2016 Preseason PIAA Class A Super 16

By Jacob Gill
Pennsylvania Assistant Director of Scouting

and PBR staff

Pennsylvania calls itself a Commonwealth, not a state, which means we like to eschew the norm. Our 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, 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 A 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.

Note: X-Y under "Berth" = [District]-[Bid]. For example, 7-2 is the runner-up from District VII.

2016 Preseason PIAA Class A Super 16
Berth School Notes
12-1 Girard Academy Music Program Has earned state berth in nine of the last eleven seasons. Return two of top three pitchers and a solid core of the offense.
3-1 Lancaster County Christian Defending state champs are poised to make another run as they welcome back mound ace and four line-up regulars.
11-1 Marian Catholic Return three experienced pitchers and the core of a line-up that hit .378 last year. Split two games with district champ Tri-Valley, which graduated its top player, and played 3A champ Pottsville Area tough.
1-1 Christopher Dock Mennonite Benefit of the doubt here goes to the defending district champ, which returns its staff ace and leader behind the plate, plus a number of offensive pieces.
4-1 North Penn-Mansfield Wide open district. Tigers have some offense to replace, but have four capable pitchers back from a team that lost 1-0 in the district championship last year.
2-1 Forest City Virtually the entire pitching staff and seven position player starters return for a Foresters team that fell in a tight district title game.
6-1 Portage Area Five position players starters and two of top three pitchers return for a Mustangs club that lost a 1-0 game in the district semifinals last year.
5-2 Meyersdale Area
This district could see any of a half dozen teams grab a state berth. The nod here goes to the team that wasn't just on the doorstep, but had a foot inside the house the past two years. Having the top prospect in the district is a good place to start.
7-1 California Area The Trojans have reached four straight state tournaments. Plenty of pitching and two-thirds of the line-up are back for the heavy WPIAL favorite.
6-2 Ferndale Area
Yellow Jackets welcome back nearly 70% of innings and five position player starters from a team that entered the district tournament as the top seed and fell in the semifinals, one win short of the state tournament.
10-1 Eisenhower The top pitcher in the district, whom the Knights rode to the district title and state runner-up finish, is back, along with a solid offensive core.
9-2 Oswayo Valley Staying healthy will be a big thing for a Green Wave roster that barely gets into double digits, but the defending district champs return enough to make a push for a second straight state bid.
5-1 Southern Fulton A state semifinalist last season, the Indians are the overwhelming favorite in this two-bid district as they welcome back 80% of their innings and enough offense to make it three district titles in a row.
7-2 Serra Catholic Quite a few teams with talent and question marks could fight their way through the WPIAL playoffs. Two transfers only bolster an Eagles line-up that started five underclassmen last year and still earned a state berth. Top pitchers must be replaced, but capable experienced arms are waiting in the wings.
9-1 DuBois Central Catholic After falling one win shy of a state bid the past two seasons, the Cardinals could be poised to break through with a veteran roster that also received a youth infusion.
7-3 Vincentian Academy Like the rest of the teams in the WPIAL, the Royals have some holes to fill. However, more than half their line-up is back, including two of the top hitters in the district, plus two capable pitchers who appear ready to assume larger roles.

Watch List
District I: Jenkintown, Delaware County Christian
District II: Blue Ridge, MMI Prep, Elk Lake
District III: Millersburg Area, Halifax
District IV: Millville, Sayre Area, Canton, Montgomery
District V: McConnellsburg, Berlin Brothersvalley, North Star, Shanksville Stonycreek
District VI: Homer-Center, Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic, Juniata Valley, Blairsville
District VII: Bishop Canevin, Western Beaver, OLSH, GCC, CWNC
District IX: Clarion Area, Elk County Catholic, Brockway Area, Coudersport
District X: Rocky Grove, West Middlesex
District XI: Tri-Valley, Nativity BVM
District XII: Masterman

Season Preview Content

3/2 - PAISAA
3/3 - PIAA District V
3/4 - PIAA District IX
3/5 - PIAA District VI
3/6 - PIAA District IV
3/7 - PIAA District X
3/8 - PIAA District III (Class A & AA)
3/9 - PIAA District VII (Class A)
3/10 - PIAA District VII (Class AA)
3/11 - PIAA District II
3/12 - PIAA District XI
3/13 - PIAA District I (Class A, AA & AAA)
3/14 - PIAA District III (Class AAA)
3/15 - PIAA District VII (Class AAA)
3/16 - PIAA District I (Class AAAA)
3/17 - PIAA District III (Class AAAA)
3/18 - PIAA District VII (Class AAAA)
3/19 - PIAA District XII
3/20 - PAISAA Preseason Fab Four
3/21 - PIAA Class A Preseason Super 16
3/22 - PIAA Class AA Preseason Super 16
3/23 - PIAA Class AAA Preseason Super 16
3/24 - PIAA Class AAAA Preseason Super 16