PIAA State Championships - AA Boys' Team Preview
One of the most interesting team battles of states Saturday will come from the AA boys.
Realistically, there are probably five or six teams with legitimate claims to the top spot this season, and it should be very close.
The two-time defending champions hail from Dallas. District 2 champ Jack Zardecki will lead the way for this team as it shoots for a three-peat. Mitchell Rome and Josh Wyandt have been strong, particularly as of late, for Dallas as well.
Wyomissing Area won the District 3 title narrowly over 2016 AA state runner-ups York Suburban this past Saturday. Both will be in the hunt at states. Wyomissing, paced by a strong duo of Joe Cullen and Ben Kuhn, has looked solid all season long, particularly at Paul Short, where it finished 144 points ahead of Dallas. York Suburban was eighth at Carlisle, 14 points behind Grove City Area. Led by Bryce Ohl, YS was nine points off Wyo for the district title.
The battle for District 10 was a good one on Saturday. Harbor Creek showed off its front-running at Buhl Park, but the depth has also come around. We talked about their top three in the individual's preview, but Nate Dougan stepped up big time, running 17-flat, and that helped Harbor Creek take the district crown. Grove City Area, which missed states last year, made the cut this season, taking second to HC. Jonah Powell led the way in sixth, and the next four had just six seconds between them. That pack may need to move up in the field for GCA to contend for the win on Saturday.
Photo by Ethan Rissell
Indiana Area edged out New Castle for the WPIAL AA team crown last week. Indiana, with Kendall Branan hoping to hang around the top ten, was second at Foundation to York Suburban and was the top AA team at Mack Cooper. New Castle, with Le'Shawn Huff leading the way, was just six points behind Indiana at WPIALs and should be in the mix, too. Greensburg Salem, with a very strong top two, was third at Foundation, as well as WPIALs and has some good experience that it will put to the test Saturday.
Notre Dame-Green Pond looked very strong, dominating the District 11 Championships. John Koons is a solid No. 1 runner and the Crusaders could be a force in Hershey. The District 4 champs from Loyalsock have come quite a long way in a few years and will look for a high finish. District 6 champions Central Cambria and District 1 champions Pope John Paul II are among the other teams worth watching for this weekend after impressive wins over the past week.