Tuesday, January 7, 2014
#1 Blair Academy ready to defend its NHSCA Final Four Festival title this weekend
by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour
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)