Okay, this is going to be a little bit wonky, but we learned a couple of things this week that paint a more clear picture of the VHSL football playoffs, so we thought we’d just go through where each local squad stands. Well break it down into four categories: Likely to Host, Likely In, On the Bubble and Likely Out
Likely to Host
Albemarle- The Patriots play in Region 5A North, a region that employs a simple 16-team bracket based on power points. Albemarle currently sits in fifth and with the top eight hosting they appear likely to host a first round game. They play Western this week and a win would obviously solidify that spot, a loss perhaps changes that equation. If someone stumbles ahead of them, it’s possible the Patriots could slip into the top four which would give them an inside track to two-straight home games if they can win in week one of the playoffs.
Louisa- Louisa plays in Region 4A East, a region that uses a sectionalized bracket. That means the Lions are grouped with other Conference 19/20 teams, and right now they’re in position to be No. 4 on that side of the bracket behind Dinwiddie, Eastern View and Chancellor. That makes this week against Charlottesville interesting, because Louisa could lock up a home game or improve its spot with a win depending on what happens to the three teams above it.
Goochland- In Goochland’s Region 2A East they use a straight power point system for the top 16 squads. Goochland is No. 1 right now, but the team right behind them, Stuarts Draft is 9-0 and plays unbeaten Riverheads Friday. A win there could vault Draft past the Bulldogs. A loss makes Goochland the No. 1 and the bracket’s lone unbeaten.
William Monroe- The Dragons’ situation is actually in part the reason for this entire piece. While Monroe is just 11th in Region 3A East, that region does a sectionalized bracket, grouping Conferences 25 and 27 together and Conferences 26 and 28 together. That means that William Monroe is actually in position to host the first round right now as the No. 4-seeded team in the Conference 26/28 side of the bracket. They play Strasburg this week and a win there would likely lock up a home game. A loss could send them on the road, though they can fall no farther than fifth.
Madison County- The Mountaineers are definitely in, the only thing in question is a home game. They’re holding on to the No. 8 spot in Region 2A East, and they need to stay there or move up to host. They’ll take on a tough Clarke squad (seeded third in Region 2A East now) on the road this week.
Western Albemarle- The Warriors’ loss to Charlottesville didn’t hurt them much as they shuffled down just a spot in Region 3A West. To get back into the mix for hosting a home game, beating Albemarle Friday is a necessity. A loss there and the Warriors hit the road, but they’re definitely in at this point.
Orange County- The Hornets are currently in 12th in Region 5A North, which would pit them in a rematch with Albemarle oddly enough if the playoffs started this week. They’re solidly in, and need to take care of business against Fluvanna this week to gain as favorable of a matchup as possible.
On the Bubble
Charlottesville- The Black Knights being in this slot is largely a product of playing in Region 4A West, one of just two regions in the state that allow 12 teams in the region tournament bracket, affording the region’s top four teams a bye week. If the Black Knights can knock off 8-1 Louisa on Friday, there’s a good chance they could vault into the Top 12 since they’re only in 13th and that would be a quality win.
Monticell0- The Mustangs could wedge their way into the Region 3A West picture with an upset of Powhatan, and in a region that has had some of the wildest playoff runs/upsets in this era (Waynesboro coming out of the 16th seed to advance to the third round three seasons ago as the most prominent example)
These three teams can play spoiler this week, especially Fluvanna who’s facing an Orange team that is trying to hold on to a spot in the Region 5A North.