Back

VHSL Region Preview: Class 6 Region D


John Nolan
Virginia Assistant Director & Content Manager

TPG 6.19

Follow @PBRVirginiaDC 
Facebook + Periscope

We finish our Region previews with a look at 6A Region D. 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. After this year's re-alignment, this Region is smaller than it has been in the past, there has also been some shuffling in Districts which will create some new and exciting rivalries under the new alignment. One confusing change with this Region to note is the presence of Marshall, a new 6A member that will play its regular season schedule against the 5A National District, and then will play in the 6A Region D tournament. The seed that Marshall earns in National District competition will be the seed that it carries into the Region tournament, meaning that there are five possible brackets for the postseason, with Marshall's season determining which one is used.

This Region is stacked with teams with playoff pedigree. Chantilly was the 2016 6a State Champion, Madison was the 2015 State Champion. Battlefield was one out away from defeating Chantilly in the 2016 title game. Patriot has been to the State Tournament twice in the six seasons the school has been open and Chantilly is one year removed from three straight trips to the State Championship game. McLean went with Chantilly to the State Tournament in 2014, riding a Cinderella run to a State Tournament berth.

 

Top Prospects in the Region

Name School Class Position Commitment
Zach Agnos Battlefield 2019 SS/RHP East Carolina
Carter Cunningham Battlefield 2019 OF Gardner-Webb
Riley Eikhoff Patriot 2020 SS/RHP Virginia
John Farley Centreville 2018 LHP Eastern Kentucky
Max Groppe McLean 2018 LHP Emory
Patrick Halligan Marshall 2018 RHP George Mason
Eric Lingebach Oakton 2018 SS  
Jake Nielsen Madison 2018 RHP Brigham Young
Kyle Novak Madison 2018 2B James Madison
Brian Rall Patriot 2018 C High Point
Cristian Sanchez Centreville 2018 RHP Virginia
Reese Varley Battlefield 2018 C  

 


2018 Region D Districts

Cedar Run Concorde Liberty National
Battlefield Centreville Herndon Marshall**
Osbourn Chantilly Langley  
Osbourn Park Madison McLean  
Patriot Oakton South Lakes  
Stonewall Jackson Westfield Washington-Lee  
    Yorktown  

*Italicized teams played in the 2017 6A Northern Region tournament
**Marshall played in the 2017 5A Northern Region tournament

 

District Previews

Cedar Run
Battlefield and Patriot will again be the most talented teams in the District. Look for their matchups to be showdowns between Zach Agnos and Riley Eikhoff. Lineup depth will come into play this year as Patriot reached the State Tournament last year and brings back most of the core of its lineup with the addition of Will Balkin by transfer. Brain Rall (High Point) will start at catcher for a fourth and final year and Will Heltibridle (Shenandoah) will provide power in the middle of the lineup. Behind Eikhoff, look for senior Garrett Thomas and junior Andrew Casey to be key contributors on the mound. Sophomore lefty Luke Basler could also carve out a role and junior righty Liam Fonner could provide some impact out of the bullpen when he returns from a minor injury.

Battlefield had the middle of its lineup gutted by graduation with the loss of Brandon Austin, Brent Boggs  (VMI), and Tyler Solomon (Vanderbilt). Agnos, Carter Cunningham (Gardner-Webb), and catcher Reese Varley will have to step up and other seniors such as Austin Estridge (Roanoke)  and Jonah Seagears (Virginia Tech) will need to contribute as well. Agnos will be the go to arm on the mound, but the Bobcats have depth behind him that will be the key to how deep they can go this year. Senior Jake Michna (Queens University (NC)) provides a tough sidearm look and junior lefty Harrison Whitt provided a lot of quality innings in 2017.

Osbourn Park was hurt by the loss of Kyle Whitten (Virginia) to graduation. The Yellow Jackets will be young and have some talent that could make them dangerous later in the season, sophomore Shane Saunders has a good speed tool with the ability to be a threat on the bases. Fellow sophomore Cam Mozingo-Morales is very physical and it will be interesting to check the progress of his development.

