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Monday, October 31, 2016


The penultimate rankings have been released, and here's your first look at the standings by region with first analysis on what is and what needs to be. In-depth analysis coming on the next "Central Region Now!" Podcast only from RVA Sports Network.

NOTE: VHSL Power Rating is based on number of accumulated Rider Points divided by number of games played against VHSL opponents.

6A SOUTH (Conferences 3/4, top eight make playoffs)
1) Manchester: 32.889 (8-1, vs. Cosby)
2) Colonial Forge: 32.556 (8-1, at Freedom-PW)
3) Thomas Dale: 31.0 (7-2, vs. Matoaca)
4) Riverbend: 30.7 (7-3, regular season concluded)
5) Freedom-PW: 29.0 (7-2, vs. Colonial Forge)
6) James River: 28.778 (6-3, vs. L.C. Bird)
7) Cosby: 26.333 (5-4, at Manchester)
8) CD Hylton: 26.111 (5-4, vs. Forest Park)
9) Forest Park: 25. 0 (4-5, at CD Hylton)

ANALYSIS: As expected, Manchester retakes the top spot over an idle Colonial Forge, but now both play fellow 6A South contenders Friday as the Lancers get 5-4 Cosby while Colonial Forge gets 7-2 Freedom-Prince William. Advantage Colonial Forge, as defeating a seven-win team earns you four more rider points than beating a five-win team. Manchester has 296 points, Colonial Forge has 293. A Forge win doesn't, however, clinch the #1 seed as you get points based on results of other game involving teams on your schedule. Thomas Dale (279 points) is ready to pounce should either team get upset Friday, but the Knights have their hands full with a 5A South Matoaca team fighting to stay alive in the postseason. James River seems to have enough separation from the teams below them that, even if they lose to L.C. Bird, the 23 points earned for that would be enough to keep them in the race. Cosby needs to beat Manchester, that sends the Titans to the playoffs, no matter what happens between Forest Park and CD Hylton. If Cosby loses, Forest Park also must lose, otherwise, the Titans could end up on the outside looking in.

5A SOUTH (Conferences 11/12, top eight make playoffs)
1) Highland Springs: 32.0 (8-1, at Varina)
2) L.C. Bird: 31.111 (8-1, at James River)
3) Douglas Freeman: 30.667 (9-0 vs. Hermitage
4) Hermitage: 30.444 (8-1, at Douglas Freeman)
5) Lee-Davis: 26.778 (7-2, at Patrick Henry)
6) Varina: 26.222 (5-4, vs. Highland Springs)
7T) Matoaca: 24.889 (5-4, at Thomas Dale)
       Henrico: 24.889 (5-4, vs. Hanover)
9) Meadowbrook: 24.444 (4-5, vs. Dinwiddie)
10) Deep Run: 24.222 (5-4, vs. Thomas Jefferson)
11) Mills Godwin: 23.556 (4-5, at John Marshall)

ANALYSIS: Highland Springs, thanks to strength of schedule, moves into the lead, but that doesn't mean a win at Varina clinches the #1 seed yet. The Springers have 288 points, then L.C. Bird is next with 280, followed by Douglas Freeman with 276 and Hermitage right behind at 274. Lee-Davis is well back of the top four, in fifth at 241. The Springers would earn 34 points with a win, Bird gets 38 points if they beat 6A school James River with six wins. Of course, Hermitage and Douglas Freeman face each other Friday. A Panthers win nets them 42 points, and a Rebel win nets them 40 points. So, it would be Highland Springs with 322, L.C. Bird with 318, and either Douglas Freeman at 316 or Hermitage at 316 before rider point bonuses from other games within your schedule count. Highland Springs, for example, will root for Dinwiddie to beat Meadowbrook, even though it costs them an extra point, because a Meadowbrook loss would cost L.C. Bird and Hermitage two extra points, since the Monarchs beat the Springers, but lost to the Skyhawks and Panthers. Highland Springs needs Norview to beat Liberty Christian in a game with a "private" school that does count now that LCA is a part of the VHSL. It also looks unlikely that Lee-Davis can catch anyone in the top four, so the Confederates on Friday need a Tomato Bowl win at Patrick Henry to clinch the #5 seed, meaning a road trip to the eventual fourth seed on November 11th. If Lee-Davis loses to Patrick Henry and Varina upsets Highland Springs, they'll switch positions. Varina starts with 236 points, five behind Lee-Davis. Matoaca and Henrico begin play at 224 points each, with Meadowbrook at 220 and Deep Run at 218. Mills Godwin, at 212, even with a win over 1-8 John Marshall, would at best earn 26 points for a win. They would need Henrico, Meadowbrook and Deep Run all to lose to have a prayer. Matoaca is in the best position, as they would earn 40 points for a win over Thomas Dale, but also 22 with a loss, meaning Godwin couldn't catch them. Deep Run can catch them with a win, however, and, of course, if Meadowbrook knocks off unbeaten Dinwiddie, all bets are off. First, the Monarchs would clinch a berth, getting 42 points off the bat for the win. Deep Run only can earn 32 against Thomas Jefferson, Henrico only 28 against Hanover. If no one on the outside leaps into the top eight, Matoaca earns the #7 seed with a win, even if Henrico wins, and possibly to #6 if Varina loses, or threaten Lee-Davis for #5 if they lose to Patrick Henry. The top four teams will make the playoffs, so will Lee-Davis, but their #5 seed is only theirs with a win.

