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VHSL Region Preview: Class 4 Region D


John Nolan
Virginia Assistant Director & Content Manager

UG 6.20

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We continue our Region previews with a look at 4a Region D. Region D features the Southern portion of the 4a West from the previous alignment. Schools are located in the Charlottesville/Lynchburg area or are spread around the Southwestern corner of Virginia. The defending 4a State Champions, Liberty Christian Academy, call this new Region their home. This will be LCA's third year of VHSL competition and the Bulldogs have reached the 4a State Championship game in both of the other seasons.

Liberty Christian is part of a strong group of schools in the Lynchburg area that make up the Seminole District. Jefferson Forest has also been strong recently, with a handful of big arms wearing a Cavalier hat, and leading to a finish as the 2015 4a State Runners-up. Glass made a Region tournament trip and reached the Region Semifinals in 2017. Amherst County has had plenty of college-bound talent on its roster over the last few years as well. Elsewhere in the Region, Salem has been a consistent presence in the playoffs recently, and Blacksburg, Bassett, and GW Danville routinely roll out solid teams.

Region D will use an eight team tournament to determine its State Tournament representatives. With schools spread out over six Districts, Region D will use power points to seed their tournament. 

 

Top 10 Prospects in the Region

Name School Class Position Commitment
Griffin Agee Jefferson Forest 2019 LHP Virginia
Wesley Clarke Liberty Christian  2018  South Carolina 
Christian Easley Bassett 2018 OF  
Christian Gordon Liberty Christian  2019  LHP   
Dylan Hatfield William Byrd 2021 C
Jacob Helbling Jefferson Forest 2018 RHP Ferrum
Kyle Horton Liberty Christian 2018 OF Charleston Southern
Christian Martin Amherst County 2021 SS  
Quade Tomlin Liberty Christian 2020 SS  
Jacob Williams Liberty Christian 2019 1B  

 


2018 Region D Districts

River Ridge Seminole Other
Blacksburg Amherst County Bassett
Pulaski County E.C. Glass Carroll County
Salem (Roanoke) Jefferson Forest Charlottesville
  Liberty Christian GW Danville
 
William Byrd
     

*Italicized teams played in a 2017 4A Northern Region tournament

 

Teams to Watch Region D

Amherst County
The Lancers missed the Region tournament in 2017 and lost some key players to graduation with the departure of the class of 2017. Gone will be two-way contributor Ezra Baier (King) as well as infielder Will Knight (VMI) and outfielder Nathan Loyd (VMI). Amherst freshman infielder Christian Martin had one of the better underclassmen performances at the Preseason All-State Showcase and he should be able to contribute at some point this spring. Watch for this young Amherst team to be dangerous in the second half of the season as a the younger roster gains experience and confidence.

Bassett
The Bengals won their Conference in 2017 and reached the 4a West Region tournament, only to be upset in the quarterfinals by Freedom-South Riding. Bassett will suffer a few blows at the hand of graduation, with the most painful one being the departure of catcher Nathan Perry, who was the only Virginia prep player to be drafted and sign a professional contract in 2017. Also gone are pitcher Shawn Saxe, shortstop Jordan Smith, and outfielder Jared Burrell. The Bengals didn't lose everyone to graduation, as junior pitcher Austin Custer is back as well as senior outfielder Christian Easley.

E.C. Glass
Glass made the 4a West Region tournament in 2017 and upset undefeated and top-seeded Kettle Run in the Region quarterfinals before seeing their season end in the semifinals. Two-way standout Hunter Hall was instrumental in that victory, but he has graduated, as have infielder Avery Combs (Hofstra) and outfielder Ben Ailesworth. Senior Matthew MacCallum is back to be the centerpiece to the offense in 2018 and speedy outfielder Tre Alexander should top the lineup and cover a lot of ground in center.

Jefferson Forest
The Cavs missed the 2017 Region tournament after a pair of deep runs in the playoffs in 2015 and 2016. Jefferson Forest retooled a bit during the 2017 season and only lost four seniors to graduation, one of which was lefthander Cody Whitten (Winthrop). Junior lefty Griffin Agee (Virginia) will see his role expand this spring as he is poised to join senior Jacob Helbling (Ferrum) atop the JF rotation. Senior middle infielders Dylan Kramer and Griffin Woolridge are among six position starters returning this season. Sophomore outfielder Jackson Cherry could add some production and earn a bigger role throughout the season. Look for the Cavs to return to the Region tournament in 2018 and challenge Liberty Christian for the Region title.

Liberty Christian
The Bulldogs are the defending 4a State Champions and have won a Region title in both years that they have competed in VHSL. Despite the departures of Hunter Johnson (James Madison), Pearce Howard (New Orleans), Noah Cook (VMI), and Conor Austin (Covenant College) via graduation, Liberty Christian will be the on-paper favorites to win their third straight Region title. The Bulldogs will get one more season out of senior catcher Wes Clarke (South Carolina) and senior outfielder Kyle Horton (Charleston Southern). Also returning to the lineup will be junior outfielder Emmanuel Johnson and sophomore shortstop Quade Tomlin. Senior Austin Roach and junior Jacob Williams add more depth and thump to one of the best 1-9 lineups in Virginia. Roach and junior lefty Christian Gordon will be among a deep stable of arms that Liberty Christian can turn to in 2018.