Five Prospects to Watch:

Name School Class Position Commitment
Zach Agnos Battlefield 2019 SS/RHP East Carolina
Carter Cunningham Battlefield 2019 OF Gardner-Webb
Riley Eikhoff Patriot 2020 SS/RHP Virginia
Brian Rall Patriot 2018 C High Point
Reese Varley Battlefield  2018  C


Concorde: The Concorde sees a shift as Herndon leaves for the Liberty District and Robinson returns to the Patriot District in Region C. Westfield, Chantilly, Oakton, and Centreville will be joined this year by newcomer Madison, who has left the Liberty District to make the Concorde the deepest District in Region D in 2018. Oakton is the defending Region Champs, and the Cougars will have to mount a title defense having lost ace Owen Lamon (Georgetown) and catcher Ryan Davis (Georgetown) to graduation. Back for the Cougars is junior lefty Seth Richards, who pitched them past Battlefield in the Region quarterfinals in 2017, and senior shortstop Eric Lingebach, who hit the walk-off home run in the Region Championship game.

Madison was hurt by graduation but the 2015 State Champions will be in decent shape in their first year in the Concorde, bringing back All-Region senior pitcher Jake Nielsen (BYU) and the best pure hitter in the Region in Kyle Novak (James Madison). Look for junior lefty Matt Howat's development to be a key for the Warhawks, he has the potential to pair with Nielsen to form a strong 1-2 punch on the mound. Centreville went through a coaching change in the offseason as Scott Rowland came out of retirement to take the helm for the Wildcats. Along with the addition of Rowland, Centreville also will benefit from the return of senior Cristian Sanchez (Virginia) after one year at Paul VI. Sanchez will eventually join fellow senior John Farley (Eastern Kentucky) and promising junior Hunter Bell in forming what has the potential to be the best rotation in the Region. Chantilly has some young talent and could be a factor later in the season, with sophomore catcher Shane Dux being one of the underclassmen who has shown impressive potential. 

Five Prospects to Watch:

Name School Class Position Commitment
John Farley Centreville 2018 LHP Eastern Kentucky
Eric Lingebach Oakton 2018 SS  
Jake Nielsen Madison 2018 RHP Brigham Young
Kyle Novak Madison 2018 2B James Madison
Cristian Sanchez Centreville 2018 RHP Virginia

 

Liberty: With Madison leaving the District, there will be a shift in the balance of power. Madison's exit was not the only change to the Liberty Conference, which saw Fairfax also depart for Region C and welcomes newcomer Herndon. Of this group, Langley had the strongest 2017, featuring Player of the Year Dan Hosley, who vacates his shortstop position due to graduation. Hosley led a potent offense that should be explosive again in 2018 with senior John Eames at its center, and junior Jack Hoeymans adds to the outfield and lineup depth for the Saxons.

McLean has developed a reputation of consistently being a fundamentally sound team with good pitching and defense under Coach John Dowling. The Highlanders should fit that mold again in 2018 as they will have the top arm in the District in senior lefty Max Groppe (Emory) as well as very interesting 2020 Teddy Merritt, who contributed down the stretch in 2017 as a freshman and has a very high ceiling. Back behind the plate for his third year as McLean's catcher is Grant Williams (Randolph-Macon).

South Lakes has the makings of an interesting squad as this spring that should feature senior Jack Dooley and sophomore Ryan Dooley working the keystone and senior lefty Jack Nathan (Lynchburg), who could potentially be joined in the rotation by sophomore Jack Thompson. Yorktown should challenge for Region bid with senior Carson Wood (Denison) as the centerpiece to their lineup. Herndon enters a new District and will have to deal with the departure of infielder Kent Morrison (Santa Clara) as the Hornets look to compete for a Region berth.

Five Prospects to Watch:

Name School Class Position Commitment
Ryan Dooley South Lakes 2020 SS  
John Eames Langley 2018 3B/OF
Max Groppe McLean 2018 LHP Emory
Teddy Merritt McLean 2020 RHP
Carson Wood Yorktown 2018 1B Denison

 

National: Marshall is the favorite to win the District and should come to the Region Tournament as a 1-seed. See our 5a Region C Preview for more detail on the National District and Marshall.