Friday, January 31, 2014

Blair Academy remains #1 high school wrestling team in the national in latest Win Magazine rankings

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour
Follow @NHSCARadioShow

Blair Academy from Blairstown, New Jersey had quite a month of January with impressive dual meet victories over nationally-ranked Graham (St. Paris, Ohio), Perry (Massillon, Ohio) and Wyoming Seminary (Kingston, Pennsylvania).  The narrow 27-24 win over Sem came in the gold medal match at the NHSCA Final Four Wrestling Festival in York, Pennsylvania on January 11th.  

Those three victories solidified the Bucs at the top of the latest Win Magazine national high school wrestling rankings.  Blair's win moved former #2 Graham down three spots, while Perry moves up one spot to #9.  On the other hand, Wyoming Seminary's narrow loss moves them up three to #6.

Three are four new teams in the latest rankings: Broken Arrow (Oklahoma) at #12, Kaukauna (Wisconsin) at #15, Bettendorf (Iowa) at #16 and Bethlehem Catholic (Pennsylvania) at #23.

Win Magazine Top 25
…rankings through January 26, 2014

1. Blair Academy (New Jersey)
2. Apple Valley (Minnesota)
3. Oak Park-River Forest (Illinois)
4. Clovis (California)
5. Graham (Ohio)
6. Wyoming Seminary (Pennsylvania)
7. Bergen Catholic (New Jersey)
8. Archer (Georgia)
9. Perry (Ohio)
10. Franklin Regional (Pennsylvania)
11. Brandon (Florida)
12. Broken Arrow (Oklahoma)
13. Stillwater (Oklahoma)
14. Montini Catholic (Illinois)
15. Kaukauna (Wisconsin)
16. Bettendorf (Iowa)
17. Marist (Illinois)
18. Lowell (Michigan)
19. Edmond North (Oklahoma)
20. Buchanan (California)
21. St. Peter's Prep (New Jersey)
22. Bound Brook (New Jersey)
23. Bethlehem Catholic (Pennsylvania)
24. Poway (California)
25. St. Edward (Ohio)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Teams announced for 2014 National High School Invitation baseball tournament

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour
Follow @NHSCARadioShow

With so much cold weather keeping a lot of the country in the deep freeze, it's never too early to think baseball to warm-up.

USA Baseball has announced the sixteen teams that will take part in the 3rd annual National HIgh School Invitation that will be played in Carey, North Carolina March 26th through the 29th.

Two-time defending champ Mater Dei from Santa Ana, California will not be back to defend it's title at this tournament that is considered the best in America. This year's field will feature teams from Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Here are the team that are entered:

Aliso Niguel (California)
Bishop Verot (Florida)
Clovis (California)
Coral Springs Christian (Florida)
Dyer County (Tennessee)
Gainesville (Georgia)
Huntsville (Alabama)
Milton (Georgia)
Mountain Pointe (Arizona)
Orange Lutheran (California)
Parkview (Georgia)
Regis Jesuit (Colorado)
Roberson (North Carolina)
The First Academy (Florida)
ThunderRidge (Colorado)
Venice (Florida)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mater Dei moves to #1 in latest MaxPreps Boys' Basketball Top 25

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour
Follow @NHSCARadioShow

There's a new #1 in the latest boys' basketball rankings.

Mater Dei (Santa Ana, California) moves up one spot after last week's top dog Montverde Academy (Florida) lost to Curie High School (Chicago) in the Spalding Hoop Classic Monday 73-69.  That victory for the Condors moved Curie up five spots to #3.

MaxPreps' Xcellent 25

1. (2) Mater Dei (CA) 19-0
2. (5) Ranier Beach (WA) 15-0
3. (8) Curie (IL) 16-1
4. (1) Montverde Academy (FL) 18-1
5. (4) White Station (TN) 16-1
6. (6) Northside Christian Academy (NC) 18-1
7. (7) Arsenal Technical (IN) 13-1
8. (11) Paul VI (VA) 16-3
9. (13) Providence (FL) 19-3
10. (15) La Lumiere (IN) 15-2
11. (3) Oak Hill Academy (VA) 23-2
12. (9) Our Savior New American (NY) 13-2
13 (16) Greater Atlanta Christian (GA) 19-0
14. (18) Findlay Prep (NV) 21-3
15. (19) Corona del Sol (AZ) 18-1
16. (20) Apple Valley (MN) 15-1
17. (22) Loyola (CA) 16-1
18. (21) Archbishop Carroll (PA) 12-2
19. (23) Whitney Young (IL) 12-4
20. (25) Huntington St. Joseph Prep (WV) 17-4
21. (NR) St. John's (DC) 13-1
22. (NR) DeMatha (MD) 15-1
23. (NR) Blue Valley Northwest (KS) 6-1
24. (NR) Cape Henry Collegiate (VA) 12-0
25. (NR) Garfield (WA) 14-0

Friday, January 17, 2014

Florida wrestler sets new national pin record

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour
Follow @NHSCARadioShow

Courtesy of
Osceola High School (Florida) junior wrestler Fox Baldwin set a national record for pins Wednesday night with his 243rd, which topped his brother Pete's record of 242 career pins.

Baldwin's record-setting pin came in 48 second and you can see the video by clicking here.

Next-up on Baldwin's to-do list?

Break his brother Pete's record for career victories which stands at 324.  Fox is three-wins away from that mark and is expected to set a new national record this weekend.

