If the highschool football groups remaining within the 2022 postseason — and there are 18 of them — wish to do themselves a psychological favor, they need to steal straight from the Cleveland Storm’s playbook.
Not Cleveland’s football workforce, though that is not essentially a unhealthy thought.
No, I’m speaking concerning the Cleveland boys’ soccer workforce.
Occasionally, prep train has the fantastic capability to remind us that something is feasible. Look no additional than the Cleveland football workforce, which simply over a week in the past received a state championship because the No. 12 seed, knocking off 4 of the highest 5 seeds within the course of.
So if we get to the football semifinals for Classes 3A-6A and the championship recreation for Class 2A, nearly all of them may pull up a blue trophy from my seat. If 12 is the very best cap for a football workforce to win a state, for football, halve that quantity. Nobody is increased than a 6-seed – and there are none left.
To be much more particular, I may fairly argue that 16 of these 18 groups will win a state title. That’s a truthful illustration of the caliber of the groups that stay on the board. (And no, I will not title the 2 outliers.)
Five of the 9 higher-seeded groups would be the visiting workforce in both the semi-finals or 2A finals and that is already inflicting some chatter on social media.
That consists of No. 1 Jal, who travels to Texico within the 2A championship competitors. It consists of No. 2 Ruidoso in Class 3A and visits No. 6 Raton. This consists of Artesia, the No. 1 in Class 5A, taking part in at No. 5 Deming. It consists of La Cueva, the 2nd seed in 6A going to the Field of Dreams in Las Cruces to face off towards Centennial, the third seed.
Technically, that features Cleveland, however taking part in at Nusenda Community Stadium would not rely as a true road recreation. Storm, the two-time Class 6A champion, takes on Volcano Vista #5.
The state’s mannequin of designating playoff websites for late-round matchups has lengthy drawn the ire of those that would favor higher-seeded hosts so long as they keep alive of their group. And we could very properly obtain that objective in the future.
If you are undecided the way it at the moment works, it is basically a rotary mannequin.
For instance, the final time Cleveland and Volcano Vista met within the semifinals or later was in Rio Rancho in 2018. Therefore, this recreation is on the west facet. That similar 12 months, Centennial performed La Cueva within the semifinals at Wilson Stadium. The Hawks completed third that 12 months and the Bears completed second. So this time La Cueva travels.
If two faculties which have by no means met within the semi-finals meet, the higher-seeded workforce will get the house recreation. The similar software happens in championship video games.
If you’ve got adopted me frequently over time, then you already know the place I stand:
Home area is a largely invisible benefit in relation to including to a workforce’s lead in pre-season soccer playoffs.
The higher workforce often wins within the playoffs, irrespective of the place a recreation is performed. Well, to be truthful, Artesia is clearly an exception because the Bulldogs are about 743-1 all-time house within the Bulldog Bowl playoffs. (Your footballing acumen might need a little to do with it, too.)
There would possibly come a day when the playoff system is adjusted and revised, and better seedlings are rewarded with extra house video games. We will see. Times change, opinions change.
In distinction, the brand new postseason mannequin in football, which began after the pandemic and has been in impact for the previous two autumns, has a increased variety of hosts going into the semifinals.
As far as this week’s soccer listing goes, there are some juicy storylines.
Like a 5-6 Lovington workforce, winners of 5, going throughout state to face No. 1 Silver within the 4A semifinals.
There’s Raton senior working again Cayden Walton, who’s simply 57 yards from dashing previous La Cueva’s Ronnie Daniels (3,024 yards in 2010) to turn into the state’s all-time single-season dashing champion. Walton, who has 2,968 yards, wants simply 32 yards to turn into the second participant to succeed in the three,000-yard plateau. (La Cueva solely performed 12 video games in 2010. This week is Raton’s thirteenth recreation. And sure, in fact Daniels’ numbers are extra spectacular given the standard of the competitors. But 3,000 yards is a super accomplishment.).
There are each 6A semifinals which are rematches from the common season. Can Centennial and Volcano Vista write one other script for themselves? It is the hawks of VV who’ve the larger mountain to climb.
On his second go to to Wool Bowl this 12 months towards Roswell, can Piedra Vista discover one thing that can assist him untie the Coyotes within the 5A semifinals?
And what about Texico, who misplaced to Jal 41-35 within the common season? Only the Wolverines stand between the 12-0 Panthers and a season perpetually in Jal.
Shaun Gil is the Cleveland Boys football coach. You know, if somebody needed to get in contact.