VHSL Region Preview: Class 4 Region C

John Nolan
Virginia Assistant Director & Content Manager

TPG 6.19

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We continue our Region previews with a look at 4a Region C. Region C used to be a part of the 4a West from 2014-2017. These schools are primarily located in the Northwest corner of Virginia, with the Dulles District featuring Loudoun County schools and the Northwestern District featuring schools from Fauquier County and the Winchester area. Departing the Region with a move to 5a will be Harrisonburg and Freedom (South Riding), both of which made Regional appearances in 2017 with Harrisonburg reaching the State Tournament. The other major realignment change will be addition of third-year program Riverside, which moves up from 3a to 4a.

The Rams reached the 3a State Championship game in 2017 and with the limited graduation associated with a new school, Riverside should be a quick contender in this Region. Also in this Region is Loudoun Valley, and the Vikings won a 3a State Title in 2014 and finished as the 3a Runners-up in 2015. Kettle Run reached the 4a State Tournament in 2016. District rivals Millbrook and Sherando made the 4a State Tournament in 2014, and Fauquier made a State Tournament in run in 2015.

The Region C tournament is one of the more unique ones of all 24 Regions in VHSL. Only four teams will advance to the Region tournament, with it being just the top two from each District. On top of that, the Region berths will be determined based on regular season District record. This means that yet again, District tournaments in the new system are meaningless, but Region C is unique in that with the playoff berths based on regular season finish, every single District game all year will be immensely important. It will be interesting to see how this plays out during the 2018 season, but given the depth of both of these Districts, and especially the Dulles District, this will ratchet up the intensity of every single regular season game.


Top 10 Prospects in the Region

Name School Class Position Commitment
Connor Baine Loudoun Valley 2018 1B George Mason
Tyler Casagrande Riverside 2018 OF Arizona
Robert Ferreira
Riverside 2018 RHP  
Jacob Gladstone Kettle Run 2018 1B Ferrum
Michael Grupe
Loudoun Valley 2019 RHP/SS
Justin Hanvey Woodgrove 2018 SS Radford
Nick Lockhart Woodgrove 2019 RHP Virginia Tech
Jarrett LoRusso Woodgrove 2018 RHP Roanoke
Blaze O'Saben Fauquier 2018 SS UMBC 
Dylan Weber Dominion 2019 LHP  


2018 Region C Districts

Dulles Northwestern
Dominion Fauquier
Heritage (Leesburg) Handley
Loudoun County Kettle Run
Loudoun Valley Liberty (Bealeton)
Park View (Leesburg) Millbrook
Riverside Sherando
Woodgrove James Wood

*Italicized teams played in the 2017 4a West Region tournament


District Previews

Dulles District
Loudoun Valley made a Region appearance in 2017 and the Vikings bring the bulk of the key pieces to that roster back in 2018. This year's team will be one of the most talented Loudoun Valley has had since its 3A State Runner-up and State Championship teams in 2014-2015. The Vikings added a big bat with the transfer of senior Connor Baine (George Mason) and he will be a nice addition to the core of a potent lineup. All-Region senior Zach Klonicke will be back in the outfield this spring. Juniors Michael Grupe and Jonathan Sedmak have a chance to be impact bats around Baine in the lineup and senior catcher Hunter Fasold will add a veteran presence behind the dish. On the mound, Grupe has a big arm and has the stuff to dominate. Fellow junior John Byram should make a good number two in the rotation and change of pace from the left side.

Riverside will join the Dulles District as the Rams move from 3a to 4a in their third year of competition. Majority of Riverside's 2017 3a State Runner-up roster will be back, with the biggest loss being pitcher and outfielder Trey Campbell (UNC-Asheville). To replace Campbell, Riverside has added senior Tyler Casagrande (Arizona) via transfer, and he brings a big impact bat to the middle of the lineup as well as an outstanding arm to put in an outfield that already has speedy junior Sajon Belser covering center and both gaps. On the infield, the Rams bring back their whole left side with senior Ryan Hoehn manning third base and slick fielding leadoff man Carson Swank (Yale) back at short for his junior season. Senior Robbie Ferreira is back to top the rotation and big lefty Wes Glass (Young Harris) will round out a good top two on the mound for the Rams, who also have plenty of depth with junior arms David Setien and Nicholas Connolly. Riverside will be talented and deep on the mound and be one of few lineups in 4a that is good 1-9, and the Rams will be a dangerous team come playoff time.

