June 16 - The 25 finalists for the 2019 NOVA Nine Team have been selected from the magazine’s coverage area of 85 high schools in Northern Virginia.
The 25 finalists for the NOVA Nine Team along with the 10 finalists for the NOVA Nine Coach of the year will be presented to our 41-member selection committee for a vote, with the team announced this coming week. The Coach of the Year finalists were announced last night.
Past winners of the NOVA Nine Player of the Year are Oakton’s Joe Rizzo (2015), Battlefield’s Jake Agnos (2016), Briar Woods’ Michael Ludowig (2017) and Madison’s Kyle Novak (2018). The Player of the Year goes to the member receiving the most votes.
Here are this year’s NOVA Nine Team finalists, listed alphabetically:
Zach Agnos, Senior, Battlefield - A returning member from the 2018 NOVA Nine Team, Agnos was named the Player of the Year in the Cedar Run District and Region 6D. He hit .423 with 30 hits, eight doubles, two home runs and 23 RBI and was 7-3 with a 1.78 ERA and 67 strikeouts and 19 walks in 55 innings. A four-year starter who eclipsed 100 career hits and he will follow his brother Jake, a two-time NOVA Nine selection and the 2016 Player of the Year, in playing at East Carolina University.
Gunner Canary, Senior, Riverside - The right-hander set a single-season program record and led the area in victories, finishing 12-2 with two saves, a 0.85 ERA and 82 strikeouts to 25 walks in 74.1 innings. A first-team All-Region 4C selection, Canary earned the win in the region semifinals against Sherando and the Class 4 state quarterfinals against Salem, then tossed a five-hit shutout in a 3-0 win over Great Bridge in the state semifinals.
Joe Clancy, Senior, Westfeld - The ace for a staff that combined for a state-record 16 shutouts, Clancy finished 9-1 with a save, a 0.85 ERA and 114 strikeouts to 29 walks in 65.2 innings and earned Region 6D Pitcher of the Year honors. He also hit .318 with a .511 on-base percentage, four home runs and 18 RBI as the Bulldogs won the Concorde District and region championships and advanced to the Class 6 state final. Will pitch at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County.
Joe DeBardi, Senior, Highland School - DeBardi hit .463 with a .489 on-base percentage and half of hits 38 hits went for extra bases, including 13 doubles and four homers to go along with 30 RBI, 29 runs and 15 steals. He was named the Delaney Athletic Conference Player of the Year and a first-team all-state selection and helped the Hawks reach the VISAA Division II state final. Will play at Mount St. Mary’s University.
Jake DeLisi, Senior, Brentsville District - The two-way threat shared Region 3B Pitcher of the Year honors with teammate Vince DiMauro and helped the Tigers repeat as region champions and reach the Class 3 state semifinals. DeLisi went 8-2 with a save, a 1.42 ERA and 84 strikeouts to 18 walks in 59 innings and he hit .359 with a .458 on-base percentage, 30 hits, 28 runs, eight doubles and 25 RBI. Will play at King University.
Eddie Eisert, Junior, Bishop O’Connell - A two-time first-team All-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and VISAA DIvision I all-state selection, Eisert hit .432 with a .510 on-base percentage, 35 hits - 13 that went for extra bases - along with 18 RBI and 17 stolen bases to help the Knights reach the WCAC semifinal series and state quarterfinals. He also went 1-2 with two saves, a 1.29 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 16.1 innings. Has committed to play at N.C. State.
Todd Hartman, Senior, Jefferson - Posted dominant numbers en route to National District Player of the Year and first-team All-Region 5C honors. Hartman hit .507 with a .566 on-base percentage, 36 hits, five home runs and 27 RBI and the left-hander went 4-4 with a 1.42 ERA and 65 strikeouts with 26 walks in 29.2 innings.
Ryley Johnson, Junior, Colgan - One of the state’s best defensive outfielders, Johnson hit .463 with a .610 on-base percentage, 31 hits, 32 runs, eight extra-base hits, 19 RBI and 40 stolen bases en route to Cardinal District Player of the Year and first-team All-Region 6C honors. He also went 2-1 with a save, a 0.33 ERA and 37 strikeouts to six walks in 20.1 innings. Has committed to play at East Carolina University.
