Well, as I await the results from Tiger (if I ever find them, haha), I might as well dive into my B predictions, right? This is the part of the show where I get some things right (Devon Prep getting 4th last year, Eagle View getting 3rd) and even more things wrong (Whitehall Coplay didn't make it, and Stroudsburg didn't even have a B team). But here we go anyway, because they're fun! Also, someone has to go first, that way people have something to tear apart! So let's get to it.
Northwest: 1. Wilmington, 2. Clarion Area, 3. North East. Thanks to their now-running website, I know more about NW than I used to! (which was nothing.) Wilmington has held the top spot since the departure of Park Forest and Mount Nittany, and their margin over 2nd place increased from 2013-2014, so they look like the clear favorites. Clarion has gotten third for three straight years, and to me it just feels like they'll get second one of these years. Or they'll get fourth. I'll go with the former though. North East is also a contender, but less consistent than Clarion.
Southwest: 1. Shady Side, 2. Quaker Valley, 3. Bedford. Word out of Shady Side is that they're not as good as last year, but their experience should get them first by a good margin. 2 and 3 are flipped from last year's places, primarily because Quaker Valley has more of a pedigree, and getting 10th at states is no small feat. Bedford, however, has improved in every year of their existence, and I would not be surprised at all if they got second. It's kind of hidden by the fact that Shady Side is so dominant, but SW is a sneaky-competitive region in B.
Central: 1. Hershey, 2. Allen, 3. Eagle View. This is projecting to be a dogfight. Allen got the upper hand at Rustin this year, but Hershey had two teams, and Allen appears to have lost some pieces from their peak 2012 and 2013 teams. Eagle View is newer and did not attend Rustin, but getting 14th in their first state appearance since 2006 (my first year!) is impressive. This is one three-team fight to watch.
Southeast: 1. Devon Prep, 2. Bala Cynwyd, 3. Welsh Valley, 4. Strath Haven, 5. Springton Lake. This one was difficult. Given Devon Prep's 6th place finish at states last year, and their 5th place finish at Rustin, it's impossible to ignore their rise, and I think this is the year they break through. This has the look of a legitimate contender for one of the two nationals places. Bala won by so much last year that it seems unlikely for them to fall much further than this, and their Rustin score is skewed by a 49 in Wheeled Vehicle, which I fully expect to be solved by regionals. Welsh Valley is always so consistent, and also had a solid finish at Rustin, so they have the potential to place higher. And then we have Strath Haven at 4th, which seems very, very strange. But the falloff last year was so steep, and they did not perform as well at Rustin as their main rivals. Don't forget about Springton Lake, who placed 9th at states last year, and had several no-shows at Rustin that could get fixed for regionals.
Interesting to note: if Devon Prep places anywhere in the top 3, they will be the first school not named Strath Haven, Bala Cynwyd, or Welsh Valley to place in the top 3 at SE regionals since Chichester in 2004! That is one long stranglehold.
Central East: 1. Springhouse, 2. Kutztown, 3. Fleetwood. The performance of Springhouse the year after their first nationals appearance is one of the most interesting aspects of this year's competition in PA. But CE is a tough region, and the other contenders would love to take a nationals contender down at regionals. Kutztown gets the nod at second for their 5th place finish at states last year, and for their consistency over the past three years. Fleetwood has been a little more volatile, but is always a contender in the region. The wild card here is Whitehall-Coplay. If they can rebound from not qualifying from states last year, they'll be right in this race.
Northeast: 1. Park Forest, 2. Wyoming Area, 3. Wayne Highlands. This might be the toughest region to predict. In the past 4 years, 4 different teams have won the region, and 5 different teams in the past 6 years. Let's make it 5 teams in 5 years, shall we? Park Forest isn't a bad bet, having placed 7th at states last year. Aside from their lost year in 2012, Wyoming Area has been the most consistent team in the region. Wayne Highlands is my pick for third, because they're new enough to have that potential, but experienced enough with states and invitationals to really be able to meet it. There are lots of other contenders int his region (I'd put Abington Heights fourth), so it's anyone's guess what winds up happening.
So, what don't you agree with? Let's get this thing rolling!