It has been a rainy spring season for local baseball teams, but the district tournament season is upon us. Here’s the first of four posts we’ll do covering the High School baseball tournaments in the DC/MD/VA area. Here’s the rough schedule of posting and what we’ll cover:
- #1: DC/MD/VA District High School Tournament Report: post-season kickoff (this post). Covers: MD regional kickoffs, VA district brackets, Private school tourney updates. Usually publishes the week before Memorial day tournament finals.
- #2: Maryland State Champs, Northern VA District Champs crowned. Covers: MD state finals, VA district tourneys, VA regional brackets, DC regular season results. Usually publishes after the Memorial Day weekend tournaments finish up.
#3: Virginia Regional Results, DC Tourneys. Covers: VA regional results, State brackets, DC tourney results. Usually publishes the first week of June.
#4: Final Prep Baseball Update: Virginia State Champions crowned. Covers: VA state tourneys, recaps MD, DC, Private School results. Publishes mid-June once the Va state tourney wraps up.
Virginal district tournaments get started last weekend and most are scheduled to finish this week. The VHSL site has some district brackets already published. NovaBaseballMagazine has done a great job keeping up conference results and has links to the conference tournaments under its “Standings” links. Here’s a preview of the district tournaments for local conferences with the leading contenders.
The top four teams from each district tourney form the 16-team regional brackets, to be published later on once all the divisions are finalized.
- 6-A Conference 5/Concorde: Chantilly and Westfield are the 1/2 seeds; the other four teams in the district all are hovering around .500 for the year, including Oakton despite having a nationally-known recruit in Joe Rizzo.
- 6-A Conference 6/Liberty: Madison and McLean are the 1/2 seeds as they were last year; Madison lost only one game locally this year and should cruise to the district title.
- 6-A Conference 7/Potomac: West Springfield and Lake Braddock are the 1/2 seeds, with Annandale hovering.
- 6-A Conference 8/ Cedar Run: Battlefield the clear dominant team in this small district and is the #1 seed in the tournament.
Previews: Its hard not to squint and predict a regional semi finals of Chantilly, Madison, West Springfield and Battlefield at this point; the question becomes when does Battlefield throw its unbeatable ace Jake Agnos. If Battlefield can get to a regional final with Agnos on the hill, watch out.
In the 5-A division:
- 5-A Conference 13/Capitol: Marshall is the clear #1 and the clear 5-A regional favorite, with just one loss all year.
- 5-A Conference 14: Tuscarora, Stone Bridge and Briar Woods all stand at 5-2 in the district with one game remaining to play to jockey for seedings.
- 5-A Conference 15: Mountain View and Potomac seem like the teams to beat again.
- 5-A Conference 16: Halifax, Patrick Henry-Ashland are perennial favorites but this conference is not well covered by DC-area outlets.
Previews: Marshall seems like the team to beat; perennial power Stone Bridge lost its coach Sam Plank and some of its stars to rival new school Riverside, which is currently in Division 3-A while it grows into a 5-A/6-A size.
There are some DC-local teams in the 4th and smaller divisions (mostly in Loudoun County). We’ll go through them once their brackets are made available on VHSL. The best 4-A team out there is probably Loudoun Valley, currently in the WP top 10, and Kettle Run is also putting together a great season.
At this point, the Maryland State tournament is underway, with the play-in/round of 32 games played on 5/14/16. Brackets here at the MPSAA website and direct links to the four State-wide brackets are linked directly below. Schedule: Regional quarters are on 5/16, semis 5/18 and regional finals 5/20. State Semis are 5/24 and the state finals are 5/27.
- Maryland 4-A: Both finalists from 2015 are “district” #1 seeds in this year’s draw (Severna Park and Gaithersburg); they’ll meet in the State Semis this year if form holds. 2014 state-finalist Sherwood is also a “district” #1 seed and sits on the other side of the bracket with the likes of Dulaney, Parksdale and Bowie.
- Maryland 3-A: Looks like new blood in this year’s tourney: last year’s champ did not make Regionals, and 2014’s champ Reservoir is set to take on last year’s finalist Mt. Hebron in the first round. Chesapeake and River Hill look like early favorites.
- Maryland 2-A: Two-time defending 2-A champ Southern has their work cut out for them to three-peat. Newly promoted Sparrows Point, 2014 finalist Parkside and last year’s runner’s up Eastern Tech also in the field.
- Maryland 1-A: (mostly smaller schools outside the DC area): Last year’s champ is in the field but is not a favorite to advance even out of its own district.
We usually discount the quality of Maryland public school baseball teams versus their Virginia counter parts … but I can’t help if a team like Gaithersburg isn’t better than the likes of Madison or Chantilly this year.
- DCIAA: the regular season runs through 5/17. The District tournament quarters are on 5/19, semis 5/23 and the finals on 5/25. Wilson may finally have some competition, as School Without Walls (SWW) was undefeated mid-way through conference play.
- DCSAA: the 2016 tournament, if it will occur, has yet to be scheduled. It does not look like it has actually been held since 2013.
Remember, there’s not usually much suspense in who is winning the DCIAA; Wilson has not lost to a DCIAA opponent in more than 20 years.
