November 4 - Sure, you can call me a Concorde District homer.
I played at Herndon when the Hornets were in the district and in the midst of their heyday, winning back-to-back Northern Region championships in 1995-96. I coached for 10 years at two Concorde programs (Centreville, Oakton) and a third (Madison) that would later join the district.
So, yes, I’m an advocate for the league. I think that’s been established after years of telling anyone who would listen (and some who didn’t want to) that there is no better-quality of baseball played anywhere in Virginia then in the Concorde. There are no nights off, and that narrative was validated further with the addition of Madison a few years ago.
This coming season, with the transfer of James Triantos to Madison, the Concorde looks to be the most-talented in the state. The district is loaded with Division I pitchers, deep lineups that should give opposing teams fits, seasoned and playoff-tested coaching staffs, and is full of expectations.
In particular, from this writer.
The league is due for a state championship. In the 19 seasons since Oakton won the Group AAA title in 2000, the Concorde has had 15 teams advance to the state tournament. Six have made the championship game, but just one - Chantilly in 2016 - would win. The league’s teams have a 12-14 record in the state tournament over that span. (Note: This doesn’t include Madison, which has made three appearances in that span - going 6-1 and winning titles in 2002 and 2015 - while a member of the Liberty District.)
Over the same period, the Patriot District has had seven teams advance to the state final. They’ve won four - West Springfield in 2010 and 2018 and Lake Braddock in 2012 and 2019. To be fair, those two programs have carried a league that has been top-heavy at times, but Robinson, South County and W.T. Woodson have also made state appearances over the past couple decades.
In a game where success is measured by statistics and numbers, the most important one - your record in championship games - reads as the following in state championship games since 2001:
Patriot District: 4-for-7
Concorde District: 1-for-5
Each of the Concorde’s current five teams have made the state tournament within the past four seasons. That’s impressive, no doubt. No other league in the state can make that claim. Making it out of regionals and qualifying for the state tournament is absolutely a big deal.
But for me to continue banging the Concorde drum, for me to remain competitive in arguments with coaches from the Patriot and down at the beach, it’s time for the Concorde to start consistently winning state championships.
Will that start this spring?
Photos of, clockwise from bottom left, Chantilly’s Kevin Ford, Oakton’s Justin Janis, Centreville’s Scott Rowland, Madison’s Mark ‘Pudge’ Gjormand, Westfield’s Rob Hahne by Fred Ingham