High School Sports

Class AAAA football pairings shaping up

It looks like Northwestern will stay in Division II for the Class AAAA playoffs, and if the latest projections are right, would play South Pointe in the third round if championship if both keep winning.

If you are keeping score, the third round is the one before the title game. Northwestern made it that far last year, but lost to Byrnes, which won the Division I championship the following week.

Bummer.

Keep in mind that nothing is set in stone and that we still have games Friday night, but the sky would have to fall, or something close to that, for the Trojans to move up.

How do I know this, you might ask. Well, there's a guy in Duncan, home of the Byrnes Rebels, who is growing in reputation as an expert in bracketology. Even the sports guys at the Spartanburg Herald Journal use him.

Anyway, the guy says he's got it all figured and that not much will change, including Northwestern moving up as it did last year.

So what we'll have, according to my expert, is Northwestern hosting Ridge View in the first round and South Pointe hosting York. The other teams in that side of the bracket are Aiken, Richland Northeast, Beaufort and North Augusta.

The upper bracket includes Lancaster, which will open on the road at Goose Creek. It's one ripe for possible upsets and also includes Conway, West Florence, Greenwood, Berkeley, Laurens and Hartsville. Man, wouldn't Northwestern or South Pointe love to be in that one.

Two Herald-area teams will be in the Division I playoffs. Rock Hill is seeded No. 5 and hosts Boiling Springs in the first round of the upper bracket. And it's a tough one, almost not fair.

The other teams on that side are Dorman, Byrnes, Gaffney, Lexington, Fort Dorchester and Hillcrest. If Rock Hill wins its first game, next up is a road game at Byrnes or a home game against Gaffney.

Clover was moved up because several teams with the state's largest enrollments didn't make it. The Blue Eagles, seeded sixth, will open at home against Spartanburg. Other teams on that side, and there a a couple of good ones, are Sumter, Summerville, Wando, Irmo, T.L. Hanna and Mauldin.

If Clover wins, it will likely be on the road at No. 3 Summerville.

ONE MORE TIME!!!!!!

All the above is speculation and upsets happen. Just ask the Texas Longhorns or the USC Trojans, though their losses might not fall into the upset category. On second thought, yes they do.

The odds are high that the pairings are pretty close to right and will hold. We'll know around midnight on Friday and if we get the official pairing on time, they will appear on the front page of our sports section.

They will be tagged tentative, because they won't be official until a group of Class AAAA coaches meet in Columbia the next morning and wade through the quagmire.

• ALL-STAR: Rock Hill tight end Asa Watson has been selected to play in the 2009 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Conway at Coastal Carolina's Brooks Stadium on Jan. 2

He is the third Herald-area player to accept and invitation to a postseason high school all-star game. South Pointe's Stephon Gilmore and DeVonte Holloman accepted invitations to play in the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 4 in Orlando, Fla.

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