A Battle in Devens: 2012 HS Northeasterns Open Preview

Posted: May 10, 2012 03:17 PM

2012HSNortheasternsLogo 500x500
Event Schedule

In what will be the inaugural High School Northeasterns event, 16 High School open teams will converge on Fort Devens this weekend to battle it out for the title. Only 5 of the competitors played in last years High School Eastern Championships, so we are sure to see some fresh faces out on the fields. Returning as the #1 seed overall are the Amherst High School Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes were Easterns champs in 2010 and 2011 and are looking to defend their spot at the top. Mount Lebanon comes in as the #2 seed, after a finals loss in the Steel City Classic. Rounding out the top 4 are perennial competitors Needham and Columbia High School, both of which have played in Easterns finals in the past 5 years.

The rest of the field is made up of a combination of rising programs and established teams. Watchung Hills, Pennsbury and West Windsoro-Plainsboro are a few of the familiar names who have played at the Regional level before, while teams like Falmouth, Sharon and Xavier are newcomers on the Regional High School level.

Pool A

2012HSLogo AHRS   2012HSLogo Fieldston O   2012HSLogo WatchungHills O   2012HSLogo Radnor
A1 - Amherst Regional HS   A2 - Fieldston
  A3 - Watchung Hills
  A4 - Radnor
Although they haven’t dominated the scene like past years, Amherst has had another successful season. Senior Jordy Diamond is the rock of their offense, while Wes Chow’s outstanding pulls compliment their multiple defensive looks. Watch for Junior Worlds selection Danny On to be one of the most exciting players this weekend with his high flying bids and big throws. A semifinal loss at Paideia Cup and a finals appearance at Amherst Invite show that the Canes will be a tough draw for anyone this weekend. The 2 seed, Fieldston from NYC, have put together quite the streak, winning both the Stuyscraper and Middletown Invitationals. Look for them to continue their fundamentally sound style of play this weekend. Radnor is a team out of Pennsylvania who, despite having an up and down season, is a hard working group that will give it their all against the upper seeds. Watchung Hills will be the model of scrappiness this weekend, hoping to grind their opponents into the ground. After contacting Revolver’s Robbie Cahill, the WHHS boys have been training with a grueling hill workout called the "humility ladder" that the San Francisco club team created. While Pool A will likely go to seed, there is no lack of exciting ultimate here.

Pool B

2012HSLogo MountLebanon   2012HSLogo Pennsbury   2012HSLogo StJohnsbury   2012HSLogo Xavier O
B1 - Mount Lebanon
  B2 - Pennsbury
  B3 - St Johnsbury Academy   B4 - Xavier HS


Mount Lebanon and Pennsbury sit atop Pool B and their game against each other will be a good one. Although Pennsbury did not have the best showing at Steel City Classic -- where Mount Lebanon made finals -- their dedication to hard man defense and smooth offense has brought them a win over Columbia and a tournament victory at their own Born to Dive. St. Johnsbury from Vermont and Xavier from Connecticut have both posted very good results against other nearby High School teams this season. We will see how they fare against a bit stronger competition this weekend. None of the Pool B teams have faced each other yet this year so it will be interesting to see what the matchups bring. 

Pool C

NoLogo   2012HSLogo Hampton O   2012HSLogo West Windsor O   NoLogo
C1 - Needham
  C2 - Hampton
  C3 - West Windsor-Plainsboro   C4 - John Jay


In Pool C Needham will be looking to repeat their success of two years ago when they made the Eastern finals. They’ve defeated a number of the other competitors this Spring, but will have to handle the rest of their pool before moving ahead. Captains Ben Sadok and Jordan Kaufman will run the show for them, with Sadok distributing and Kaufman tearing it up in the cutting lanes. Hampton HS from Pittsburgh is the sitting in the two spot of Pool B and should give Needham their toughest game on Saturday. Hampton has had a solid season thus far, posting a Semis appearance at Steel City Classic before falling to Mount Lebanon. West Windsor-Plainsboro, who tied for 5th at Easterns last year, will look to make some noise from the three spot. Rounding out the pool is John Jay Air Raid, the defending New York state champions. The wealth of experienced teams in Pool C makes it one to keep an eye on come Saturday. 

Pool D

2012HSLogo Columbia   NoLogo   2012HSLogo Sharon O   2012HSLogo Falmouth O
D1 - Columbia HS   D2 - Longmeadow   D3 - Sharon HS   D4 - Falmouth HS


In Pool D we will see the legendary Columbia High School squad go up against a couple of younger programs. Long time JV coach Ben Haim has taken over from Anthony Nunez to lead a group that has competed at the top level multiple times this year already, attending both the Amherst Invitational and Paideia Cup. Though they’ve dropped games to Paideia, Pennsbury and South Eugene this year (among others), the experience gained in those competitions will benefit them at Northeasterns. Longmeadow HS from Massachusetts is another team that has fared well against in-state competition and will have a chance to show that they can break into the upper echelon this weekend.  Sharon is a young program that will be competing in the Regional competition for the first time. They fell to Columbia 13-12 one weekend ago at the Amherst Invitational so it will be interesting to see if they can pull off a big upset. Falmouth HS out of Maine rounds out the field. After winning the Cumberland Invitational they will shoot to carry their success into Devens this weekend.