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VHSL Region Preview: Class 2 Regions C & D


John Nolan
Virginia Assistant Director & Content Manager

UG 6.20

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We continue our Region previews with a look at 2a Regions C and D. Regions C and D primarily formed what used to be the 2a West under the previous VHSL alignment. These regions feature recent western powerhouses such as Glenvar, Virginia, Dan River, and Lebanon. New to these regions and new to 2a will be Fort Chiswell and Radford, both of which move up this year from 1a.

2015 was the second year in a row that Virginia captured the 2A West and 2A State Championships, and while the Bearcats have still been strong in the seasons since that run, other teams from 2A West have risen up to challenge them. In 2017, John Battle won the West Region championship and finished as State runners-up as Dan River took the State Title. 2016 saw Grayson County join Virginia as the Region's State representatives.

Region C is an all-in Region, which means that all thirteen members of Region C will make the tournament. The regular season will be used to seed teams 1-13 based on power points, and then those seeds will be used to fill out a traditional sixteen team bracket. The top three teams will get the benefit of a bye into the quarterfinals, which with the pitching rest rule will give the teams with a bye a significant edge if the quarterfinals are Monday games after the first round was played on a Friday.

Region D is now made up of twelve schools from two balanced Districts, the Mountain 7 and the Southwest Districts. Each District will send four teams to the eight team Region, and they will pair off for seeding based on District finish. For example, the Mountain 7 top seed will face the Southwest fourth seed and the Mountain 7 second seed will face the Southwest third seed in the Region quarterfinals.

 

Top Prospects in the Region C

Name School Class Position Commitment
Chance Davis Fort Chiswell 2018 SS/C Concord
Leighton Dunford Fort Chiswell 2020 3B
Cole Rigney Gretna 2019 C
Conner Phillips Radford 2020 RHP
A.J. Potojecki Chatham 2019 RHP Longwood

 


2018 Region C

Dogwood Three Rivers Other
Appomattox Floyd County Buckingham County
Chatham Giles Fort Chiswell
Dan River Glenvar Martinsville
Gretna James River (B)  
Nelson County Radford  

***Italicized teams played in a 2017 2a Region Tournament

 

Top Prospects in the Region D

Name School Class Position Commitment
Bryce Bowman John Battle 2018 SS
Jonathan Compton Gate City 2020 C  

 


2018 Region D

Mountain 7 Southwest
John Battle Graham
Central-Wise Lebanon
Gate City Marion Senior
Lee County Richlands
Ridgeview Tazewell
Union Virginia

***Italicized teams played in a 2017 2a Region Tournament

 

Teams to Watch Regions C and D

John Battle
The Trojans won the 2A West Region in 2017 despite being heavy underdogs, entering the Region as a two-seed and opening Region play on the road at powerhouse Virginia. Battle even had to win two win-or-go home games in the Conference tournament just to reach the Region. The Trojans were able to upset the Bearcats and ultimately kept their run going all the way to the State Championship game, where they fell just short of Dan River. The Trojans will lose Region Player of the Year Hunter Brown to graduation. Battle will bring back most of the infield with the return of seniors Bryce Bowman and Jake Mumpower as well as junior Isaac Deel. Senior pitcher Aaron Arnold will be back to lead the pitching staff as well in 2018.

Dan River
The Wildcats entered the 2017 West Region tournament as the seed from their conference, and then proceeded to roll to the West Region championship game and eventually the 2A State Championship. Dan River has been gutted by graduation, losing six seniors including key bats Bennett McCann and Nick Jones. Jones also doubled as the Wildcats' top arm in 2017. Flags do fly forever, and the Wildcats will look to prepare their young roster for another deep playoff run. Back to help lead that process is junior outfielder Brandon Jones

Floyd County
The Buffaloes had a rough regular season in 2017 but advanced to the 2A West Region semifinals after finishing as the Conference 38 runners-up and then upsetting Chatham in the Region quarterfinals. Floyd County lost senior ace Brady Underwood to graduation and will have to replace him and consistent offense in order to make another deep playoff run in 2018.

Fort Chiswell
The Pioneers are new to 2a, having spent the last few years in the 1A West. Fort Chiswell has been one of the stronger teams in 1A West over the last few years, making State Tournament appearances in 2016 and 2017. The Pioneers should be a threat for a deep playoff run in 2018 in their new classification with a team that will be led by senior two-way talent Chance Davis (Concord). Sophomore Leighton Dunford is poised to have a big season and add some thump in the middle of the lineup.

Gate City
The Blue Devils made the Region tournament in 2017 after capturing their Clinch Mountain Regular season championship, only to be upset in the first round of the West Region tournament. Gate City will lose Jon Munsey and Cade Lane from the lineup to graduation as well as Munsey and fellow senior Peyton Falin's innings. Despite those losses, the Blue Devils should be good to go for 2018 with the return of senior Andrew Williams on the mound. The lineup should be good with top prospect sophomore Jonathan Compton anchoring it from the middle with help from seniors Lucas Larkins and Landon Turner.

Glenvar
The Highlanders won Conference 38 for the fourth straight season in 2017 and made their thirteenth straight Region appearance, only to be upset in the first round by the eventual State Champions, Dan River. The Highlanders will be forced to replace catcher Alex Thompson and top arm Matthew Pulliam, both of whom have graduated along with four other seniors. The Highlanders have proven over the years that they can reload and compete, look for that to continue and them to be ready for a run in June.

Tazewell
The Bulldogs reached the 2A West semifinals in 2017 before falling in a tight contest to eventual State Champion Dan River. Tazewell brings some key pieces back in 2018 including their top arm in senior Sidney Willis. Also back to anchor the lineup will be senior infielders Trevor Wimmer and Zac Tatum. Watch for sophomore Cade Myers to build on a strong freshman season as the Bulldogs look to earn a State Tournament berth in 2018.

Virginia
Perennial power Virginia had its shortest postseason run in a while in 2017, falling in the first round of the 2A West Region tournament. The Bearcats will be hurt by the losses of their top two arms in Desmond Austin and TD Sizemore as well as outfielder Matthew Hunt to graduation. Virginia does bring back the bulk of their lineup and the Bearcats will have to score to win early in the season until their pitching sorts itself out. Senior Bobby Medley and juniors Justin Lewis and Jordan Dixon will be back to form the core of a lineup that should put up some runs as Virginia looks to return to the State Tournament after making three straight appearances before 2017.