Keeler: High school playoffs are near
It’s one of my favorite times of the year — playoff time.
Both the NBA and NHL are in full swing, but the best playoffs are just around the corner — high school spring playoffs.
The spring season has always been my favorite season for high school, probably because there’s just so many sports. There’s a little something for everyone, and it certainly keeps all of us busy.
There’s two weeks left of the regular season after this week and most of the conference tournaments start on Memorial Day.
It will be an interesting last couple of weeks, as everybody jockeys for position heading into the playoffs.
I think that we’re going to have quite a few teams make some deep runs this season.
Strasburg’s baseball team would be one of those at the top of the list. The Rams are 12-1, and have won 10 games in a row. Certainly, defending Group AA state champion Sherando can’t be overlooked. The Warriors started off slow, but still could make a big run when the postseason starts. Warren County has also been playing well after a slow start, and Stonewall Jackson has put itself in good shape for a high seed in the Conference 35 tournament. Central knocked off powerhouse William Monroe earlier this season, and while Skyline has been up and down the Hawks could certainly surprise some teams once the tournaments begin.
In softball, Central has emerged as one of the favorites in Conference 28. The Falcons have won 10 of their last 11 games, and have defeated all of the Conference 28 teams they have faced. Skyline has had a strong season, as has Warren County. All three of those teams should produce some quality games in the Conference 28 tourney.
Sherando’s offense has shown it can be a hard team to beat when it gets to the Conference 21 tournament. Likewise, Strasburg has an offense that could be tough to tame come tournament time.
The boys soccer postseason should be just as good for local teams. Central is enjoying a great season, and will definitely be a factor in Conference 28. Stonewall Jackson started off slow, but the Generals have come on strong as the season has progressed. The Generals should have one of the top seeds in the Conference 35 tourney, and will have a shot at moving into regionals and beyond. Sherando will face some tough competition in Conference 21, but the Warriors are always well-coached and competitive with anyone. Warren County could also make some noise in Conference 28.
Warren County is having a very good season in girls soccer, and should be a team to watch out for in Conference 28. Sherando has a young, but dangerous, squad this season. The Warriors will face stiff competition in Conference 21, but are capable of pulling off some surprises in the postseason. Stonewall Jackson also has a young team. The Generals should have a top seed in the Conference 35 tourney, and could find their groove at just the right time. Strasburg is also showing some promise, as the Rams knocked off Warren County earlier this week.
Next week the boys and girls tennis tournaments will begin, and I would not be surprised to see some of the teams do very well.
Sherando and Central’s boys teams have had some quality wins this season and both could be factors. On the girls side, Warren County is 8-1 and appears to be the team to beat in Conference 28. Central and Skyline have split its matches, and could be dangerous in the postseason. With a young team Sherando could also hit its stride at the perfect time, and Stonewall Jackson could also be a factor in the postseason.
The conference track meets start the week before Memorial Day, and there should be plenty of good competition this season. Central’s boys squad seems primed to make another big postseason run. Sherando and Strasburg seem to always save their best for the biggest time of the year. I’m sure there will be lots of individuals who will do great things at the state meets.
Last year was a very good postseason for the area teams, and I think there will be many more memorable moments to come. I’m sure there will be plenty of surprises, plenty of drama and plenty of winners. Hopefully, it will be another great way to cap another great year of high school sports.
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd