It's Official, Pioneers Earn Top Seed.... (2018-11-10 17:15:54)

The final brackets have been posted by the NCHSAA, and the Watauga High football team is the No. 1 seed in the 3AA West. The Pioneers will open the state playoffs at home on Friday, November 16 against Gastonia-Ashbrook.

It's the first time WHS (11-0) has been seeded No. 1 in the state playoffs since 2007, when they were members of the old Northwestern 4A Conference and shared a tri-championship with A.C. Reynolds and East Burke that season. The Pioneers reached the 4A Western Finals that year.

"Anytime you make the state playoffs, it's a big plus for your program," said WHS coach Ryan Habich. "We have a great group of kids,and they're hard work has paid off. This is a huge tribute to them and the coaching staff being the top seed. We had a good bye week, and a very productive practice. Now, we have to turn up the intensity for Friday's game."

This will be the first meeting ever between the schools. And the Pioneers come in loaded with confidence. They're averaging 46 points game offensively, and they've limited their opponents to just 111 points this season. But Habich calls Gastonia-Ashbrook a very tough firstt-round opponent.

"The seed is only meant to see who plays at home," he said. "The 3A division is tough, and Ashbrook is a very talented team. They're athletic, they're physical, and they have great team speed. You can't look at their (5-6) record. They play in the best conference (Big South 3A Conference) on our side state. Crest, Kings Mountain, Lawdale-Burns, all those teams in that league are very strong, and they have a good football tradition.

"But playing a home is huge. You get to keep you game-day routine, and you don't have to sit on a bus and travel for two hours. Plus, we have an advantage playing at home, especially with the weather turning colder. And our kids are very confident right now. They don't fear anyone, but they don't take anyone for granted, either. "

The Pioneers have won 19 straight at home.

Alexander Central (9-2) is a No. 11 seed in the 3AA West, and will open the state playoffs at Asheville-Erwin on Friday night.

In 3A, Freedom (9-2) is a No. 6 seed in the West, and will open at home against Monroe. Hickory (5-6), which finished the season losing two in a row, did not make the state playoffs. It's the fourth time in five years that the Red Tornadoes have not qualified for postseason play. In the 4A West, McDowell (4-7) is a No. 12 seed and will play at Mooresville.

In 2AA, Ashe County (9-2), riding a seven-game winning streak and the Mountain Valley Conference champions, are a No. 5 seed, and will now open at home against Salisbury, the No. 12 seed.

Coverage of Friday's playoff opener begins at 6:30 p.m., on WATA 1450 AM/96.5 FM.



W AA 1 Watauga 11-0-0
W AA 16 Ashbrook 5-6-0

W AA 8 Parkland 10-1-0
W AA 9 Asheville 7-4-0

W AA 5 Weddington 10-1-0
W AA 12 Central Cabarrus 8-3-0

W AA 4 South Iredell 6-5-0
W AA 13 Southwest Guilford 8-3-0

W AA 3 Mount Tabor 7-4-0
W AA 14 Marvin Ridge 6-5-0

W AA 6 Erwin 9-1-0
W AA 11 Alexander Central 9-2-0

W AA 7 Cox Mill 8-3-0
w AA 10 Sun Valley 9-2-0

W AA 2 A.C. Reynolds 10-1-0
W AA 15 A.L. Brown 6-5-0


W A 1 Northwest Cabarrus 11-0-0
W A 16 North Buncombe 6-5-0

W A 8 Robinson 6-5-0
W A 9 Tuscola 7-4-0

W A 5 Kings Mountain 9-2-0
W A 12 West Rowan 6-5-0

W A 4 Statesville 8-3-0
W A 13 East Rowan 6-5-0

W A 3 Charlotte Catholic 10-1-0
W A 14 Morehead 6-5-0

W A 6 Freedom 9-2-0
W A 11 Monroe 6-5-0

W A 7 Crest 8-3-0
W A 10 Cramer 7-4-0

W A 2 Huss 11-0-0
W A 15 Burns 4-7-0


W A 1 East Forsyth 11-0-0
W A 16 Bye

W A 8 Ragsdale 7-4-0
W A 9 Glenn 5-6-0

W A 5 Mooresville 8-3-0
W A 12 McDowell 4-7-0

W A 4 Grimsley 6-5-0
W A 13 Bye

W A 3 Page 6-5-0
W A 14 Bye

W A 6 Porter Ridge 7-4-0
W A 11 R.J. Reynolds 5-6-0

W A 7 West Charlotte 6-5-0
W A 10 Lake Norman 3-8-0

W A 2 West Mecklenburg 8-2-0
W A 15 Bye


W AA 1 Pisgah 10-1-0
W AA 16 East Lincoln 5-6-0

W AA 8 North Lincoln 8-3-0
W AA 9 Smoky Mountain 8-3-0

W AA 5 Ashe County 9-2-0
W AA 12 Salisbury 7-4-0

W AA 4 Shelby 8-3-0
W AA 13 West Lincoln 9-2-0

W AA 3 Bandys 10-1-0
W AA 14 Franklin 6-5-0

W AA 6 West Stokes 10-1-0
W AA 11 Foard 6-5-0

W AA 7 Mount Pleasant 6-5-0
W AA 10 South Point 8-3-0

W AA 2 Hibriten 11-0-0
W AA 15 East Henderson 5-6-0