Prep Baseball Report

Looking Ahead: Top 2017 VA/DC Private Schools

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By John Nolan
Virginia Assistant Director and Content Manager

As we enter the late innings of 2016, Prep Baseball Report Virginia/DC will take a few looks back at the high school season and look ahead to the 2017 season. We will be changing how we do our rankings next spring, shifting away from an all-encompassing Power 25 to rankings that will be separated by classification. In this piece, we will take a quick look at a few of the private schools we think should be near the top of the 2017 rankings in a few months.

Collegiate School
The defending VISAA Division I State Champions will be hurt by graduation as they have lost some key lineup pieces. The Cougars will still feature 2017 ace Evan Justice (North Carolina State), who shut down Paul VI in the 2016 State Championship Game, and 2018 Travis Reifsnider (James Madison).

The Covenant School
The Covenant School has a good squad that is built around an experienced group of seniors who have led the program to new heights the last few years as underclassmen. Look for Covenant to continue its recent run of excellence as its rotation will be anchored by 2017s Jake Haney (William & Mary), Trent Miller (Bridgewater), and Will Moore (William & Mary). The lineup will again feature Haney, Miller, Moore, and fellow seniors Luke Burton (Davidson) and Tyler Mahone (Longwood).

Highland School
Highland hosted a VISAA Division II playoff game in 2016 as the Hawks set a program record for wins and had arguably the best season in the program’s history. The 2017 Hawks will have some say in that debate as they will be carried by a talented senior class anchored again this year by senior ace Josh Pittman (St. Bonaventure) as well as fellow seniors Noah Lerman, Timmy Stephan, and Jacob Zoller (Emory & Henry) with help from youngster Luke Burner.

Miller School of Albemarle
The Miller School has been near the top of our rankings each of the last two years, losing in the VISAA Division II playoffs each of the last two years to eventual State Champion Greenbrier Christian. Last year’s game was a 1-0 instant classic in the State Semifinals. This year, the Mavericks will again be talented, featuring 2017s Tanner Morris (Virginia) and Will Wagner (Liberty) as well as 2018s Adam Hackenburg (Clemson) and Ethan Murray (Duke).

Paul VI Catholic
Paul VI will see the return of coach Billy Emerson this spring, and he takes over a squad that reached the VISAA Division I championship game before falling to Collegiate School. The Panthers face a lot of turnover to graduation as they had a very strong group of 2016s, but Paul VI still has plenty of talent, featuring 2017s Liam McDonnell (James Madison) and Michael Morgan (James Madison) with 2018s Connor Baine (George Mason), Tyler Casagrande (Arizona), and Cristian Sanchez (Alabama).

St. John’s College Prep
St. John’s has won the WCAC Championship each of the last three years and is extremely talented. The Cadets will lose a lot to graduation from last year’s team but continue to have a ton of talent with a rotation that will feature 2017 grads Jake Pecilunas (William & Mary) and Gabe Levine (Lafayette), with help from 2018 grads Zeke Gongola (Maryland)Jacob Steinberg (Miami) and Ethan Forbes (Virginia), who is returning from injury. The lineup will be anchored by senior middle infielders Bruce Hudson (Radford) and Jack Roberts (Elon) along with Steinberg and Forbes.