Reynolds High earned a No. 1 seed in the NCHSAA 3-A boys soccer playoffs and could face county and conference rival Roberson in the second round.
The Rams (12-6-4), the only WNC school to beat Reynolds this season, is a 16 seed and will host No. 17 Weddington (13-5-0) in Wednesday’s first round.
Postseason brackets were released Monday and the Western Mountain Athletic Conference champion Rockets (18-2-2) are part of a loaded bracket that also includes No. 9 Asheville (19-1-1), whose only loss is to Reynolds.
Reynolds, with the stated goal of a state championship, begins the playoffs at 6 pm Wednesday with a home match vs. No. 32 Parkwood (7-11-1).
Asheville will host No. 24 St. Stephens (12-8-1).
The playoff seedings are determined by MaxPreps, a high-school website that ranks teams and assigns points.
“It’s a pretty tough draw, but I don’t think there is a perfect way to do it unless you got some coaches involved in a seeding committee,” said Reynolds coach Patrick Gladys.
“Using MaxPreps is new for us, and it’s kind of testing it out this year. The problem is there are automatic bids for conference champions and automatic bids for second-place teams, and the fact is there are some conferences that are quite weak.”
Gladys said no matter how or who determines the brackets and seeds, some discrepancies are unavoidable.
“We’ve been the beneficiary of some easier brackets in the past, so I guess it’s our turn to run the gauntlet this year.”
That gauntlet could include a second-round game later this week against Roberson, who ended the Rockets’ 17-game unbeaten streak with a 4-3 win last week.
A possible third-round battle would be vs. Asheville, and these two rivals played to a 3-3 tie in their last meeting after Reynolds pulled out a 3-2 win in their first meeting.
“Roberson playing Weddington in the first round is ridiculous,” said Gladys. “That’s two teams that could win a state title, and one of them is going to be gone in the first round.
“But we would love to see Roberson beat Weddington so we could play them again and right that wrong.”
Three other WMAC schools are among the 17 WNC teams to reach the postseason.
In 3-A play Wednesday, No. 18 Erwin travels to No. 15 South Iredell (10-8-1), No. 19 Enka (14-7-1) visits No. 14 North Gaston (15-5-1) and No. 28 West Henderson (9-13-1) plays at No. 5 Southwest Randolph (20-3-0).
In the 2-A playoffs, East Henderson (17-2-1) is a 5 seed and hosts No. 28 North Surry (8-11), while No. 12 Hendersonville (11-2-2) plays at home vs. No. 21 East Gaston (13-7).
No. 8 Owen (14-5-1) hosts No. 25 Franklin (10-12-1), while No. 22 Smoky Mountain (12-10-1) visits No. 11 Ledford (18-3) and No. 31 Chase (9-9) plays at No. 2 Patton (20-1).
Two 1-A schools – No. 7 Avery County (9-6) and No. 6 Highlands (14-8-2) – received first-round byes.