Southeast South (9 bids)
- Bala Cynwyd - The only major contender for nationals in the region, they should win by a healthy margin, making it 6 regional wins in 7 years.
- Strath Haven - Flip a coin with these next two. Both will finish in the state's top 10, competing primarily with Mountain View.
- Garnet Valley - See above. One point separated these two teams last year and it might be that close again.
- Stetson - I also struggled with these next two. In the end, Stetson has been 4th for two years running, so they get the nod to do it again.
- Welsh Valley - Based on invitational results, WV has a solid chance of returning to the state top 10. Both because they appear solid and because I haven't been overly impressed by many other teams in this tier.
- J.R. Fugett - This was a weird tier to rank. Fugett has made it a habit of not being overly impressive at invitationals, but then having a decent performance at regionals.
- Tredyffrin/Easttown - By all accounts, they project as the 6th best team in the region based on invites. But I've picked them to make states the past two years, and I got burned both times. With 9 bids, and a stronger team, they really should make it comfortably, but I'm giving myself that little bit of leeway just in case.
- Springton Lake - Not sure what to make of them. Their Rustin placement was their worst in quite some time. The ninth bid could offer them some much needed leeway.
- Shipley - Haverford not competing (another casualty of shrinking B Div participation in PA) leaves the door open for someone else. Shipley's C team had a quick rise, and their B squad could see the same.
Southwest (7 bids)
- Shady Side Academy - Yes, there actually is another regional happening! As usual, the question is not who will win, it's how low of a score will SSA get.
- Franklin Regional - Until something changes, Franklin Regional will continue to be my default pick for 2nd.
- Winchester Thurston - Their attendance at Eagle was welcome to see, and they didn't look bad, either. A 2nd place finish wouldn't shock me.
- Norwin - From here it's basically a guessing game. Norwin established themselves as a mid-tier SW team last year, so they're the safest bet.
- Central Cambria - They've been on the fringes of qualifying for two years now. This strikes me as a team that'll make an extra push to qualify this year. Having an extra regional bid to states will help, as well.
- Quaker Valley - Could they return to the region's top 3? Yes. Could they end up missing states altogether? Also yes.
- Peters Township - A yo-yo team for the past four seasons, my guess is that continues.
Southeast South (5 bids)
- Bayard Rustin - The SEPA split makes regional predictions a very interesting endeavor this year. Rustin is the heavy favorite to win, but the margin of victory will be interesting to see.
- Conestoga - If SEPA South was always a thing, Stoga would have 4 of the past 6 regional titles. Regionals has tended to be Stoga's strong point of the season, and that gives them the edge over the next two teams.
- Penncrest - They've been neck and neck with Stoga all season, and if I were to guess right now, Penncrest would place higher at states. I do kind of miss them being a national contender, though.
- Garnet Valley - It is evident that they have a goal of breaking into this region's top 3. They may be in striking distance, but I don't think they're there yet.
- Strath Haven - This may be the most coveted states spot in the entire state. I narrowed it down to a four team race between Haverford, Shipley, West Chester East, and Strath. Shipley has struggled through invitational season, and Haverford lacked a standout showing, so I narrowed it to Strath and East. Ultimately, Strath Haven attended the better invitational (SOUP), and placed higher last season, so they got my pick to return to states after a three-year absence. Whoever finishes 6th in this region is likely to be the best team in the state to not qualify for states.
Southwest (6 bids)
- Shady Side Academy - Will they break the 40-point barrier? It could happen.
- Mount Lebanon - In a region devoid of true challengers to SSA, second place is wide open. Mount Lebanon made states in their first year of competition last year, and did not finish too far behind Manheim Central at Carnegie Mellon.
- Franklin Regional - Based on the B team's trajectory, this should be around Franklin Regional's peak season, but results from the past two years have shown very little momentum. I have no idea why they haven't been attending Carnegie Mellon. I hope they succeed, but I fear this team's legacy is more likely to be one of wasted potential.
- Norwin - At least they attended CMU last year, if not this year. They're the safest remaining team to stay in the top 6.
- Winchester Thurston - A team with an established feeder program that attended an invitational and qualified for states in their first year of competing? Sign me up. They didn't do that well at CMU, but hopefully the experience proves useful.
- Quaker Valley - There's usually a surprise team in this region, and if that's the case again, QV might lose out. Their feeder program's volatility may lead to some inconsistency going forward.