Class D Preview
|2017 Season Overview for Class D|
Even as Class D keeps shrinking and quantity of teams at Sectionals goes down, the quality is miraculously going up. D seems very healthy as the speed ratings for teams and individuals on a relative basis are ticking well upward. Sometimes indeed big results come in small packages.
No team enjoyed more of a magical influx of talent last year than Maple Grove, and it rode the addition of some new young runners to a state title in a furious battle with reigning champ Lake Placid that ended up in a 58-61 win for the Red Dragons. No crown rests comfortably in Class D, however, and now Maple Grove will be preparing for an onslaught from four teams that could turn the States D championship into one of the best showdowns in NY this year.
Maple Grove began last year as the 2015 runner-up but only the 7th rated team in preseason, but everything changed once Frank and Colin Colburn, Shane Hetrick, and Nathan Rowe were joined by newcomers Michael Peppy and Pete and Riley Auer. The Red Dragons' first state championship was hard fought as Lake Placid came back to defend its title ferociously at States. Now Maple Grove is in a similar position after losing Rowe and Colin Colburn to graduation. The Dragons will need to plump up again, because there are a lot of hungry teams coming up behind them.
Tops among Maple Grove's hungry pursuers is last year's 3rd place Sauquoit Valley team that will be seeking its third States title in 2017. Second place States guy Dylan Canarelli and medalist Taylor Philpotts lead a team that appears ready to make a big push for the championship. After finishing 3rd at States in Class C last year, Addison is entering the Class D race again at a high level and has frontrunner Evan McIlwain among the top 10 in Class D to lead the attack on the Dragons. Elmira Notre Dame took 4th at States last year and has a veteran team with nice balance for a big push this year. Finally, Beaver River and its always crazy fans would be miffed if we didn't mention that the Beavers are hanging close and may need just one strong new runner to send them on their way to a sweet 16th States title.
When you look for the guy who will replace 2016 champ Kyle Fulk on the podium for Class D this year, you start with the senior duo of Dylan Canarelli of Sauquoit Valley and Michael Peppy of Maple Grove, who finished 1st and 2nd last year. But 4th place finisher Kal Lewis of Shelter Island was only a freshman last year, so he may be set for a big leap. Another guy with potential is Caleb Moore of Seton Catholic who finished 6th last year. And again for those crazy Beavers, don't forget that their frontrunner Connor Demo finished in the top 10 at States last year.
Kyle Fulk of Norwood-Norfolk is leaving the rest of the Class D field in the shadows as he zooms off to a championship last year.
|Top 5 Teams at 2016 States|
|Projected Top 5 Teams for 2017 from Returners' 2016 TR Ratings|
|Projected Next 10 Teams for 2017 from Returners' 2016 TR Ratings|
Norwood-Norfolk's Kyle Fulk, Sauquoit Valley's Dylan Canarelli, and Lima Christian's Jacob Appleton are running 1-2-3 early in last year's States D race.