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VHSL Region Preview: Class 6 Region C


John Nolan
Virginia Assistant Director & Content Manager

UG 6.20

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We continue our Region previews with a look at 6a Region C. This Region formed half of the old Northern Region that had existed for years in the 6a and AAA before that. In 2017 Oakton defeated Patriot to capture the final Northern Region Championship, with West Springfield being the only team from the new Region C that reached the Region semifinals in the North Region 2017. Woodbridge did reach the South Region semifinals in 2017 before losing to eventual State Champion Western Branch. The only team to reach State Tournament since 2013 in this Region is Hylton, which went out of 6a South in 2016. Lake Braddock was the last Fairfax County team in this Region to reach the State tournament, with a  trip to the semifinals in the 2013 in the old AAA.

One note is Potomac, which will play its regular season schedule in the Cardinal District but will shift down to 5a for Region D tournament play, therefore not participating in this Region tournament.

The biggest change to the Region is the addition of the Cardinal District, which will bring schools from southern Prince William into a Region with Fairfax County schools for the first time in VHSL history. The Cardinal District Prince William schools had been in the AAA Northwest Region until 2013 and then the 6a South from 2014-2017. Another change is the return of Robinson to the Patriot District after over a decade in the Concorde as well as the addition of Fairfax, moving from the Liberty to also join the Patriot District. There is also catch to the alignment in Region C, as Stuart will join class 6a for the Region playoffs only after playing the regular season in the Class 5 National District. Stuart will enter the Region tournament as whatever seed that they finish National District play with, an identical setup to Marshall in Region D. 

 

Top 10 Prospects in the Region

Name School Class Position Commitment
Jimmy Curley West Potomac 2019 RHP High Point
Jack Cone
South County 2018 RHP William & Mary
Andrew Edwards West Potomac 2018 C George Mason
Hunter Hoopes
W. T. Woodson 2018 RHP UNC-Asheville
Ryley Johnson Colgan 2020 OF Radford
Lyle Miller-Green
Lake Braddock 2019 RHP Virginia Tech
Marty Neal
Gar-Field 2018 RHP Harford CC
Rojo Prarie
Lake Braddock 2018 OF/RHP William & Mary
Alejandro Rodriguez Hayfield 2018 LHP
Matthew Thomas
Lake Braddock 2018 C William & Mary

 


2018 Region C Districts

Cardinal Gunston Patriot National
Colgan Annandale Fairfax Stuart
Forest Park Hayfield Lake Braddock  
Freedom (Woodbridge) Mount Vernon Robinson  
Gar-Field T.C. Williams South County  
Hylton West Potomac West Springfield  
Potomac**   W.T. Woodson  
Woodbridge      

*Italicized teams played in a 2017 6a Region tournament
**Potomac will play in 5a Region C for the Postseason

District Previews

Cardinal
The Cardinal District has experienced a little change as it has become an exclusively Prince William District with longtime members Riverbend and Colonial Forge departing the District for Region B. Woodbridge won the District in 2017 and advanced to the Region semifinals before ultimately being eliminated by eventual State Champion Western Branch. The Vikings lost some key pieces to graduation, including top arm Grant Mikkelsen, centerfielder Miguel Cameron (Norfolk State) and first baseman Scott Morgan (George Mason). Despite losing those pieces, the Vikings have some talent this year, speedy senior Bryce Ross is an intriguing two way talent with some arm strength in the outfield. Fellow senior Jeremiah Rodriguez will join him in the outfield and Hunter Steel is back behind the dish. Look for junior Jack Lamb to get more innings and potentially contribute in a big way. 

Colgan enters its second season of competition and the Sharks have a chance to be dangerous this year. Seniors Nick Fontana and Ethan Laird (Shenandoah) give Colgan a pair of reliable arms that also contribute at the plate, and fellow senior Ryan Hersi (Harford CC) has one of the whippiest arms in all of Virginia with a ton of velocity upside. Sophomore Ryley Johnson (Radford) brings big speed to the top of the order and covers a lot of ground in center, anchoring what should be a strong defense for Colgan as the Sharks look to make the program's first Region tournament in 2018. Forest Park got hit by graduation, losing seniors Carson Arguin and Anthony Stehlin (Concord). The Bruins do return senior ace Tommy Wells and talented junior catcher Andrew Frye.

Gar-Field had a banner class of 2017, sending four players on to play in college. Hylton lost senior catcher Richard Ortiz (Charleston WV) to graduation, and the Bulldogs should be a younger team this spring. Gar-Field will feature the most exciting arm in the District in 2018 in senior righty Marty Neal (Harford CC), who dazzled in Jupiter and will garner some draft consideration this spring. 

