All four Stanly football teams qualify for postseason
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has posted its brackets for the upcoming state playoffs. For the first time in the NCHSAA era, all four Stanly schools qualified for the postseason.
( Sports editor’s Note: The following story has been edited after originally posted at 1:15 Saturday afternoon. The brackets are now finalized as of 4 p.m. Below are the matchups).
West Stanly will be at home in the playoffs for the first time since 2006 this Friday. The No. 6-seeded Colts will host No. 11 Thomasville (8-3). This season, the red-clad Bulldogs finished fourth in the Central Carolina Conference and had non-conference wins over Albemarle, 8-0, and West Montgomery, 36-12.
The Bulldogs and Colts have only played once in the history of the two schools. In the playoffs on Nov. 10, 1995, Thomasville won, 27-6.
West has hosted three previous home playoffs games in school history. The Colts won in 2005 over North Lenoir in the first round, 48-42, and posted a first-round win in 2006 versus Warren County, 27-0. West’s last home playoff game was a 31-7 loss to Forest Hills in 2006.
Because of the number of teams at the 1AA level and where those teams are located, South Stanly and North Stanly will both play in the Eastern Region in the first round this Friday.
The Comets (9-2) are a No. 5 seed and host the bottom seed in the region, the No. 12 Louisburg Warriors (4-7). Louisburg finished seventh in the eight-team 1A/2A Northern Carolina Conference.
North will host its fourth playoff game in the past six seasons Friday night, looking for the team’s first win in the playoffs since beating Bishop McGuinness at home on Nov. 15, 2013.
For South Stanly, the Bulls (7-4) are seeded ninth in the playoffs and will be on the road Friday facing a familiar playoff opponent, the Lakewood Leopards.
The two schools have played three times previously in the playoffs, all while the Bulls were coached by Luke Little. South lost to the Leopards in the third round in 2007 (22-21) and second round in 2011 (13-7) but won in 2009 in the first round, 19-12.
The Bulls will also be playing in the team’s 51st playoff game in school history; the Bulls are 19-31 overall in those games.
Albemarle’s 63rd NCHSAA playoff game will be this Friday as the Bulldogs earn a No. 10 seed in the state playoffs’ Western Region.
Last season, the Bulldogs played in the East Region and had a long drive out to Pamlico County. This year, Albemarle heads far in the opposite direction when the team travels to No. 7 Cherokee (6-5). The Braves finished fourth in the Smoky Mountain Conference this season.