Woodgrove missed the 4a West Region tournament in 2017 and the Wolverines lost pitcher Ryan Miles (George Mason) to graduation as well as Clayton Roberts (Messiah) and Scott Smith (Finlandia). Despite those losses, the Wolverines have plenty of talent on their roster and will compete for one of the District's Region bids in 2018. Sophomores Ethan Dezarn and Wyatt Miles as well as senior Justin Hanvey (Radford) will anchor a talented infield and form the core of the lineup. Senior pitcher Jarrett LoRusso (Roanoke) returns to the top of the Woodgrove rotation after establishing himself as an ace in 2017 with a sub-1 ERA in over 50 innings of work. Junior Nick Lockhart (Virginia Tech) will move out of the bullpen and into the number two spot this spring. He and LoRusso could form one of the more dynamic one-two combos on the mound this spring as the Wolverines look poised for a deep postseason run.

Dominion is going to feature a roster with plenty of senior experience in 2018 that should make the Titans contenders to earn one of the Dulles District's Region bids. Junior lefty Dylan Weber has feel for three pitches and the kind of command that will allow him to dominate high school lineups all season. Weber and senior Mitchell Kay (Roanoke) will give the Titans two good arms that will compete to win every game. Dominion made a Region appearance in 2017, but graduated some key seniors including ace Cameron Taylor (UMBC). Loudoun County suffered a blow in the offseason with the transfer of Will Schroeder (UNC) to Freedom. The Raiders do have an interesting junior arm in lefty Donovan Burke who has a chance to make a major impact in District play in 2018.

Prospects to Watch:

Name School Class Position Commitment
Connor Baine Loudoun Valley 2018 1B George Mason
Tyler Casagrande Riverside 2018 OF Arizona
Robert Ferreira Riverside 2018 RHP  
Michael Grupe Loudoun Valley 2019 RHP/SS  
Justin Hanvey Woodgrove 2018 SS Radford
Jarrett LoRusso Woodgrove 2018 RHP Roanoke
Nick Lockhart Woodgrove 2019 RHP Virginia Tech
Dylan Weber Dominion 2019 LHP

Northwestern District
Kettle Run has dominated this District or Conference for the last few years, carrying an undefeated record into the playoffs in 2017. The Cougars were decimated by graduation after last year's run though, losing senior arms Ryan Daniel (Bluefield College), Sam Ewald (VMI), Noah Goins (Patrick Henry CC), and Will Merriken (Roanoke). Ewald, Goins, and Merriken's bats will be missed as well as the bat of graduated catcher Tyler Shaffer (Catholic). Damaging while these losses will be, the Cougars do have some talent in place to compete with in 2018. Senior Bailey Burke will contribute on the mound and at the plate. Fellow senior Jacob Gladstone (Ferrum) will become the centerpiece in the lineup and senior shortstop Jared Johnson will be the center of the infield defense and add some speed as well as his bat. Senior Isaac Brooks will also be back in the outfield and adding more depth to the lineup. Kettle Run will play clean defense and be able to score with that offensive core in 2018, if the Cougars can find some youngsters to fill out the rotation they will be in the mix to return to the Region C tournament in 2018.

Millbrook has been one of the top teams in 4a for the last handful of years, propelled to that level primarily by a loaded Class of 2017. With the graduation of that special group of players, including eight players who are currently playing in college, Millbrook will likely take a slight step back in 2018 as the Pioneers will need to break in an entirely new roster for the most part. Junior righthander Jalen Tyson got some opportunities in 2017 and has some intriguing upside will be worth the trip to check in on his development. Senior shortstop Alec Rudolph will be back and is a good glove up the middle and brings experience to the lineup.

Sherando comes off of a 2017 season that saw the Warriors earn a trip to the 4a West playoffs after having missed the Region tournament the last few years. The Warriors should be solid again in 2018 with a pair of senior infielders to build their team around in Pearce Bucher (Shenandoah) and Frank Ritter (Shenandoah)

Fauquier is coming into 2018 having missed Region tournament berths the last few years while sharing a District with a stacked Kettle Run team and a strong Freedom squad. The Falcons look to return to Region play in 2018 and pin a lot of their hopes on how much havoc senior infielder Blaze O'Saben (UMBC) can wreak on the bases with his speed. Junior lefty Carson McCusker has a chance emerge as an ace in 2018, and if he does that will also go a long way towards propelling the Falcons to a Region bid. Handley, James Wood, and Liberty figure to battle each other to finish near the middle of the pack this spring.

Five Prospects to Watch:

Name School Class Position Commitment
Pearce Bucher Sherando 2018 3B Shenandoah
Jacob Gladstone Kettle Run 2018 1B Ferrum
Carson McCusker Fauquier 2019 LHP  
Blaze O'Saben Fauquier 2018  SS  UMBC 
Frank Ritter Sherando 2018 SS Shenandoah