High school playoff plans released

Hendersonville Bearcats Football
Hendersonville Bearcats football workouts. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Raleigh - There will be playoff action in prep sports in the state of North Carolina. It will be a little different because of COVID-19 but they will be played.

When North Carolina teams take their respective fields and courts this year, there will be something to play for. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced its playoff plans Tuesday.

Every team sport but football will still have 32 team brackets for state and be allowed to have conference tournaments.

The NCHSAA says most sports will lose a round of playoffs, the number of qualifying teams halved. Conferences with 1-6 teams will be given one automatic bid to the postseason. Conferences with 7-8 teams will receive two auto bids, and leagues with nine or more than nine teams will get three postseason bids.

Locally, the Hendersonville Bearcats will have to fight for one playoff spot since the Mountain Six of course only has 6 teams and get the one automatic bid. The conference is loaded so talented teams won't get a shot to make the postseason. That's tough, but Bearcat defensive coordinator Dustin Mcabee says that's okay because there is still a chance.

He says, "working toward something is part of it and the playoffs is that for us. Around here we live to go the playoffs, it's something we try to do every year, and I'm glad we get to do it again this year."

Prep football in North Carolina won't be played in the fall but has been moved to a February 26 start date. Seven games will be played.

The NCHSAA also announced that North Carolina now allows a maximum of 25 people at indoor gatherings and a maximum of 50 people at outdoor gatherings. New guidelines from the NCHSAA for skill development workouts are in line with the state’s new protocols.