Final regular season games pivotal for area football teams
The last week of the regular season will be a big one for many of the high school football teams in the area.
There are four area teams that will likely make the postseason, and how they play in the final week could have huge implications on the seedings for the playoffs.
Sherando, Skyline, Central and Strasburg are all most likely in the playoffs already, but this week’s games will determine what seed they will be.
Sherando is ranked No. 5 in the Group 4A West Virginia High School League power ratings, which determine seedings for the playoffs. The Warriors (8-1) host Millbrook (7-2), which is ranked No. 9, at 7 p.m. Friday in a game that will likely move either team up in the final rankings.
Sherando has a power rating of 28.8, and Millbrook’s power rating is 25.7. The game will also determine the Northwestern District champion, as well as Frederick County bragging rights.
“This year they’ve been surprising me,” Sherando senior quarterback Patrick Minteer said of Millbrook. “They have great athletes, and they’ve been doing things well. …I think when we go head-to-head it’s going to be a war. It all starts with practice, and it’s what (Sherando) coach (Bill) Hall always instills in us. Monday through Thursdays win Fridays.”
Group 4A West is only taking 12 teams into the playoffs this year, so the top four seeds will get a bye. A Sherando win against Millbrook will likely give them a bye in the first round of the postseason.
Skyline is currently tied for seventh in the power ratings in Group 3A East with a 20.1 rating. However, the East region is doing the playoffs differently this year.
The region is dividing the four conferences in the region into two pods — Conference 25 and 27 and Conference 26 and 28. The top eight teams in the two pods play each other to start the postseason until there is one team in each pod left and then they play each other in the region championship.
Skyline is ranked third in the Conference 26 and 28 pod. Skyline hosts rival Warren County at 7 p.m. Friday. A win by the Hawks (5-4) would give Skyline a first-round home game.
Skyline coach Heath Gilbert said that it will also mean a lot to the seniors.
“We’re going to do our best to prepare and be ready to play,” Gilbert said. “This will be senior night for our kids, and there’s nothing more that we want than to win that game for our guys.”
Central (6-3) will host George Mason (6-3) in a big Bull Run District showdown. The Falcons are ranked No. 12 in the Group 2A East power ratings with a 19.4, while the Mustangs are two spots ahead at 19.6.
The winner of the contest will have a shot at hosting a first-round playoff game. Central is only 0.5 points behind ninth-place Stuarts Draft in the ratings. The top eight teams get a first round home game, and Brunswick is in eighth with a 20.5 rating.
The top 16 teams overall make the playoffs in Group 2A East. Strasburg (5-4) is just one spot behind Central in 13th at 18.3. The Rams are likely in the playoffs even with a loss but a win over William Monroe on Friday would likely boost up their seeding.
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org