Time for part 2! Division C predictions.
Southeast: I know that by making this pick that some teams are going to feel underrated and use it as motivation to prove me wrong, so I’m going to abstain.
Alright, I’m kidding. But DON’T HURT ME PLEASE. I GOTTA DO THIS.
1. Harriton, 2. Conestoga, 3. Bayard Rustin, 4. Penncrest, 5. Strath Haven
Did I put a 4 next to Penncrest? That can’t be right. Ew, look how weird that looks.
1. Harriton, 2A. Conestoga, 2B. Bayard Rustin, 2C. Penncrest, 5. Strath Haven.
Ugh, that’s not much better, now it looks like I’m not taking Strath seriously.
1. Harriton, 2A. Conestoga, 2B. Bayard Rustin, 2C. Penncrest, 2D. Strath Haven.
Rustin has slightly more impressive results from invites, but Stoga had two very even teams for the majority of them, and that frightens me a little bit. I can’t bring myself to put Penncrest ahead of Stoga and Rustin, because they haven’t been to invites and I don’t know if that’s as easily overcome as it used to be. Strath impressed at the Battle of Valley Forge, but I think the other teams are a little more battle-tested, and I REALLY didn’t want to put Penncrest fifth. Harriton’s just a machine at this point, so first is a comparatively easy pick. Please get first Harriton or I’ll look silly.
I feel dirty.
/me hides from Lower Merion
Central: 1. State College, 2. Hershey, 3. Spring Grove. Compared to SE this should be easy, right? Ha. Well, thanks to last year’s photo finish, and the knowledge that Jdogg is breeding an army up in Centre County, there are a lot of things that could happen. But I’ve learned to never bet against Jdogg, so that’s why I’m putting State College first, plus the fact that any middle schoolers from Park Forest and Mount Nittany that have stuck with it are very experienced. Hershey placed solidly at Stoga, and I can envision them leapfrogging Spring Grove, who have won Central for two years straight, but rarely go to invitationals so I never know what to make of them.
Northwest: 1. Wilmington, 2. Seneca, 3. North Clarion. Wilmington has beaten Seneca at regionals for two straight years, and it’s been the other way around at states for two straight years. It feels irresponsible to go against this trend at this point. I also expect North Clarion to be motivated after almost making states, and then having it take away from them, and then finishing in fifth by 1 point.
Southwest: 1. Shady Side, 2. Pittsburgh Allderdice, 3. Quaker Valley. Well SW, you don’t have a website so I don’t have a ton to work with. XD But I do know Shady Side has been doing very well at invites and definitely has the ability to get first at regionals, but Allderdice has beaten Shady Side twice in a row, only for Shady Side to finish way ahead at states. I know you have the ability to win, Shady Side. Prove it.
Northeast: 1. Athens, 2. North Pocono, 3. East Stroudsburg South. This was closer than you might think. North Pocono is still on the upswing, and Athens is having a down year. But Athens has been dominant for so long, and even last year they still had just over half the points of second place. I just can’t bring myself to predict them to finish second. But this year, Athens no longer seems immortal, and North Pocono has the ability and timing to be able to knock them from their lofty perch. Also, I have put ES South at third because I know for a fact you guys have the ability to do it. It’ll take some focus and work, but you are experienced enough and talented enough that if you prove me wrong, it’ll be because I ranked you too low. I definitely know you can do it, now make it happen.
Central East: 1. Northwestern Lehigh, 2. Perkiomen Valley, 3. Kutztown. Oof. The overflow of teams in SE led to Plymouth Whitemarsh and Bensalem, among others, to move to CE, and coupled with the dramatic rise of NW Lehigh this invitational season, CE is the clear second-best regional in the state. And despite Perkiomen Valley and Kutztown’s consistency the past few years, I can’t discount how well NW Lehigh has done. I rarely pick teams for first that didn’t make states the previous year, but NW Lehigh has earned it. Go get ‘em, tigers.