Fox is currently ranked #8 in the country at 152 by the Amateur Wrestling News.  He's a three-time Florida state champ.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Top-ranked Blair escapes NHSCA Final Four with championship

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour
Follow @NHSCARadioShow

The championship match of the 13th annual National High School Coaches Association Final Four Wrestling Festival between top-ranked Blair Academy (Blairstown, NJ) and #5 Wyoming Seminary (Kingston, PA) live-up to its billing and then some.

Blair, which has now won eight straight NHSCA Final Fours, edged the Blue Knights 27-24 in a dual meet that saw the nation’s #1 team in the country trail 21-15 heading into the final four matches at the York Expo Center in York, Pennsylvania.

Seminary took a 21-15 lead in the match after John Busiello defeated Zach Sherman 1-0 at 106 pounds.  Blair regained the lead on three consecutive wins at 113, 120 and 126.  Chas Tucker’s 11-3 major victory at 113 put Blair back in front 22-21.  Matt Kolodzik’s tech fall at 126 brought the match down to the final bout between Blair’s Alex Rinandi and Will Verallis of Seminary.

Verallis needed to pin Rinaldi to send the match to criteria, but all he could manage was a 2-0 decision, which ended an incredible day of wrestling with Blair remaining unbeaten with a 27-24 heart-stopping victory.

Neither Blair nor Wyoming Seminary had much trouble advancing to the championship match.  Blair beat Tunkhannock (Pennsylvania) 79-0 and Bishop McDevitt (Harrisburg, PA) 67-6 in pool matches, while Wyoming Seminary beat its pool opponents: Benton (Pennsylvania) 55-6, Pennsbury (Pennsylvania) 79-0 and East Stroudsburg South (Pennsylvania) 68-6.

Wyoming Seminary due a bye into the Final Four semifinals where the Blue Knights defeated Spring Grove (Pennsylvania) 62-3 to advance to the championship.  Blair beat Bermudian Springs (Pennsylvania) 57-12 in the quarterfinals and then topped Wyoming Valley West (Pennsylvania) 59-6 to set-up the showdown with Seminary.

The pool champs were: Bermudian Springs, Blair Academy, DePaul Catholic (NJ), Spring Grove, Wyoming Seminary and Wyoming Valley West.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

#1 Blair Academy ready to defend its NHSCA Final Four Festival title this weekend

by Jeff Fisher

The 2014 National High School Coaches Association’s (“NHSCA”) Final Four Festival that will be held this Saturday at the York Expo Center in York, Pennsylvania is loaded with top-ranked teams and wrestlers from around the country.

Headlining the 19 team field is Blair Academy (Blairstown, NJ), which is coming-off another national championship during the 2012-13 school year.  Last year, the Buccaneers won their seventh straight NHSCA Final Four by defeating J.W. Robinson High School of Virginia.  Robinson upset Wyoming Seminary(Kingston, Pennsylvania) in the semifinals. Wyoming Seminary entered the Final Four ranked #2 in the nation.

This year, Blair begins the season ranked #1 by Win Magazine in its Top 25 Poll.  Wyoming Seminary is ranked #5 in the Win Magazine preseason rankings.

Both schools have started the 2013-14 season in strong fashion with Blair capturing the Walsh Ironman team championship in Ohio and the Beast of the East team title in Delaware in December, plus a dual meet victory over nationally-ranked Massillon Perry from Ohio.  Seminary, which owns a dual meet win over #10 Franklin Regional (Pennsylvania), finished 3rd at the Beast and 8th at the Ironman.

 “We are very excited to welcome back the defending national champs and other quality teams that make this event one of the best in the country,” said Bob Ferraro, Jr., Executive Director of the National High School Coaches Association.  “Each year we strive to bring the best teams from around the country to compete at the Final Four, and we believe the 2014 field is one of the best.”

Blair is led by Joey McKenna, who is the top-ranked wrestler nationally at 138 pounds.  The Bucs also feature several other nationally-ranked wrestlers in Matt Kolodzik (126), Jordan Cutler (132), Mason Manville (152), Dylan Milonas (160) and Brandon Dallavia (170)

Wyoming Seminary features three nationally-ranked wrestlers in Nick Reenan at 152, Chris Weiler at 160 and Jake Scanlan at 285.

Other wrestlers in the field that are nationally-ranked by the various ranking services: David McFadden of DePaul Catholic (New Jersey) at 145 , Hunter Ritter of John Carroll (Maryland) at 195

The action will begin at 9 A.M. with the team competing in six different pools.  The winner’s from those pools will advance to the quarterfinal round.  The championship match, which would feature Blair and Seminary, if both win their respective pools and championship round matches, will start at 4:45 P.M.

Here are the six pools for the event:

Pool A - Blair Academy (NJ), Bishop McDevitt (PA), Tunkhannock (PA)
Pool B – Bermudian Springs (PA), Central Bucks West (PA), DePaul Catholic (NJ)
Pool C – Dallastown (PA), John Carroll (MD), Wyoming Valley West (PA)
Pool D – Neshaminy (PA), Spring Grove (PA), Woodstown (NJ)
Pool E -  Pen Argyl (PA), Souderton (PA), West York Area (PA)

Pool F – Benton (PA), East Stroudsburg South (PA), Pennsbury (PA), Wyoming Seminary (PA)