Prep Baseball Report

Which PA High Schools were on Santa's Naughty and Nice Lists?

By Jacob Gill
Philadelphia Region Director of Scouting

Baseballs ping, are you listening?
Downhill plane, a pitch comes whistling
A beautiful sight, a home run takes flight
Walking off a winner, ain't it grand?

Presents Under the Tree


PIAA class AA semifinalist Neumann-Goretti added two potential difference-makers from across the bridge in New Jersey. Senior third baseman Matt McKeown, a Delaware commit, and junior first baseman Lou Testa are both expected to make a major impact on the middle of the Saints line-up, as coach Kevin Schneider looks to replace the production of Josh Ockimey, a fifth round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox.

PAISAA tournament runner up Perkiomen School added two transfers of its own: senior outfielder Charlie Barebo, who hit .393 and led District XI class AA champion Notre Dame (Green Pond) in extra base hits and stolen bases last spring, and RHP/OF David Juechter, a junior from Nyack, NY.

Reigning Suburban One League Continental Division champ North Penn (the 2013 PIAA class AAAA state champion) will be able to add a solid stick to its line-up, as senior infielder Mike Christy transferred in from Lansdale Catholic.

There was a relative flurry of activity In District III as well. Class AA district champ Berks Catholic will welcome senior outfielder Gabe Witmer, a mainstay in the Twin Valley high school and legion line-ups over the past couple of seasons. A Berks III all-division honoree, junior Ledwin Nunez will toe the rubber for Wyomissing Area after leaving Antietam. High-profile sophomore left-handed pitcher Brandon Knarr has transferred to Eastern York from Penn Manor.

Facility Upgrade

A $1.45 million dollar upgrade to War Memorial Field will have Ephrata Area playing and practicing on a new artificial turf surface this spring.

Classification Changes

These high schools dropped down a PIAA class due to enrollment changes and will be competing against smaller schools than last year in district play:

District I - Radnor
District III - Daniel Boone Area, Spring Grove Area
District VII - New Castle Area
District X - Central Tech
District XII - Cardinal O'Hara

District II - G.A.R
District III - Lancaster Catholic, Oley Valley, Pequea Valley
District VII - Keystone Oaks, Waynesburg Central
District VIII - Westinghouse Academy
District X - Girard
District XII - Bodine, New Foundations Charter

AA to A
District II - Elk Lake
District III - Halifax
District IV - Williamson, North Penn-Mansfield
District V - Northern Bedford County, Windber Area
District VI - Blairsville, Northern Cambria, Purchase Line, United
District VII - Bentworth, Brentwood, Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette
District IX - Curwensville Area
District X - Commodore Perry, Mercer Area, West Middlesex
District XII - Maritime Academy Charter, West Catholic Prep

Coal in Their Stocking


Lancaster Catholic lost the potent bat of Penn State commit Willie Burger to IMG Academy in Florida for his senior season. Due to competing on the varsity level as an eighth-grader at his previous high school in Connecticut, Burger exhausted his PIAA eligibility following his junior season at LC. Burger will be joined at IMG by former Butler Area infielder Nick Patten, a Delaware recruit.

Inter-Ac co-champ Penn Charter is left to wonder what-could-have-been, as it watched previous-year transfers Nolan Jones (Holy Ghost Prep) and Joe Lancellotti (Archbishop Wood) commit this summer to Virginia and North Carolina, respectively. Their presence would have given the Quakers seven Division I commitments on the roster heading into this spring.


Just five months after winning the PIAA class AAA state championship, the Pope John Paul II players and parents were forced to deal with the loss of head coach John Duffy. PJP chose not to renew the first-year head coach's contract over a suspension he received stemming from an ejection in the PAC-10 championship game. The Golden Panthers were 5-14 the year before Duffy's arrival.

Classification Changes

These high schools moved up a PIAA class due to enrollment changes and will be competing against bigger schools than last year in district play:

District I - Harriton, Interboro, Marple Newtown, Upper Merion Area
District II - West Scranton
District III - Garden Spot
District VIII - Carrick
District XII - Franklin, King, Overbrook

District III - Berks Catholic
District IV - Athens Area, Montoursville Area
District VII - Beaver Area, Deer Lakes, Ellwood City, Freeport Area, Southmoreland
District XII - Delaware Valley Charter, Esperanza Academy Charter, Randolph Career Academy, School of the Future

A to AA
District I - Devon Prep
District II - Wyoming Seminary College Prep
District III - York Catholic
District IV - Line Mountain
District VI - Bishop McCort
District VII - Frazier, Northgate
District IX - Cranberry Area, Johnsonburg Area
District X - Cambridge Springs, Lakeview
District XI - Mahanoy Area, Moravian Academy, Schuylkill Haven Area
District XII - Saul, Strawberry Mansion, Truebright Science Academy Charter, World Communications Charter

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