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Wednesday, March 24, 2021


The homestretch is here! With just two weeks left in the regular season, we've reached the first stage of separation in each region. There are shakeups in some, stability in others, and we'll have a clearer view of what the playoff situation may look like after a Week 5 featuring multiple "showdown" games that could end team's postseason aspirations. 

The standings and our exclusive analysis is below!



1) Oscar Smith: 29.333
2) Thomas Dale: 28.667
3) Franklin County: 27.0
4) Ocean Lakes: 24.250
5) Grassfield: 22.250
6) Western Branch: 22.0
7) James River: 21.0
8) Landstown: 19.0

ANALYSIS: Franklin County gets the 9-6 win over Northside on a rainy Tuesday night in Roanoke. No bonus points available with the victory, so it's not enough to overtake Thomas Dale for the #2 seed. The race for the top two seeds is critical, as to avoid a long, long bus ride in the first round. If standings held as they were, Franklin County would have to travel from Rocky Mount to Chester. The Knights would rather avoid that journey. Of note, Ocean Lakes' season is scheduled to end Friday against Green Run of Class 5. The Dolphins only have five games on their schedule. Grassfield must upset Oscar Smith Friday for any true hope of the postseason, while Western Branch needs to sweep Indian River and Deep Creek, and get help. Thomas Dale finishes with Matoaca and a showdown with Dinwiddie, where the Generals may have to win to make the Region 4B playoffs. If Thomas Dale goes 1-1 down the stretch, their playoff chances are still pretty good.


1) Hermitage: 27.0
2T) Manchester: 26.5
      Highland Springs: 26.5
4) Prince George: 24.250
5) Varina: 23.0
6) Midlothian: 22.750
7) Glen Allen: 21.6
8) Deep Run: 20.750

ANALYSIS: Well, the shakeup is well underway! We knew the Hermitage lead atop the region standings would shrink due to beating a winless team Friday. Manchester's win over previously unbeaten, and three-win, Midlothian, vaults the Lancers into a tie with Highland Springs, who finally enter the top four, while Prince George holds on to a playoff spot, for now, following their first loss. Varina continues to draw closer, and Midlothian is still alive. Glen Allen, at 3-2, with only a game with 0-4 Henrico left, is out. Deep Run, who goes to Hermitage Friday, could certainly wreak havoc on the standings with a win, but winless Mills Godwin awaits them to close their schedule, and that doesn't help. As we've felt for most of the season, a two-loss team won't make the top four here. Varina hosts Douglas Freeman, while Midlothian gets a resurgent James River, who beat L.C. Bird Monday for their first win over the Skyhawks since the Bush 43 Administration. The Royals go to Petersburg Saturday. The Crimson Wave are still alive in Region 3A.

All four current top teams have a team currently winless still remaining on their schedule. What does that mean? No bonus points with a victory over them. Remember, teams get two bonus points for each win earned by a defeated opponent, one bonus point from wins from non-defeated opponents.


1T) King George: 26.5
      Monacan: 26.5
3) Patrick Henry: 25.5
4) Louisa: 24.5
5) Powhatan: 22.750
6) Dinwiddie: 22.250
7) Eastern View: 21.5
8) Hanover: 21.0

ANALYSIS: This is the craziest, yet cleanest, race in our area. First, the surprise team: King George. The Foxes play 0-4 Caroline this week, 2-2 Spotsylvania to close the regular season. Meanwhile, Monacan, tied with King George for first place each of the past two weeks, have the harder schedule, but can reap the benefits and possibly clinch the top seed with wins over Powhatan (3-1) and James River (Class 6 school, 2-2). However, that's where the "cleanest" part of our analysis comes in. Friday night could be elimination night, when we look back, for the loser of both the Monacan/Powhatan game and the second battle between unbeaten Patrick Henry and one loss Hanover. The Patriots survived a "Stanford/Cal" type play that finally ended at the Patriot 30 yard line to end a 22-14 win at Hanover three weeks ago. Expect the Patriots/Hawks affair to be a slugfest. Louisa plays Western Albemarle (3-1) and Albemarle (Class 5 school, 2-2) to finish up. 

Then there's Dinwiddie, who put the entire region on notice with a rather dominant win over Hopewell Monday, ending the Blue Devils' 16-game winning streak. The bad news for the Generals is a game Friday at winless Colonial Heights. No bonus points available. But their finale next Thursday at Thomas Dale, with some help, could be a play-in game for Dinwiddie. But Powhatan has a tough, but more favorable schedule, than Dinwiddie, with 4-0 Monacan and Midlothian (Class 5 school, 3-1) still to come. If Powhatan sweeps, they could beat out Dinwiddie for a postseason berth. 

The biggest question for Powhatan, Dinwiddie, Eastern View and Hanover is can a one-loss team make the playoffs if all four unbeatens finish 6-0? That scenario automatically eliminates Powhatan and Hanover, and a win over Class 6 Thomas Dale likely wouldn't be enough for Dinwiddie. 


1) Lafayette: 25.333
2) Phoebus: 23.333
3) New Kent: 20.250
4) Tabb: 18.333
5) Petersburg: 18.0
6T) York: 16.5
      Hopewell: 16.5
8) I.C. Norcom: 15.750

ANALYSIS: Hopewell fans, do not panic. The Blue Devils are still in the race, with a trip to Class 5, winless, Meadowbrook Friday. Ahead of them, York, with whom they are tied for sixth, goes to #4 Tabb Saturday afternoon. Meanwhile, Petersburg hosts Prince George (Class 5 school, 3-1) Saturday. Should both York and Petersburg lose, Hopewell is in fifth minimum. #1 Lafayette hosts #3 New Kent Friday, so one of them will take a loss, allowing Hopewell, with a win, to draw closer. For the Trojans, what an opportunity! A win at Lafayette, then a win hosting Tabb Saturday April 3rd, could clinch a home game in the first round of the playoffs, should Phoebus win their last two games and take the top seed. There's a lot going on here.


1) Goochland: 25.0
2) Brentsville District: 23.0
3) Independence: 21.5
4) George Mason: 20.0
5) Skyline: 19.750
6) Lightridge: 18.750
7) James Monroe: 16.750

ANALYSIS: This region is Goochland's to lose. The Bulldogs go to Central-Lunenburg, who defeated Amelia 34-16 on Monday, then are scheduled to host Class 4 James Wood April 2nd. However, James Wood has yet to play this season. The big game in this region this week is Friday's showdown between #2 Brentsville District (4-0) and #5 Skyline (3-1). Independence can help their case with a win against Class 4 Loudoun County (2-2) this week. 


1) Nottoway: 22.0
2) King William: 19.333
3) Randolph-Henry: 18.0
4) Amelia County: 14.0
5) Poquoson: 13.0
6) Bruton: 10.0
7) Windsor: 8.5

ANALYSIS: Nottoway has only played one game, a win over Central-Lunenburg. They are scheduled to go to Cumberland (0-3) on Friday. King William (3-0), meanwhile, are heading to Class 3 Southampton this week, then finish with Poquoson, who currently sit in fifth and who play winless Class 4 Grafton this week. So, a top seed is certainly in play for the Cavaliers, but a #2 seed may not be such a bad thing.

The showdown here this week comes Saturday when #4 Amelia County tries to shake off their Monday loss when they travel to #3 Randolph-Henry. 


1) King & Queen Central: 18.0
2) West Point: 12.75
3) Northampton: 12.0
4) Rappahannock: 10.0
5) Mathews: 8.5

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