5A NORTH (Top 16 In, All Conferences):
1) Brooke Point: 33.111 (9-0, vs. Massaponax)
2) Massaponax: 31.889 (8-1, at Brooke Point)
3) Stone Bridge: 31.667 (7-2, vs. Briar Woods)
4) Potomac Falls: 30.222 (7-2, at Thomas Edison)
5) Albemarle: 29.667 (7-2, vs. Western Albemarle)
6) Broad Run: 29.556 (7-2, at Tuscarora)
7) PH-Roanoke: 28.333 (7-2, at Carroll County)
8) North Stafford: 27.444 (6-3, at Mountain View)
9) Patrick Henry: 27.0 (7-2, vs. Lee-Davis)
10) Briar Woods: 26.889 (4-5, at Stone Bridge)
11) Tuscarora: 26.222 (5-4, vs. Broad Run)
12) Orange: 25.444 (5-4, vs. Fluvanna)
13) Atlee: 25.0 (4-5, vs. Armstrong)
14) Falls Church: 24.667 (6-3, at J.E.B. Stuart)
15) George Marshall: 23.444 (4-5, at TJ-Alexandria)
16) Potomac: 22.667 (3-6, vs. Stafford)
17T) R.E. Lee-Alexandria: 22.556 (4-5, vs. Wakefield)
        Mountain View: 22.556 (3-6, vs. North Stafford)
19) Stafford: 22.222 (3-6, at Potomac)
20) J.E.B. Stuart: 21.444 (4-5, vs. Falls Church)

ANALYSIS: Patrick Henry is in the playoffs, their focus now squarely on The Tomato Bowl, hoping a win over Lee-Davis, and a Mountain View win over North Stafford, is enough to get them back to the #8 seed, which would mean a first round home game November 11th, the first home playoff game for the Patriots in 15 years. If PH-Roanoke somehow lost to Carroll County, the #7 seed could be in play. For Atlee, it's not a done deal yet. Remember, beating an 0-9 Armstrong Friday at home only nets you 24 points, no bonus points for beating a winless team. Falls Church certainly leaps over the Raiders if they beat J.E.B. Stuart, so Atlee roots for Stuart there. Wins by TJ/Alexandria and George Marshall also benefit the Raiders, who will have to travel in round one if they make the Top 16.

4A EAST: (Conferences 19/20, top eight make playoffs)
1) Dinwiddie: 30.667 (9-0, at Meadowbrook)
2) Eastern View: 30.444 (9-0, vs. Kettle Run)
3) Chancellor: 30.333 (7-2, at Spotsylvania)
4) Louisa: 29.778 (8-1, at Charlottesville)
5) Monacan: 27.4 (8-2, regular season concluded)
6) Powhatan: 26.778 (7-2, at Monticello)
7) King George: 24.333 (6-3, vs. James Monroe)
8) Courtland: 23.222 (4-5, vs. Caroline)

ANALYSIS: While the eight teams seem set here (Huguenot is ninth, over two points behind but only place a one-win George Wythe team this week), it's all about seeding. Dinwiddie should clinch the #1 seed with a victory, as they know they'll get two points each for the other three Central District games. But they could use Caroline or Hanover to get an upset, or a James Monroe win over King George, to get a few extra points. Eastern View's opponent, Kettle Run is 3-6, a game worse than Meadowbrook. Chancellor finishes with one-win Spotsylvania, a big disadvantage. As for Monacan, all they can do is scoreboard-watch and wait. They need Charlottesville to upset Louisa, Glen Allen to defeat J.R. Tucker, and they root for Caroline as well. But it may not be enough. We'll run minimum and maximum numbers later this week to see if the Chiefs have any hope to host a first round game.

3A EAST: (Conferences 26/28, top eight make playoffs)
1) Hopewell: 24.778 (6-3, vs. Prince George)
2) Brentsville District: 24.0 (7-2, vs. Culpeper County)
3) James Monroe: 23.556 (7-2, at King George)
4) William Monroe: 20.444 (5-4, at Strasburg)
5) Thomas Jefferson: 19.625 (4-4, at Deep Run)
6) Petersburg: 19.111 (2-7, vs. Colonial Heights)
7) George Wythe: 18.111 (1-8, vs. Huguenot, Saturday)
8) Culpeper County: 17.444 (3-6, at Brentsville District)
9) Skyline: 16.444 (2-7, at Warren County)

ANALYSIS: Hopewell and Thomas Jefferson are in, Petersburg is in with a victory over Colonial Heights. George Wythe could be looking over their shoulder if Skyline defeats Warren County.

2A EAST: (Top 16 In, All Conferences)
1) Goochland: 25.333 (10-0, regular season completed)
2) Stuarts Draft: 25.111 (9-0)
3) Clarke County: 23.333 (7-2)
4) Central-Woodstock: 22.889 (7-2)
5) Buffalo Gap: 22.0 (7-2)
6T) Strasburg: 21.889 (7-2)
       East Rockingham: 21.889 (6-3)
8) Madison County: 19.778 (5-4)
9) King William: 19.667 (6-3)
10) Nandua: 19.5 (7-3, regular season completed)
11) Prince Edward: 18.0 (5-4)
12) Brunswick: 17.444 (3-6)
13) Washington & Lee: 17.333 (4-5)
14T) R.E. Lee/Staunton: 16.667 (3-6)
         Bluestone: 16.667 (4-5)
16) Nottoway: 16.111 (3-6)
17) Page County: 15.889 (3-6)
18) Amelia: 15.667 (4-5)
19) Arcadia: 14.889 (3-6)

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