Region Finales Loom: A Rollercoaster Season for Calhoun County Playoff Regulars

Pleasant Valley players celebrate during a victory over Cleveland on Sept. 22. The Raiders stand third in their region standings, hold the tiebreaker on the fourth-place team and play close out region play against struggling Gaston this week. Pleasant Valley will make the playoffs for the first time since 2010. (Photo by Krista Larkin/For East Alabama Sports Today)
Pleasant Valley players celebrate during a victory over Cleveland on Sept. 22. The Raiders stand third in their region standings, hold the tiebreaker on the fourth-place team and play close out region play against struggling Gaston this week. Pleasant Valley will make the playoffs for the first time since 2010. (Photo by Krista Larkin/For East Alabama Sports Today)

Calhoun County, AL – Region finales loom in tough season for some playoff regulars, and long-struggling programs remain in playoff hunt. A look at scenarios for area regions:

Playoff seeds are taking shape as an unusual prep football regular season in Calhoun and surrounding counties winds down.

Before breaking down regions involving area teams, let’s look at just how unusual this season has been.

Calhoun County has grown accustomed to seeing eight or nine teams from within its borders make the playoffs and may yet achieve that in 2023, but three regulars/semi-regulars in that mix — Alexandria, Donoho and Saks — are winless.

Calhoun County will have one region champion, Wellborn.

Only Wellborn and Jacksonville are guaranteed home playoff openers. Oxford can make it three with a victory over Center Point on Friday.

Only four years ago, three semifinals involving four teams from Calhoun County played out on the same night from Oxford to Piedmont.

Speaking of Piedmont, graduation losses, injuries and a brutal schedule wrought a less-than-vintage season for a team that reached the 3A semifinals eight consecutive seasons. The Bulldogs are 3-5 and could miss the playoffs.

Then again, Pleasant Valley goes into the final week of region play likely to end a 13-year playoff drought with a No. 3 seed in Class 2A, Region 6.

White Plains remains in the hunt for its first playoff berth since 1994.

Weaver, which won three games from 2019-22, could end up 5-5.

Looking outside of Calhoun County, undeated Cherokee County dominated Class 4A, Region 6. The reigning Class 4A runner up looks well on its way to another Super 7 shot.

Southside can clinch its first region title since 2014 with a victory over Moody on Friday and stands likely to prevail in the event of a three-way tie.

If Hokes Bluff beats Piedmont, then Calhoun County won’t have a team in the top three of Class 3A, Region 6. For so many years, that region came down to a three-way tie between Calhoun County rivals.

Spring Garden and Ragland will play Friday to see which team gets a home playoff opener.

Cleburne County could still make the playoffs despite its four-game skid.

Handley and Wadley give Randolph County two region champions, and Randolph County High plays Dadeville on Friday for the right to open the playoffs at home.

Central-Clay is, well, Central-Clay … undefeated. Success never graduates under Danny Horn.

Without further adieu, here are scenarios for regions involving area teams:

CLASS 6A, REGION 6

Clay-Chalkville is champion. Oxford and Center Point play for second place on Friday.

Pinson (2-3 region) beat Shades (2-3). Pinson plays Pell City this week, and Shades Valley plays Clay-Chalkville.

There’s always the wild card of Pell City’s appeal to the AHSAA. If the Panthers get their win over Center Point back, things get more twisted. Stay tuned.

CLASS 5A, REGION 6

Southside can clinch the outright title against Moody this week.

As for the potential three-way tie, Southside beat Hokes Bluff (five wins) and Boaz (three) in non-region games and will play Etowah (three) in the regular-season finale.

Leeds beat Pell City (one), Sylacauga (one) and plays Center Point (seven). Moody beat Pell City (one), Sylacauga (one), Shelby County (two).

Springville and St. Clair County, both 2-3, play each other for the fourth spot Friday.

CLASS 5A, REGION 4

It’s a six-team region, and region play is done. Order of finish: Central-Clay (5-0), Valley (4-1), Elmore County (3-2) is third and Beauregard (2-3) fourth.

CLASS 4A, REGION 6

Champions Cherokee County (8-0, 5-0 region) has outscored opponents 353-52, and that margin should grow in this week’s region finale against winless Ashville.

