Four local squads make playoffs
CHAPEL HILL – One Roanoke-Chowan region team will be hosting a football playoff game Friday.
Of the four local teams that received bids to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association post-season tournament in football, only Hertford County High School will be playing in the friendly confines of home.
“That’s what we were striving for,” HCHS skipper Diego Hasty said. “You try to be successful in the regular season so you have the opportunity to play at home in the playoffs.”
Hasty said there were numerous advantages to being in Ahoskie for the opening two rounds of the playoffs.
“First of all, the percentages say the home team has the advantage,” he said. “Secondly, I think we know more of what to expect when we’re at home. That’s everything from the pre-game meal to when we’re going to tape ankles and things like that.
“Also, I think it’s an advantage for our kids to be able to play in front of their fans,” he added. “We worked hard to make sure we had this opportunity.”
The Bears enter the post-season at 9-1 for seeding purposes and 9-2 overall. Their only losses came to 3-A top-seed Rocky Mount and Northeastern Coastal Conference champion Northeastern High School.
They enter Friday night’s contest as the number four seed and will host Eastern Wayne High School (5-5). The Warriors finished fourth in the Eastern Carolina Conference behind Kinston, E.T. Beddingfield and James B. Hunt.
The area’s other 3-A high school, Bertie High, also made it to the NCHSAA playoffs for the 11th consecutive year. Head Coach Tony Hoggard said he was pleased to see that streak continue.
“Very, very important,” he said of continuing the Falcons’ consecutive years in the playoffs. “The way this year started out, I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to make it. Hopefully now we can recover from last week’s debacle and focus on West Craven.”
The Falcons drew the number 15 seed in the playoffs and will be traveling to West Craven (10-0), who won the Coastal 3-A/4-A Conference with a perfect record. The two met in the second round of last year’s playoffs with Bertie advancing after a 20-13 victory.
Two local 1-A squads will also be appearing in the NCHSAA playoffs. Gates County (2-8) earned a bid into the 1-AA playoffs. The Barons also drew a number 15 seed and will square off with number two East Bladen (10-0).
The Eagles claimed first place in the Southeastern 1-A/2-A Conference with a spotless 6-0 mark inside the league.
The Gates County playoff berth will be the first since 2004 and Head Coach Matt Biggy’s first foray into the post-season.
Also making the playoffs for the second consecutive season under Head Coach Greg Watford will be Northampton County High School – East. The Rams (4-6) will travel to Plymouth (8-2) for a first round matchup. The Rams are the number 12 seed while Plymouth is the number five seed.
Also of consequence to the local area, are New Bern and Richmond Senior high schools. Both teams are coached by Bertie High School graduates.
The Bears, coached by Bobby Curlings, will not be able to defend their 4-AA state championship from a season ago as they are now in the 4-A playoff bracket. New Bern (6-3-1) drew a number nine seed and will be traveling to Douglas Byrd (8-2) in the 4-A eastern playoffs.
As for Richmond Senior, coached by BHS alum Paul Hoggard, the Raiders drew a number six seed and will host Northwest Guilford. Richmond Senior was 7-2-1 in the regular season.
The rest of the east looks like this:
4-AA: (10) West Johnson at (7) Apex;
(15) Pinecrest at (2) Hoggard;
(11) Wakefield at (6) Lumberton;
(14) Durham Jordan at (3) Wake Forest Rolesville;
(9) Millbrook at (8) Garner;
(16) Sanderson at (1) Jack Britt;
(12) Enloe at (5) Leesville Road; and
(13) Broughton at (4) South View.
4-A: (10) Smithfield-Selma at (7) Middle Creek;
(15) Cary at (2) Southeast Raleigh;
(11) Pine Forest at (6) Hillside;
(14) Athens Drive at (3) Southern Durham;
(9) New Bern at (8) Douglas Byrd;
(16) Terry Sanford at (1) Fuquay-Varina;
(12) Northern Durham at (5) New Hanover; and
(13) Cape Fear at (4) J.H. Rose.
3-AA: (10) R.L. Fike at (7) Asheboro;
(15) South Central at (2) Dudley;
(11) Western Guilford at (6) Triton;
(14) Southeastern Guilford at (3) Ragsdale;
(9) James B. Hunt at (8) Eastern Guilford;
(16) Western Harnett at (1) Harnett Central;
(12) Overhills at (5) West Brunswick;
(13) Trinity at (4) Northern Vance.
3-A: (10) Havelock at (7) Washington;
(15) Bertie at (2) West Craven;
(11) South Granville at (6) SouthWest Edgecombe;
(14) Nash Central at (3) Kinston;
(9) Beddingfield at (8) Oxford-Webb
(16) Jacksonville at (1) Rocky Mount;
(12) Gray’s Creek at (5) Eastern Alamance; and
(13) Eastern Wayne at (4) Hertford County.
2-AA: (10) Cardinal Gibbons at (7) Ledford;
(15) Richlands at (2) Forest Hills;
(11) South Brunswick at (6) East Duplin;
(14) Central Davidson at (3) Orange;
(9) North Pitt at (8) Southern Guilford;
(16) West Stanly at (1) Reidsville;
(12) McMichael at (5) West Stokes; and
(13) Eastern Guilford at (4) Northwood;
2-A: (10) North Brunswick at (7) Southwest Onslow;
(15) Whiteville at (2) Northside (Jacksonville);
(11) Clinton at (6) Northwest Halifax;
(14) Greene Central at (3) Northeastern;
(9) First Flight at (8) Franklinton;
(16) Pasquotank at (1) Tarboro;
(12) Edenton at (5) Goldsboro; and
(13) Croatan at (4) Bunn.
1-AA: (10) Pamlico at (7) Topsail;
(15) Gates County at (2) East Bladen;
(11) Southeast Halifax at (6) Pender;
(14) Trask at (3) Louisburg;
(9) North Johnston at (8) Midway;
(16) Wallace-Rose Hill at (1) James Kenan;
(12) East Columbus at (5) Ayden-Grifton; and
(13) Dixon at (4) Camden.
1-A: (10) Perquimans at (7) Roanoke;
(15) Rosewood at (2) Creswell;
(11) NCHS-West at (6) Cape Hatteras;
(14) Northside at (3) Williamston;
(9) Jamesville at (8) Manteo;
(16) Lejeune at (1) Jones;
(12) Northampton-East at (5) Plymouth; and
(13) Mattamuskeet at (4) Weldon.