As the son and grandson of professional baseball players, Riverside-Brookfield High School senior Will Kincanon always had high expectations for himself.
Kincanon’s grandfather, Louis, played Triple-A baseball in the Milwaukee Brewers system and his father, Bill, got as far as Double-A with the Cincinnati Reds.
“My dad played in the pros, so when I first went to RB, I told my dad I wanted to be the best baseball player to come out of RB,” Kincanon said. “I broke my ankle, so that kind of messed up my freshman year, but the three years I played I’m proud of what I accomplished.”
Kincanon has reason to be. He leaves RBHS as arguably the best pitcher in school history, having established career records with 26 wins (against six losses) and a 1.12 earned-run average.
A two-time Class 3A all-state selection, Kincanon walked 64 batters and struck out 305 in 206.2 innings while allowing just 131 hits over the past two seasons.
This spring, Kincanon went 9-3 with a 0.91 ERA and led the Bulldogs in hitting with a .486 average and 29 runs batted in.
If that wasn’t enough, Kincanon also earned all-conference honors in basketball, where he led a team that had just one other senior to its second straight 21-win season and a berth in the regional title game.
For his efforts, Kincanon has been named the Riverside-Brookfield Landmark Male Athlete of the Year.
“He had a great year,” RBHS basketball coach Tom McCloskey said. “He’s a very versatile basketball player who has a lot of talent and he was a popular teammate.
“He’s a very competitive kid. He has a tremendous ability to perform in pressure situations.”
That much was evident in both sports. Kincanon was the unquestioned team leader on the court and the field. As the point guard of the basketball team, he averaged 16 points per game and willed his younger teammates to improve.
In baseball, Kincanon always pitched the biggest games and usually succeeded. He was the winning pitcher in two regional championship games, including a no-hitter against Montini last year, and always wore his emotions on his sleeve.
“You’ve got to have passion,” Kincanon explained. “If you don’t have your heart in it, you’re not going to go very far.
“I’m very confident in myself. I expect to do well every time I step on the court or field. As far as numbers are concerned, I’m not worried about that. If I play well those will take care of themselves.”
Kincanon has been playing baseball since he was 4 and usually against older players, fed by a desire to play with his brother, Jack, who is five years older and also pitched at RBHS. The work ethic required to succeed against bigger and stronger boys allowed him to surpass his brother’s achievements and be ranked as the No. 21 player in Illinois by Prep Baseball Report.
“We’re all going to really miss Will,” RBHS baseball Dallas Till said. “For all of his incredible talent, he’s always been a team-first guy. Will is kind of old-school, too, always checking box scores, talking baseball and just having a passion for the game. In my book, he’s the greatest baseball player ever at RB.”
There’s little chance that competitive fire will dim any time soon. Kincanon will attend Middle Tennessee State on a baseball scholarship but knows he has room for improvement.
“I’m really hard on myself,” Kincanon said. “I feel I can always do better. I can always do more.”