Class D Preview
|2017 Season Overview for Class D|
River has had two States dynastic runs from 1983 to 1988 and again from
1993 to 1999 during which it won 12 titles in 13 years, adding in a 2nd
place in 1995. Last year after winning their 16th state championship and
second title in four years, the Beavers looked ready to begin a third
streak of States wins. Beating reigning champ Maple Grove by 25 points
with a squad that included three seniors, Beaver River still had a big
group of younger runners cheering on the varsity and that will be keeping
the team going strong well into the future. And the fact the Beavers'
States lead 4th place finisher Colton Kempney was an 8th grader was yet
another scary item for other Class D teams to chew on.
young runner on the rise last year was Shelter Island's Kal Lewis, who
picked up his first States title as a sophomore. Lewis then placed 8th
at Federations in the year after Norwood-Norfolk's Kyle Fulk gave Class D its first
Feds top-10 finisher of the last decade with a 6th in 2016. And speaking
of Federations, this year will mark the 19th anniversary of the victory
of a Class D team at the meet. Any NY XC fan who doesn't know the name
of that winning team can just ask a Beaver River fanatic.
year the preseason projections featured the reigning champs Maple Grove
in a close battle with four other contenders including Sauquoit Valley,
Addison, Elmira-Notre Dame, and Beaver River, who all had average TR
speed ratings ranging from 155 to 148. This year Beaver River sits alone
at the top, and no other team comes into the season with a rating above
even 142 TR. The Beavers with a very young top 5 of Colton Kempney,
Josiah Evan, Cory Demo, Dylan Williams and Brayden Campeau will likely
be a big challenge to much bigger teams for many years to come, just
like Mount Academy was when it ruled Class D in 2012 and 2013.
River's strongest challenge may well come from the team it edged out by
4 points at Sectionals last year, Sauquoit Valley. The Indians lost
their top two runners though, so the gap to the Beavers appears to have
gotten much larger.
The decrease by 21 of the upper BEDS limit
for Class D teams to 240 has pushed two of the 2017 States teams
Addison and Tri-Valley up to Class C and left a shrunken D Class with
likely having only about 72% as many full-team representatives at
Sectionals as the other classes in 2018. Two-thirds of the teams will come from
Sections 2, 3, and 5, and six of the sections will have 4 or less teams, with the average for the group being 2.
The Class D situation being what it is, besides the two top teams from S3-D, the other contenders are mainly just the top team from a few sections that can still support a few squads. Oakfield-Alabama needs more depth but will likely be the top team in S5-D. Maple Hill Looks ready to go back to States from S2-D and improve on a 5th place finish. Four other likely Sectional winners that have a nice amount of youth but a need for a lot of development include Maple Hill in S2-D, Lake Placid in S7-D, Shelter Island in S11-D, and Maple Grove in S6-D. Lake Placid won the Class D title in 2015 and Maple Grove won it in 2016.
Lewis is the run-away favorite to run away with his second States title
in his junior year. Lima Christian's Jacob Appleton is second rated
after a 9th in the States mud last year, but third-rated Colton Kempney
finished 4th at States last year and is only a freshman.
Class D guys head out at States with Kal Lewis (1127) on the lead and a lot of Beaver River orange-and-green on the right.
|Top 5 Teams at 2017 States|
|Projected Top 5 Teams for 2018 from Returners' 2017 TR Ratings|
|Projected Next 10 Teams for 2018 from Returners' 2017 TR Ratings|
Beaver River's 3-4-5 guys sealed the state championship for the Beavers by packing it in between the 28th and 30th spots.