Private Leagues: WCAC/MAC/IAC and VISAA/Maryland Private
- MIAA: No playoff brackets yet, but Spalding looks once again like the class of the MIAA Class A. Standings here.
- There’s a 2016 Maryland Private School Tournament scheduled for 5/30 at UMD; it should have some of the better private schools from Maryland, including the non-affiliated but perennial powerhouse Riverdale Baptist. Details coming later.
- VISAA: The VISAA playoff brackets were just announced: #1 seeds by the three classes were Paul VI, Greenbriar Christian and Southampton Academy. Other local teams playing include Flint Hill, O’Connell, and the Potomac School in McLean. Quarters 5/16, Semis 5/10 and finals 5/21/16.
- WCAC: The WCAC is midway through its tournament; with semis and finals being held this week. St. Johns won the regular season but the four top teams all advanced to the semis.
- MAC: Flint Hill once again cruised to a regular season title.
- IAC: no news yet on this smaller private DC-area conference.
- PVAC: no news yet on this smaller private DC-area conference.
My master list of links used to cover HS Baseball:
Local and National High School Baseball Ranking Lists:
- Washington Post All Met Sports Area top-10 ranking: Madison has maintained #1 ranking all year.
- NovaBaseballMagazine.com Rankings: Madison and Chantilly have dominated the rankings all year.
- PrepBaseballReport maintains a VA State-Wide Power25 Rankings: Madison, Greenbrier Christian, Hanover leading the way.
- Baltimore Sun Top-10 Poll Archives: Perennial power Spalding has been at the top for a good chunk of the season.
- The Virginian Pilot Top-10 for Hampton Roads area: Private school powerhouse Greenbrier Christian and one-loss First Colonial have led the way most of the year.
- Richmond times-Dispatch Richmond-Area top-10: perennial 4-A power Hanover leads the way.
- Baseball America’s National High School Rankings 5/3/16: no local teams in the top 25: Madison was in the pre-season list but quickly dropped out with its early season tourney losses.
- USA Today High School Experts top 25 for 5/10/16: Hanover and Spalding come in at #22 and #23 respectively.
- MaxPreps “Excellent 50” ranking for 5/3/16: Madison started #11; now there are no local teams listed.
These National rankings are dominated by teams in Texas, Florida and California, as you might expect. These teams can play nearly 40 games and usually have at least 15-20 under their belts before DC/MD/VA teams even get going. So its somewhat of an accomplishment just to have a local team get some recognition. In fact, any cold-weather state team appearing in these lists is pretty special.
Major Newspaper Links/Resources for following prep baseball around the state
- Washington Post’s AllMetSports section with standings and schedule results.
- The Baltimore Sun’s high school page has information on some of the programs outside the DC area mentioned in the Maryland section
- InsideNova.com‘s coverage of high school sports, but has put limits on the number of stories you can read.
- Richmond Times-Dispatch has a HS scoreboard.
- Hampton Roads Pilot (Hampton Roads) has scores for teams in the Chesapeake/Norfolk/Va Beach area.
- NovaBaseballMagazine: great coverage of Prep baseball in NorthernVirginia (thanks to Joe Antonellis for the heads up on this great new resource).
Local Newspaper Coverage, including links to many local papers covering smaller jurisdictions.
- The Connection family of newspapers has a sports section that is rarely updated, but it does do some coverage.
- Nvdaily.com (Strasburg) has some results for some of the teams in the smaller conferences/outskirts of DC, generally in the Strasburg area.
- WinchesterStar (Winchester) has results for Winchester teams but its pay-only.
- The Daily Progress (Culpeper local paper) also has some scores for schools in its areas.
- Fauquier Times (Fauquier) has some local sports news.
- VivaLoudoun tracks the Loudoun/Ashburn/Leesburg teams.
- The Loudoun Times also covers Leesburg-area teams.
- LoCosports blog, with tons of Loudoun county Coverage
- Fredericksburg.com has some local coverage of Fredericksburg and Woodbridge teams.
- The Lynchburg News & Advance for Lynchburg-based sports.
- The Virginia Gazette for Williamsburg local stuff.
Non-newspaper Links for Local and National Prep Baseball Coverage
- VHSL’s and MPSSAA home pages for updates on VA and MD respectively.
- DCIAA‘s website, which barely has a schedule but will eventually print results and playoff brackets
- PerfectGame: perfectgame.org is the best place to find HS prospect information.
- MaxPreps DC/VA specific coverage.
- Prep Baseball Report: DC/VA specific coverage (thanks again to Joe Antonellis for this link)
- Dynamic Baseball: good prep coverage on the east coast.
Good Twitter accounts to follow:
- https://twitter.com/toddeboss/lists/prepbaseball: I maintain an open list at my twitter account via this link, which contains direct links to dozens of local resources (including all the below). Way too many retweets from the travel team accounts especially, but its a good way to keep up with local ball.
- https://twitter.com/PBRVirginiaDC: Prep Baseball Report VA/DC coverage
- https://twitter.com/NVBaseballMag: NoVa Baseball Magazine