It's Nordic season again! This year Kick Zone Media has decided to do some points scoring to better predict how racers from around New York rank.
We took as many results as we could get our hands on from the 2016-2017 season and applied our ranking algorithm to come up with this list of the top high school racers from New York.
Here is Kick Zone Media's 2017-2018 NYSPHAA Boys Pre-Season Prediction:
1. All names are taken from 2016-2017 season results. See a spelling error? Comment, email, or DM on social media please.
2. Grade levels are best guess. If unknown, I left it blank. If you know a grade level, see an incorrect grade level or see someone who has graduated, comment, email or DM on social media please.
3. Points are based on an average of points collected at races raced. Points at races are awarded on a time back basis from the average time of the top 4 points scorers in the race. (More info about points to come)
Section 2 is looking strong this year. Last years champion Brian Beyerbach is back to reclaim his section title followed closely by Queensbury teammate Dan Manzella, who placed 3rd at states last year. However most of Dan's success last year came from classic races so KZM gives Section 2 to Brian, this skate year. The race for 3rd is tightly contested between Saratoga Catholic's Mikey Halligan, Hadley's Erik Schreiner and Saratoga Springs' Alex Fragomeni. KZM is expecting a close race but we're going to give the final spot on the podium to Johnsburgh's Seamus Tomb.
For the team competition; Queensbury is the favorite to win section 2... again. After losing two top quality skiers to graduation, Q needs a third racer to step up this year to fill the void. Unfortunately for the rest of the section that 1-2 punch from Brian Beyerbach and Dan Manzella will be too difficult to overcome. KZM's pick for second: Johnsburgh. Casey and Seamus Tomb will lead J-Burgh to a consecutive section 2 runner-up plaque.
Section 3 is going to be a tough fight. There is not one skier who stands out among the rest. I am not sure what year the Whitsboro kids are, but assuming they're still in high school, the section is going to be a fight between Whitsboro's Josh Stuhlman and David Decloa, Holland Patten's Dylan Richard and Camden's Alex Williams. Can't count out Old Forge's Tyler Rudolph (last year's section champ) or Jack Rivet (who had a killer XC season). Section 3 is almost too close to call, but KZM is going to give the "W" to Tyler Rudolph. Followed closely by Dylan Richard and Josh Stuhlman for 3rd. If anyone on that podium has graduated, throw Jack Rivet in there to round out the top 3 (or 4, who knows)
The team title is probably even more of a toss up. If none of the Whitesboro guys have graduated then Whitesboro is the favorite. However, Camden has 3 solid racers in Alex Williams, Simon Seidl and Sam Dunfield. At the same time, Old Forge only needs one more guy to be a force. If any of the Whitesboro racers listed below have graduated, look for Camden to repeat as Section 3 Champs.
Secton 5 will be strong as always. Andrew Warfle, Ian Thompson, Cam McDaniel and Teddy Warfle of HFL will probably give the section the "1-2-jab-jab" The only one who can break up that top 4 sweep is Pittsford Southerland's youngster Rylan Hodgson or Irondequoit's Jacob Moszkowicz. None the less, A. Warfle and Thompson will play around with each other at the front. Ultimatly, KZM gives the section to Andrew Warfle.
Honeoye Falls-Lima wins sectionals. The rest of the section will be battling it out for second as HFL treats sectionals like a team interval session.
Section 7 is small but mighty. Last season the two-team section threw down on everyone in the state. This year everyone expects last year's State Champion, Lake Placid's Scotty Schultz to destroy the field. However, there are rumors going around that the Lake Placid contingent will forego NYSPHAA circuit to focus on club racing. Who knows who will be on the starting line at the Section 7 races. As it stands, behind Schultz, Lake Placid has James Flannigan, Kai Franz, Jesse Izzo and Van Ledger. The only Saranac racer to hang with these top dogs is Lauchie Chaney-Seymour (assuming hes racing NYSPHAA). KZM's pick right now: Scotty Schultz for sure. If not... Kai Franz?
If Lake Placid has the team they had last year expect them to sweep up sectionals and states. If not, who knows.
Couldn't find many results from section 9 last year. New Paltz had many graduates so now the field is wide open. Not sure what year the Wallkill guys are but expect brothers Lucas and Justin Smith to be at the front of the field, assuming they have not graduated. Not sure who's older so KZM will go with Lucas to win Section 9.
Same for the team title, not enough info. So KZM is going to to randomly select WallKill to win Section 9
Here are the full NYSPHSAA Pre-Season Rankings
Feel free to reach out via comment, email, social media with any info that would help provide more accurate rankings. Use #kickzonemedia to give us your thoughts.