Allatoona, Walton to play in National High School Invitational
DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball announced on Thursday the 16 teams that will compete in the 2016 USA Baseball National High School Invitational (NHSI). Taking place from March 23 – 26 at the organization’s National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., the fifth annual tournament will feature top prep baseball teams, and individual talents, across the nation.
“The National High School Invitational has established itself as the premier event on the high school baseball calendar, and we are thrilled to partner with the Town of Cary, the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, and our media partner, Baseball America, for the 2016 event,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball’s Executive Director/CEO. “The NHSI continues to draw elite high school programs and players from across the U.S. for a one-of-a-kind high school baseball experience.”
2014 North Carolina AAA State Champions, Topsail High School (Hampstead, N.C.), will serve as the host of this year’s tournament. The Pirates finished its 2015 campaign as Mideastern Conference Champions and advanced to the third round of the NCHSAA AAA state playoffs.
Highlighting the 2016 field is 2012 and 2013 NHSI champion Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, Calif.) and 2014 champion The First Academy (Orlando, Fla.). Past participants Bingham High School (South Jordan, Utah) and Huntington Beach High School (Huntington Beach, Calif.) also return to the event, both vying for their first title.
Florida and California are well represented with seven of the 16 participants hailing from their states. Joining The First Academy out of the state of Florida are Charles W. Flanagan High School (Pebroke Pines, Fla.), North Broward Preparatory School (Pompano Beach, Fla.), and Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville, Fla.). Chaminade College Preparatory School (Los Angeles, Calif.) joins Huntington Beach High School and Mater Dei High School as representatives from California.
The Commonwealth of Virginia will be represented at the National High School Invitational for the first time with the selection of Liberty Christian Academy (Lynchburg, Va.) to the tournament field.
Rounding out the 2016 NHSI tournament pool are Allatoona High School (Ackworth, Ga.), Houston High School (Germantown, Tenn.), Florence High School (Florence, Ala.), Poly Prep Country Day School (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Rocky Mountain High School (Fort Collins, Colo.), and Walton High School (Marietta, Ga.).
Walton finished as the Class AAAAAA state runner-up, while Allatoona lost in the state semifinals in three games to eventual Class AAAAA champion Greenbrier. Walton is ranked No. 1 in the Georgia Dugout Preview Magazine's Class AAAAAA preseason poll, while Allatoona is ranked third in the magazine's Class AAAAA preseason poll.
The NHSI is a single-elimination championship tournament, with each participating team guaranteed to play four games. The official event schedule will be announced as part of a pre-event video series, detailing the first-round matchups with analysis from USA Baseball’s panel of experts, beginning on February 17.
For more information on the 2016 National High School Invitational, coaches education and general USA Baseball information, please visit USABaseball.com.