Jackson Kantor, Senior, McLean - The second baseman put together a fantastic all-around season and was chosen as the Liberty District Player of the Year and a first-team All-Region 6D selection. Kantor hit .484 with a .544 on-base percentage, 30 hits, 24 runs, nine extra-base hits and 21 RBI as the Highlanders won their first district title since 2009. He also recorded four saves.
Ben Koomey, Senior, Yorktown - One of the area’s best left-handed hitters and defensive catchers, Koomey didn’t commit an error en route to first-team All-Region 6D honors. He hit .500 with a .618 on-base percentage, 32 hits, 11 doubles, four home runs and 26 RBI as the Patriots advanced to the Liberty District final and regional quarterfinals. Will play at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Bobby Leitzel, Senior, Lake Braddock - The Robin to Lyle Miller-Green’s Batman, the left-handed swinging shortstop slid seamlessly into the middle of the Bruins’ lineup as they won Region 6C and Class 6 state championships. Leitzel hit .413 with a .465 on-base percentage, an area-high 43 hits, 25 runs, seven triples, 31 RBI and 21 stolen bases to earn first-team All-Region 6C honors. Will play at Marymount University.
Nick Lottchea, Sophomore, Westfield - Exploded onto the scene this spring, excelling as the Bulldogs’ leadoff man, defensive anchor in center field and No. 2 starter on a staff that set a state record with 16 shutouts. Lottchea, the Concorde District Player of the Year and a first-team All-Region 6D selection, stuffed the stat sheet both at the plate and on the mound. He hit .422 with a .505 on-base percentage, 35 hits, 10 doubles, two home runs, 27 RBI, 26 runs and 12 steals and the southpaw was 9-1 with a 1.45 ERA and 42 strikeouts to 15 walks in 43.1 innings as Westfield won its first district title since 2010 and region title since 2004 before falling to Lake Braddock in the Class 6 state final.
Braden Mack, Junior, Potomac - After his older brother, Brody, earned NOVA Nine Team honors last year, it was the versatile younger brother’s turn to emerge this spring. The Panthers’ catcher hit .449 with a .542 on-base percentage 31 hits, five doubles, 25 RBI and 26 runs for the Cardinal District champions. When not behind the plate, he took the mound and went 6-1 with a save, a 0.79 ERA and 47 strikeouts to just seven walks in 35 innings. Was a first-team All-Region 5D selection.
John Moses, Senior, Episcopal - Helped the Maroon reach their first VISAA DIvision I state tournament as a defensive stalwart behind the plate, constant threat at the plate and a consistent option on the mound. Moses hit .413 with a .516 on-base percentage, 31 hits, nine extra-base hits, 15 RBI, 25 runs and 16 steals and went 3-3 with two saves, a 0.66 ERA and 66 strikeouts to 26 walks in 42.1 innings. He was a two-time first-team all-state selection. Will play at the Rochester University.
Lyle Miller-Green, Senior, Lake Braddock - Posted a monster season at the plate and on the mound while leading the Bruins to the Region 6C and Class 6 state championships. Was named the Player of the Year in the Patriot District, Region 6C and on The Washington Post’s All-Met Team, hitting .435 with a .592 on-base percentage, 39 hits - 21 that went for extra bases - along with an area-high 12 home runs, 28 RBI and 39 runs. Miller-Green was hit by a pitch 14 times and walked 20 times, 12 of those intentionally. Finished with a program-record 20 career homers. On the mound, he went 6-0 with five saves, a 1.24 ERA and 91 strikeouts to 27 walks in 56.1 innings. Will play at George Mason University.
Shane Saunders, Junior, Osbourn Park - An athletic outfielder and a constant threat on the base paths, Saunders hit .477 with a .596 on-base percentage, 31 hits, 10 extra-base hits, 10 RBI, 27 runs and was 27-for-27 on stolen base attempts. He was a first-team All-Region 6D selection for the second straight season.
