Keeler: Postseason excitement draws near

By Tommy Keeler Jr.

It’s that time of the season.

We are in the last month or so of winter, and the winter high school sports season is heading into the postseason.

There’s nothing like playoff time in any sport, at any level, and I think this high school postseason could be as special as any.

The wrestling conference tournaments started on Thursday with Skyline, Warren County and Central in the Conference 28 tournament.

Sherando will host the Conference 21 tournament on Saturday, and Strasburg will host the Conference 35 tournament, which also includes Stonewall Jackson.

Of course, Strasburg edged out Warren County in last week’s Bull Run District tournament to start the postseason fun.

The teams and athletes advance to regionals next week, and then the following weekend will be the state tournament in Salem. Things will be a little different this year as the Class 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A tournaments will all be held there at the same time.

As usual, I think teams in this area will do quite well, and I’m sure we will have some individual state champions. I think we could even have a few teams that will challenge and maybe even win the state title. Strasburg, Skyline, Warren County and Sherando have all had really strong seasons.

Swimming is also well under way, and I think we’ll have locals do very well in the regional and state meets.

The basketball season is always the last one to end in the winter, and the postseason is just about to get rolling.

The Bull Run District tournament is scheduled to start Monday (unless Mother Nature continues to annoy us all). They are the only district in our area to have a tournament, everybody else will be trying to finish up the regular season next week.

Conference 21 is scheduled to start its tournament next Friday, with the other conferences to follow at the start of the next week.

We have some solid teams this season in basketball. On the boys’ side, Warren County has been one of the top teams in the Bull Run District all season.

They started out 10-1 and should certainly be big contenders to advance to regionals this season.

Strasburg is closing on a possible region berth, with another win tonight against Clarke County. The Rams have been hitting their stride at the right time, having won 10 of their last 13 contests.

Sherando may not have the best record, but the Warriors have played a very tough schedule this season. They lost in overtime to a talented Handley squad, and had two close losses to Spotswood, who is considered one of the best teams in Class 3A. If the Warriors can put it all together at the right time, they could be a very dangerous team in the postseason.

In girls basketball, Sherando, Central and Warren County have all had a strong season.
The Warriors have had some ups and downs, but much like the boys’ team they could be a team to watch out for in the playoffs.

The Falcons, if they can win the last of their regular season games, will put themselves in great shape in the postseason. Central would get a first-round bye in the Conference 28 tournament and need to only win one game to advance to regionals. The Falcons have had some tough losses to some pretty strong teams, and have shown that if they get on a roll they could make some real noise in the postseason.

The team the Falcons could be playing for a regional berth could be the Wildcats. Warren County has had a very solid year, and is in the running for the third seed in the conference. The Wildcats knocked off a solid Clarke county team this year, and certainly has the talent to go a good ways in the postseason.

Even the teams I did not mention have shown promise this year, and in the postseason anything can happen.

The best part of the playoffs is that everyone starts 0-0, and anyone can make their dreams come true. I’m looking forward to seeing how things turn out, and I think it’s going to be a postseason to remember.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd