2016 PIAA Class AAAA Super 16 (mid-April update)

By Jacob Gill
Pennsylvania Assistant Director of Scouting

and PBR staff

Three-and-a-half weeks into the season, it's time to roll out the first update to our Super 16s. These team "rankings" aren't a standard Top 25, but rather an effort to predict what everyone is striving for: state tournament berths. Instead of going down a rabbit hole by attempting to order teams from various parts of the state who play against vastly different levels of competition (note: strength of schedule is taken into account), we are going to try to compare apples to apples a bit more. Each update, we will present the schools we think are in the best position to earn state tournament berths out of their respective districts. Below are our predictions, in bracket order, for how we see the PIAA class AAAA state tournament shaping up. A Watch List for each district is also included, with the teams on it absolutely in the mix to make the March to Medlar.

1. X-Y under "Berth" = [District]-[Bid]. For example, 7-2 is the runner-up from District VII.
2. If multiple districts are listed in one box, those districts will form a sub-regional to determine that bid.

2016 PIAA Class AAAA Super 16
Berth School Record Notes
1-1 Council Rock North 8-0 Indians jump up from the projected 5th seed out of this district following a torrid start led by do-it-all Matt Hand: 18ip, 6h, 0r, 2bb, 33k; also 11-23, 3 2B, 3B, HR, 2 SB.
3-3 Warwick 8-1 The Warriors slide up from the Watch List following a hot start in which their only loss came 2-1 at the hands of Penn Manor. Pitching staff has allowed more than three runs only twice.
11-1 Freedom 9-1
With district bully Parkland looking vulnerable this year, a number of contenders have emerged for this bid. The Patriots get the nod here, for now, following a squeaker 2-1 win over Easton Area, which is also off to a solid start.
Central Bucks South
6-2 The Titans aren't the most offensive team, but they have a composite pitching line of 53ip, 39h, 10bb, 49k, which includes an impressive three-game sweep of the other top SOL Continental contenders (North Penn, Hatboro-Horsham, Pennridge).
Wyoming Valley West 3-1 District II doesn't count non-league games on overall records, so the preseason favorite holds this spot after a solid start in limited "real" action.
3-2 Ephrata Area 8-1 The Mounts have lived up to the preseason hype so far, as the pitching staff has allowed more than three runs just twice. Will be tested this week with Warwick, Hempfield, and Waynesboro Area on the slate.
12-1 La Salle
5-2 The Explorers don't get into the meat of their Philadelphia Catholic League schedule for another week, but they have shown enough balance to warrant a tenuous placement in this spot.
1-4 Conestoga 5-0 The Pioneers once again find themselves alone atop the Central League standings. Three Division I-caliber pitchers have been buoyed by an offense averaging over 10 runs per game.
3-1 Penn Manor 8-1 Comets hold their spot on the strength of a pitching staff that has thrown six shutouts and given up more than three runs just once. Will run a gauntlet in a week and a half with a four-game stretch that includes road games against Ephrata, Warwick, and Hempfield.
1-5 Spring-Ford 7-2 Deep pitching staff is surviving just fine in the rugged PAC-10 without one of its projected key cogs, having given up more than three runs only twice.
1-2 Boyertown Area
6-2 As per usual, the PAC-10 conference is a jumble up top, but the Bears hold onto this spot as the only team with just one league loss so far. Chance to avenge that loss this coming Friday vs Owen J. Roberts.
12-2 Olney Charter
Reigning Philadelphia Public League state tournament rep is outscoring its PPL opponents 69-17.
7-1 Plum 8-0 Preseason favorite has scarcely been challenged, tossing five shutouts, only allowing more than two runs once, and outscoring opponents 81-9. Has early-week tests vs Franklin Regional and Pittsburgh Central Catholic.
7-3 Fox Chapel Area
6-2 Lots of ways we could have gone here, but the Foxes jump up from the Watch List for this iteration. Pitching staff is giving up less than two runs/game. Chance to avenge only section loss on Friday.

State College Area 4-3 An uneven start includes two one-run losses, but also wins over some quality opponents. Schedule doesn't let up with Mifflin County and District III contender Red Land on tap this week.
7-2 North Hills
8-1 5-0 in games decided on the field since season-opening out-of-state trip. Outscored opponents 37-3 during that stretch (not including one forfeit). Section 1 is loaded, and we'll find out a lot about the Indians after games vs North Allegheny and Pine-Richland this week.

Watch List
District I: North Penn, Owen J. Roberts, Downingtown West, Pennridge, Hatboro-Horsham, Perkiomen Valley, Bensalem, Coatesville Area
Sub-Region II/IV: Wallenpaupack Area, Hazleton Area
District III: Cedar Cliff, Red Land, Hempfield, Mechanicsburg Area, Dallastown Area, Muhlenberg, Waynesboro Area
Sub-Region VI/VIII/IX/X: Mifflin County, Central Mountain, DuBois Area, McDowell
District VII: North Allegheny, Hempfield Area, Pine-Richland, Norwin, Central Catholic, Shaler Area, Greater Latrobe, Bethel Park
District XI: Freedom, Easton Area, Whitehall, Parkland, Liberty, Nazareth Area, Pocono Mountain East
District XII: Roman Catholic, St. Joseph's Prep, Northeast, Central, Washington

Previous Super 16 News

4/18 - PIAA Class AAA Super 16 (mid-April update)
4/17 - PIAA Class AA Super 16 (mid-April update)
4/17 - PIAA Class A Super 16 (mid-April update)
4/17 - PAISAA Fab Four (mid-April update)
3/24 - PIAA Class AAAA Preseason Super 16
3/23 - PIAA Class AAA Preseason Super 16
3/22 - PIAA Class AA Preseason Super 16
3/21 - PIAA Class A Preseason Super 16
3/20 - PAISAA Preseason Fab Four