Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

DC/MD/VA High School Baseball Champions Tournament concept


(Nats fans: a first half review coming this week; wanted to get this published before it got too “old”).

Now that all the seasons for all the DC/MD/VA area teams are completed, I have a fun idea.  What if we could do a “Champions” tournament of the various schools who won titles?

I first started thinking about this tournament when Virginia split from AAA/AA/A to the six divisions and the reigning AAA state champion at the time (Hanover) was dumped down to 4-A.  The idea was sort of “Indiana Basketball” ish in nature: what would a tourney of all the six Virginia state champs look like?  Then that morphed to all the various scenarios below.

I know these kind of event would never happen (rules on number of games, kids graduating, etc); but it’s a fun thought exercise for those of us who follow HS baseball in the area.

Here’s a few interesting ideas for post-season tournaments.  Using my final 2016 post-season wrap-up as reference for all the tourney champs, here’s some ideas.

Tourney Idea #1: The Virginia Public Champions league tourney

This is my original concept.  Using the Six Virginia public school champions, you could play a mini weekend tournament with two brackets:

Bracket 1:
6A: Chantilly
3A: Rustburg
2A: Maggie Walker

Bracket 2:
5A: Nansemond River
4A: Hanover
1A: Rappahannock

Play a double header round robin on Saturday intra-bracket, then the bracket winners play Sunday.  It’d be a nice little way to determine who is the “Best of the Best” among the divisional champs.  I sense that there’s not a ton of difference between the 6-A, 5-A and 4-A champs but sense there’s a bit of a gap from 4-A to the 3-A/2-A/1-A teams.  It has been suggested to me to spread this tourney across a week or two weekends so as not to completely dilute the pitching and that’s a good point; none of these teams likely could play and be competitive in a three games-in-two-days situation, so perhaps a DH one weekend and a final the next would give the best pitching match-ups.

Theoretical Tournament Predictions: Hanover beats out a tough Nansemond River to advance and beats Chantilly in the final.

Tourney Idea #2: The All-Virginia champions league

This adds in the three state-wide private school champs.  Using 2016’s champions from both the public leagues and the three private leagues, your qualifiers are:

6A: Chantilly (Northern Virginia)
5A: Nansemond River (Suffolk)
4A: Hanover (Mechanicsville/Richmond)
3A: Rustburg (Lynchburg)
2A: Maggie Walker (Richmond)
1A: Rappahannock (King George County)

VISSA Division I: Collegiate (Richmond)
VISSA Division II: Greenbrier Christian (Chesapeake)
VISSA Division III: Southampton Academy (Franklin)

What if you seeded this 1-9 based on classifications and played a single elimination tourney?  You’d have the two smallest schools (1-A and VISAA division III) in a play-in and then seed the rest roughly by their size.

8/9 play-in: Rappahannock versus Southampton

1 vs 8/9: Chantilly vs Rappahannock/Southampton Academy
2 vs 7: Nansemond River vs Maggie Walker
3 vs 6: Collegiate versus Rustburg
4 vs 5:  Hanover versus Greenbrier Christian

Most of these teams are Central or Southern Virginia and are proximate to Richmond.  A tournament there would be best for all travelers.

Theoretical Tournament Predictions: Seeds hold in the quarter finals, though Hanover struggles to beat Greenbrier.   Hanover beats Chantilly in one semi, Nansemond River in the other, and Hanover wins the title.

Tourney Idea #3: The DC/MD/VA showdown; an 8-team competition of local champions.

Here we’d take the champions of the “local” divisions in the Washington DC metropolitan area:

– Virginia 6-A North champ: Chantilly
– Virginia 5-A North champ: Mountain View
– WCAC champ; St. Johns
– DCIAA champ: Wilson
– DCSAA champ: St. Albans
– IAC champ: Landon
– Maryland 4A West champ: Quince Orchard
– Maryland 3A West champ: Damascus

Seed this 1-8 and do a small tourney.  I’d probably seed it Virginia 6-A, Maryland 4A, Virginia 5A, WCAC, Maryland 3A, DCSAA, DCIAA and IAC.  So the bracket would be:

  • 1-8: Chantilly v Landon
  • 2-7: Quince Orchard v Wilson
  • 3-6: Mountain View v St. Albans
  • 4-5: St. Johns vs Damascus

The only problem here is that you leave out some of the smaller private school leagues and the independent powerhouse Riverdale Baptist.


Theoretical Tournament Predictions: I think seeds would pretty much hold and Chantilly beats Quince Orchard in the final.

Tourney Idea #4. The Maryland-Virginia Public School Show Down

Virginia Public champs
6A: Chantilly (Northern Virginia)
5A: Nansemond River (Suffolk)
4A: Hanover (Mechanicsville/Richmond)
3A: Rustburg (Lynchburg)
2A: Maggie Walker (Richmond)
1A: Rappahannock (King George County)

Maryland Public Champs:
4-A: Bel Air (North of Baltimore)
3-A: Huntingtown (Soloman’s Island)
2-A: La Plata (SE of Waldorf)
1-A: Brunswick (Frederick County)

Maybe you seed it 1-10 and have play-ins with the smallest teams.  Nearly every first round match-up ends up being MD vs VA team.