Nate Savino, Junior, Potomac Falls - A returning member of the NOVA Nine Team, the left-hander picked up where he left off last spring by striking out 18 in a one-hitter against Riverside in his first start this season. He’d finish 3-2 with a 0.60 ERA and 71 strikeouts to just nine walks in 35 innings before being shut down to be rested for a summer that will be spent with the USA Baseball U-18 National Team and in Major League Baseball’s Prospect Development Pipeline League. Virginia’s Gatorade State Player of the Year also hit .353 with a .460 on-base percentage 26 hits, 10 extra-base hits, eight RBI and 20 runs. Has committed to pitch for the University of Virginia.
Dylan Siesky, Senior, Chantilly - Had the beginning of his season delayed due to an injury that limited his time on the mound, but the shortstop quickly made up for lost time en route to first-team All-Region 6D honors. Siesky hit .405 with a .448 on-base percentage, 30 hits, six doubles, five home runs, 20 RBI and nine steals. Will play at Lafayette College.
Tucker Sullivan, Sophomore, Stafford - The two-way threat had a breakout campaign that concluded with his game-winning walk-off single in the Class 5 state championship game against Mills Godwin. The shortstop hit .395 with a .528 on-base percentage, 32 hits, 18 RBI, 24 runs and 14 steals and played a key role on a staff that posted seven shutouts, going 6-2 with six saves, a 1.77 ERA and 45 strikeouts to 12 walks in 35.2 innings. Was a second-team All-Region 5D selection.
Ben Thomas, Junior, Potomac - The outfielder didn’t make an error all season and had one of the best offensive campaigns in Northern Virginia, helping the Panthers win the Cardinal District championship while hitting .515 with a .590 on-base percentage, 34 hits, eight doubles, 28 RBI, 18 runs and nine stolen bases.
Mike Tolson, Senior, Stafford - The Indians’ ace led his team to Region 5D and Class 5 state championships, going 10-0 with a 1.55 ERA and 94 strikeouts with 43 walks in 77 innings. Tolson was named the Commonwealth District Player of the Year and a first-team all-region selection. Played third base when not on the mound, hitting .198 with a .287 on-base percentage, 17 hits and 16 RBI. Will pitch at Western Carolina University.
Thomas Trinca, Junior, Centreville - A two-time All-Region 6D selection, the outfielder hit .423 with a .484 on-base percentage, 33 hits, 11 doubles, two triples, two homers, 16 RBI, 18 runs and nine steals. Trinca played a key role in the Wildcats’ run to the region final and first state tournament appearance since 2003. Has committed to play at George Mason University.
Joe Vogatsky, Junior, Kettle Run - Led the Cougars to the Northwestern District championship and the Class 4 state tournament the region’s Player of the Year honors. Vogatsky went 6-3 with three saves, a 2.24 ERA and 82 strikeouts to 14 walks in 59.1 innings and hit .403 with a .495 on-base percentage, 31 hits, three home runs and 21 RBI as his team’s third baseman when not on the mound. Has committed to pitch at James Madison University.
Dylan Wilkinson, Senior, Fairfax - The left-handed swinging infielder posted big offensive numbers en route to first-team All-Region 6C honors, hitting .523 with a .627 on-base percentage, 34 hits, 11 doubles, 18 RBI, 19 runs and nine steals. Will play at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County.
Ben Williamson, Senior, Freedom-South Riding - One of the area’s best defensive shortstops, he also thrived at the plate and in a closer’s role en route to Player of the Year honors in the Potomac District and Region 5C. Williamson hit .397 with a .542 on-base percentage, 25 hits, two home runs, 11 RBI, 22 runs and 25 steals and he was 2-0 with four saves, a 2.28 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 15 innings. Will play at the College of William & Mary.
Photos of players were submitted or taken by Fred Ingham, Michael Greene, Gregg Zelkin, Jim Halling or Joey Kamide