Thursday, November 5, 2009

Warriors last area team standing in soccer playoffs

It seemed like the high school fall sports playoffs just started and now they're quickly wrapping up for area teams — except football, of course, which begins its postseason next week.

All the independent and Christian school playoffs are done (and congratulations to the Greenfield boys soccer team and Wilson Christian volleyball team for doing what they seem to do each fall — win a state championship.) For this area, volleyball is over and boys soccer, after just one round, is down to Hunt, which should be around for a couple more rounds.

The Warriors, ranked fifth in 3-A for much of the season, haven't been challenged for much of the season. They might find one Saturday against Jacksonville White Oak or in a potential third-round matchup against South Johnston. But Hunt should be able to get to the fourth round where it will truly have its work cut out against No. 1-ranked and unbeaten Jacksonville, assuming the Cardinals are upset before then. This could be one of head coach Dave Miller's best team.

West Carteret head coach Ben Emmons, whose team plays in the Coastal Conference with Jacksonville, told me after Hunt's 5-0 win Wednesday night the Warriors backs will have to figure out Jacksonville's dazzling scheme in the front third of the field.

But no matter what, anyone who wants to win the state 3-A boys soccer championship has known for at least two months it will probably have to beat Jacksonville to get there. So if the Warriors have to do it in the fourth round rather than the East final or the state championship, that's when it going to have to get done. But that matchup, should it materialize, will be in Jacksonville as the Coastal has seeding priority over the Big East Conference.

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