5 Prospects to Watch

Name School Class Position Commitment
Ryan Hersi Colgan 2018 RHP Harford CC
Ryley Johnson Colgan 2020 OF Radford
Jack Lamb Woodbridge 2019 RHP
Marty Neal Gar-Field 2018 RHP Harford CC
Bryce Ross Woodbridge 2018 OF/RHP

 

Gunston
The Gunston District will have its inaugural season in 2018 as it was created to balance the number of Districts in Region C and Region D evenly with three each. West Potomac is the only team in the new District that made a trip to a Region tournament in 2017, with a young Wolverines squad getting in as the fourth seed from the Patriot District and being eliminated by State Tournament-bound Patriot in the first round. West Potomac lost shortstop Luke Belanger (Radford) to graduation, but the Wolverines add 2018 outfielder Alec Roberts (Charlotte) via transfer and will pair him with fellow senior catcher Andrew Edwards (George Mason) in the middle of their lineup. West Potomac has the makings of a potentially dominant one-two punch on the mound in 2019 righties Jimmy Curley (High Point) and Tyler Rulapaugh (George Mason). While West Potomac should be the class of the District, they could face a challenge from Hayfield, which will be able to put senior lefty Alejandro Rodriguez on the mound to face them. 

5 Prospects to Watch

Name School Class Position Commitment
Jimmy Curley West Potomac 2019 RHP High Point
Andrew Edwards West Potomac 2018 C George Mason
Alec Roberts West Potomac 2018 OF Charlotte
Alejandro Rodriguez Hayfield 2018 LHP
Tyler Rulapaugh West Potomac 2019 RHP George Mason

 

Patriot
The Patriot District will have a new look in 2018 as it will welcome Fairfax in this spring and get Robinson back after the Rams spent a period in the Concorde District. The Patriot District will also say goodbye to the Gunston District schools as the District shrinks to six schools total. The District has been dominated in recent years by the rivalry between West Springfield and Lake Braddock and the Spartans came out on top last year, winning the District and advancing to the Region semifinals before falling to Patriot. While the Spartans have lost ace Jake Williams to graduation, they will feature a talented and deep group of seniors in 2018. On the infield alone will be Sam Freeborn (Mary Washington), Jared Lyons (George Mason), and Brett Stallings (Frederick CC). Calvin Pastel (Shenandoah) adds depth to the lineup in the outfield and look for junior David Giorgis to potentially take over behind the plate and add another middle of the lineup bat. West Springfield will have one of the deeper lineups in the Region this spring, which should help support what will be a less experienced pitching staff.

Another year brings us another Lake Braddock team stocked with elite talent. The Bruins get one last run with a core of seniors that have started together for a while. Matt Thomas (William & Mary) provides a bat in the middle of the order and can either handle the catching duties or play a corner infield spot, depending on need. Jack Darcy and Rojo Prarie (William & Mary) will be back as well, and after a healthy summer, Prarie should be able to contribute more on the mound this year, where he and junior Lyle Miller-Green (Virginia Tech) have a chance to form a dynamic one-two punch. Senior Isaac Bowden (Grove City College) will add a lefthanded option to Coach Jody Rutherford's rotation. South County made the Region in 2017 and finished as the District runners-up, but the Stallions lost some key pieces to its lineup to graduation with the departures of Jack Basse (Randolph-Macon) and Austin Gauthier (Hofstra). South County does get one more year of ace Jack Cone (William & Mary), who will give the Stallions a chance to win a pitcher's duel against any opponent. Senior lefty Austin McElligott (Marymount) will make up the second half of the South County rotation and shortstop Kellum Stripling (Christopher Newport) will help anchor the middle of the defense and provide an important bat. 

Robinson joins the District after making a Region tournament appearance last year, advancing to the quarterfinals before losing to Patriot 1-0 on a walk-off home. Lefty Hugh O'Hara (George Mason) spun a gem in that game and he will be back for his senior season in 2018, where he will be joined by fellow senior lefty Jack Philbin. Robinson will also have a very deep lineup to challenge opposing pitchers. Senior Peter Cocolis (Roanoke) and junior Ethan Rothstein (James Madison) give the Rams two quality catching options. Seniors Flynn Hopkins (William & Mary) and Jackson Russell (Washington & Jefferson) provide big bats in the outfield and senior Alex Lemery (Marymount) will also add length to what will be one of the deeper lineups in 6a.

Woodson narrowly missed the Region tournament in 2017, but look for the Cavaliers to challenge to make a Region trip in 2018. Despite the graduation of Randy Prosperi (William & Mary), Woodson will still have talent on the mound with senior Hunter Hoopes (UNC Asheville). Fellow seniors Garrett Laraia (Cabrini College) and Pascal Roberts (Chowan College) provide some talent in the infield and the middle of the lineup. Fairfax is new to the District and will suffer from the loss of ace Tommy Bradley (George Mason). The Rebels do have senior Thomas Aguila (Neumann College) and junior lefty Bryce Johnson, who will gave Fairfax an option for its rotation with some upside. 

5 Prospects to Watch

Name School Class Position Commitment
Jack Cone South County 2018 RHP William & Mary
Hunter Hoopes W.T. Woodson 2018 RHP UNC-Asheville
Lyle Miller-Green Lake Braddock 2019 RHP Virginia Tech
Rojo Prarie Lake Braddock 2018 OF/RHP William & Mary
Matthew Thomas Lake Braddock 2018 C William & Mary

 

National: Stuart has struggled in the recent past in the National District and while there is some athletic talent there, they will struggle to earn a Region bid. See the 5a Region C preview for more detail on Stuart and the National District.