Another season, another showcase for Grafton High athletic excellence. The Clippers, whose remarkable year includes a regional football title and appearance in the Group AA Division 4 boys basketball championship game, entered the week alone atop the Bay Rivers District in baseball and tied with perennial power Poquoson for first in softball.

Both sports are stocked with quality teams from first to eighth place, so there's lots of room for other contenders to join the championship fray. The one constant, as in most sports this school year, is that Grafton will be among the title hopefuls.

Below is our midseason review.

Baseball

MIDSEASON MVP | Kyrie Washington, Grafton, senior: The Longwood University signee and transfer from Lynchburg is batting .525 from the leadoff spot, with 21 hits: including two homers, seven doubles, two triples and 14 RBI. His speed is evident in his eight stolen bases in eight attempts and the considerable range he's shown in center field.

MIDSEASON POWER POLL

1. Grafton (10-0, 8-0): Washington, C.J Roth (.480) and Robbie Hiser (.450) are the big bats. Lane Thomas (5-0) and Blake Ream (2-0) are the top arms. Good in every phase, the Clippers pressure opponents with excellent speed.

2. York (7-1, 7-1): Tim Kelly is hitting superbly. If his sore shoulder heals enough to allow him to close on the mound, the 2011 AA state semifinalists have all the pieces for another deep postseason run.

3. Warhill (7-2, 6-1): Hunter Hux (.421 batting average), Sean Diven (.429), Teddy West (.375, 2-2 pitching) and Tyler Klinedinst (.368) have complemented a solid defense and steady pitching that includes three complete games by Mike Brumfield (3-0).

4. Jamestown (5-3, 5-3): East Carolina-bound ace Kyle Majette (8-2 in 2011) has not thrown a pitch because of a sore back. If he returns, the talented Eagles are a threat to reach the regionals again.

5. Poquoson (5-5, 4-4): The erstwhile pitching factory is thin again on the mound. But the Islanders have a star in SS Chase Pinder (.500 batting average, 17 hits), are fundamentally sound and battle.

6. Smithfield (3-4, 3-4): Eli Evans, Tyler Nelms, Bobby Dixon and Matthew Polak have combined to keep Smithfield competitive pitching-wise, but three close losses to higher-rated teams have hurt. Buggy Griffey has played well all around.

7. New Kent (4-6, 2-6): Close losses to Poquoson (by 4-3), Grafton (4-2), Jamestown (2-1), York (18-14) and Smithfield (6-4) have hurt, but this team is capable of being a spoiler if the bats liven up.

8. Lafayette (3-6, 2-6): Consecutive wins last week over Tabb and Jamestown are positive signs for the young Rams, who are getting improved pitching from Tyler Kirby and Zach Dorcy, and good at-bats from Tyler Wiltshire.

9. Tabb (1-7, 1-7): Ben Phifer (.350 batting average), a star in the Tigers run to the district tournament title, freshman CJ Freedman and Harley Page have played well for a team in complete rebuilding mode.

10. Bruton (1-6, 1-6): The Panthers broke a 39-game losing streak in beating Lafayette and lost a 14-13 heart-breaker to Tabb. Will Hailey, the star of the Lafayette win, has been productive at numerous positions.

Projected Region I tournament qualifiers: Grafton, York, Warhill.

Softball

MIDSEASON MVP | Maggie Tyler, Poquoson, senior: The Virginia Tech signee has been stellar on the pitching rubber. Through 10 games, she's 9-1 with 91 strikeouts in 67 innings. She's allowed just three earned runs (0.31 ERA), has thrown six shutouts, a perfect game and three 1-hitters. So feared a hitter is Tyler (.275, nine RBI), she's drawn 11 walks already.

MIDSEASON POWER POLL