears up for the challenge.
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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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