8-9: Maggie Walker vs Brunswick
7-10: Rustburg vs Rappahannock

1 Chantilly vs Maggie Walker/Brunswick winner
2 Bel Air vs Rustburg/Rappahannock winner
3 Nansemond River vs La Plata
4 Huntington vs Hanover

Theoretical Tournament Predictions: despite being the 5th seed here, Hanover upsets  Huntington and Chantilly to get to the final, where it meets Bel Air (a close winner over Nansemond River).  Hanover prevails.

Tourney Idea #5. The All Private School showdowns

VISSA Division I: Collegiate (Richmond)
VISSA Division II: Greenbrier Christian (Chesapeake)
VISSA Division III: Southampton Academy (Franklin)

MIAA Class A: Spalding (Severna Park, south of Baltimore)
MIAA Class B: Boys Latin (North Baltimore)
MIAA Class C: St. John’s Catholic Prep (Frederick)

WCAC: St. Johns (Northwest DC)
IAC: Landon (Bethesda)

Maryland Private Schools: Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro)
DCSAA: St. Albans (Northwest DC)
MAC: Potomac School (McLean)
PVAC: Sandy Spring (Olney)

I’d probably seed this: Spalding, Collegiate, Riverdale Baptist, Greenbrier Christian, St. Johns DC, St. Albans, Boy’s Latin, and Landon.  Then the four smallest schools (Southampton Academy, St. Johns Catholic, Potomac School and Sandy Spring) could be play-in games to the top seeds.  So your bracket could be:

  • 5-12: St. Johns DC vs Sandy Spring
  • 6-11: St. Albans vs Potomac School
  • 7-10: Boy’s Latin vs St. Johns Catholic
  • 8-9: Landon vs Southampton
  • 1-8/9: Spalding vs Landon/Southampton
  • 2-7/10: Collegiate vs boy’s Latin/St. Johns Catholic
  • 3-6: Riverdale Baptist vs St. Albans/Potomac
  • 4-5: Greenbrier Christian vs St. Johns DC/Sandy Spring

That’s a fun little tourney, especially if seeds hold and you have the four elite MD/VA private schools meeting.  Its notable that the Prep Baseball Report thinks that Greenbrier Christian is the best school in the state of Virginia, irrespective of its size.  So perhaps seeding it 4th in this tournament isn’t fair.  My seedings are mostly driven by the “size” of the divisions these schools play in.

Theoretical Tournament Predictions: Seeds hold in the quarters, Greenbrier beats Spalding in one semi while Riverdale Baptist wins the other, and Greenbrier takes Riverdale in the final.

What do you think?  Would you like to see any of these fantasy tournaments?  Do you think my “theoretical predictions” are off?  I realize this post doesn’t really appeal to many of our Nats-interested readers, but it was a fun thought exercise for me :-)


Written by Todd Boss

July 11th, 2016 at 8:18 am

Posted in Local Baseball

Tagged with

4 Responses to 'DC/MD/VA High School Baseball Champions Tournament concept'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'DC/MD/VA High School Baseball Champions Tournament concept'.

  1. No one gives a crap about who the VA, MD or DC champ is. But a DC Metro Area high school tourney would be exciting, with the final at Nats Stadium. The Post might even cover it.

    old man

    11 Jul 16 at 10:20 am

  2. True. The best one of these options is probably the 3rd one, with all the local champions like you mentioned. that’s the closest to a DC Metro area tourney.

    Todd Boss

    11 Jul 16 at 10:46 am

  3. Yeah, an All-Met tourney (basically idea #3) would probably generate the most interest and would also be more feasible logistically. And frankly, folks in the DMV don’t care about the Baltimore or Richmond areas.

    In addition to Nats Park, an organizer might also be able to bring the minor-league stadiums in Woodbridge and Bowie into play, particularly if/when the P-Nats ever get their new park.

    On the practicality side of pulling off such a tourney, however, the state championships already run into a myriad of end-of-school activities and bump up against summer team schedules. One might have a better chance to put together such an event as a pre-conference-schedule tourney in the early spring, but then you wouldn’t have the ultimate champs participating.


    11 Jul 16 at 12:33 pm

  4. Scheduling issues are very true; they can’t really start any later than they already do in MD and VA (3/14/16 or 3/21/16 this year) without risking playing in snow or sub 40-degree weather … and the VA state tournaments run literally right up on graduation for some of the smaller schools. One year in particular recently there was a team that was playing the final one day and graduating the next.

    The problem with making it pre-season based on last year’s champions is … well the obvious; teams drastically change from year to year based on stars that matriculate.

    Todd Boss

    11 Jul 16 at 1:24 pm

Leave a Reply