Oneonta (4-1 region) holds sole possession of second place and the head-to-head tiebreaker on third-place Fultondale (3-2), which holds the head-to-head tiebreakers on fourth-place Etowah (3-3) and fifth-place Good Hope (2-3).

Etowah beat Good Hope 28-21 in overtime.

CLASS 4A, REGION 4

Handley (5-0) is the champion, Jacksonville (4-1) is second.

Anniston holds down third at 3-2 and plays Cleburne County (2-3) this week. The winner gets the region’s third playoff-qualifying spot.

If Cleburne County, White Plains and Munford all finish 2-4, which looks likely, here’s how the three-way tie for fourth place looks:

—White Plains has no non-region wins but plays Westbrook (four wins) to end the season.

—Cleburne County beat Northside (three) and Talladega (zero) and plays Wellborn (six).

—Munford has no non-region wins and finishes the regular season against winless Ashville.

CLASS 3A, REGION 4

Wellborn is the champion, winning its first region title since 1995. Randolph County and Dadeville play each other for second place Friday.

Beulah (2-3) holds fourth place and can keep it with a win over Weaver this week, but a three-way tie favors Childersburg.

—Childersburg (2-4) is done with region play and has two non-region wins. Those defeated non-region opponents have a combined eight wins, and the Tigers close out the regular season against Winterborn (three wins).

—Beulah beat Abbeville (one win), and the Bobcats close out against Horseshoe Bend (three wins).

—Weaver (1-4 region) has beaten two non-region opponents. Asbury has one win, but the Bearcats close with Pleasant Valley, which has four wins and looks likely to pick up a fifth this week.

CLASS 3A, REGION 6

Sylvania is the champion, and Geraldine is second. Hokes Bluff (4-2 region) holds sole possession of third place. Ohatchee (3-3) has the head-to-head tiebreaker on Piedmont (3-3).

Should Piedmont beat Hokes Bluff and Ohatchee beat Plainview on Friday, here’s how a three-way tie looks:

—Ohatchee beat Wellborn in non-region play. Wellborn has six wins, looks likely to add a seventh and could get eight.

—Hokes Bluff beat White Plains (two wins) and closes the regular season against Sardis (five wins). Sardis plays heavily favored Guntersville this week, but White Plains could beat Westbrook Christian in two weeks and give Hokes Bluff eight total points.

Should Ohatchee and Hokes Bluff end up tied in points, Hokes Bluff’s win over Ohatchee in the regular season would decide third place. Ohatchee would be fourth.

—Piedmont’s only potential non-region win (Sylacauga) has one win, but Piedmont would have a head-to-head tiebreaker on Hokes Bluff. Piedmont needs Ohatchee to prevail in the tiebreaker for the No. 3 spot.

CLASS 2A, REGION 6

Locust Fork is region champ, and Southeastern is second.

Pleasant Valley (3-2) stands tied with West End for third and beat West End head to head. The Raiders close out region play against Gaston (1-7, 0-5) this week.

CLASS 2A, REGION 4

B.B. Comer is the champion, and Thorsby is second. Isabella and Vincent are tied at 4-2, and Isabella won the head to head.

CLASS 1A, REGION 6

Wadley (5-0 region) plays TCC (1-4) this week. Spring Garden (4-1) and Ragland (4-1) play to determine second and third places.

Winterboro (2-3) and Victory Christian (2-3) play to determine fourth.

 

Pleasant Valley players celebrate during a victory over Cleveland on Sept. 22. The Raiders stand third in their region standings, hold the tiebreaker on the fourth-place team and play close out region play against struggling Gaston this week. Pleasant Valley will make the playoffs for the first time since 2010. (Photo by Krista Larkin/For East Alabama Sports Today)
Pleasant Valley players celebrate during a victory over Cleveland on Sept. 22. The Raiders stand third in their region standings, hold the tiebreaker on the fourth-place team and play close out region play against struggling Gaston this week. Pleasant Valley will make the playoffs for the first time since 2010. (Photo by Krista Larkin/For East Alabama Sports Today)

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