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VHSL Region Preview: Class 1 Regions C & D


John Nolan
Virginia Assistant Director & Content Manager

UG 6.20

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Welcome to our 2018 Region Previews. In each Region Preview, we will give you a brief rundown on how the realignment has impacted that particular Region. We will highlight top prospects in each Region, as well as some teams to watch during the 2018 season.

We continue our Region previews with a look at 1a Regions C and D. These Regions combined to form the 1A West for the last four years. In 2017, Auburn's offense carried the Eagles to the 1A State Championship after finishing as the West Region Runner-up to Eastside. Eastside also made a State Tournament appearance in 2016 and Honaker made one in 2015. 

The first major change in the new alignment is the departures of Radford and Fort Chiswell for Class 2. Aside from reclassification, these Regions are relatively confined to just a few Districts when compared to other VHSL Regions. Region C features twelve teams from two Districts, the Mountain Empire and Pioneer.

The Region C Tournament will be an eight team bracket, with four representatives from each District. The teams will be paired off like they were in the old system, with the Mountain Empire top seed facing the Pioneer fourth seed, and so on, in the Region Quarterfinals.

Region D features fifteen teams from three Districts, the Black Diamond, Cumberland, and Hogoheegee. The Region tournament will take three teams from each District to seed a nine-team tournament. All of the one and two seeds begin play in the quarterfinals, two of the three seeds will have to play in to reach the quarterfinals.

 

Top Prospects in the Region C and D

Name School Class Position Commitment
Brady Harris Auburn 2019 RHP/SS
Avery Mabe George Wythe 2020 RHP Virginia


2018 Region C

Mountain Empire Pioneer
Auburn Bath County
Bland Covington
Galax Craig County
Rural Retreat Eastern Montgomery
George Wythe (Wytheville) Highland
  Parry McCluer
  Narrows

***Participated in 2017 1a West Region Tournament

2018 Region D

Black Diamond Cumberland Hogoheegee
Council J.I. Burton Chilhowie
Grundy Castlewood Patrick Henry (Glade Spring)
Honaker Eastside Holston
Hurley Rye Cove Northwood
Twin Valley Twin Springs  
  Thomas Walker  

***Participated in 2017 1a West Region Tournament

 

Teams to Watch Regions C and D

Auburn
The defending State Champions rode an explosive offense to their title in 2017. The 2018 Eagles bring back their top two arms in senior Dylan Akers and junior Keith Reed. Both pitchers pitched to sub-1 ERAs in 2018 and are poised for big seasons again. Reed and Akers will have to pace an offense which lost five of its top seven hitters from 2017 to graduation. Look for junior Brady Harris to potentially help fill the void on offense as well as contribute valuable innings behind Akers and Reed.

Eastside
Eastside reached the State Tournament again in 2017, losing in the semifinals for the second straight year. The Spartans will be hurt greatly by the graduation of ace and State Player of the Year Austin Smallwood. Eastside does bring back key senior bats in Cole Harness, Blake Rhoten, Drew Richards, and Dakota Moore. While not having Smallwood's shutdown ability every other game will hurt Eastside's chances in 2018, the return of the veterans in the lineup should propel the Spartans deep into the Region tournament as they look for a third straight State Tournament berth.

Honaker
Honaker brings back senior All-State honoree Blake Stinson to form the core of their lineup in 2018. The Tigers came up just one win short of a State Tournament bid in 2017, falling in the 1A West Semifinals to Auburn. Look for them to go deep in the Region again and challenge for a State Bid in 2018.