With only two weeks left in the regular season, the playoff picture is coming into focus for our county teams. While some have a spot guaranteed, seeding is up for grabs, while others still have work to do to secure their spot in the fall.
For each of the region winners, it has a special meaning this year as they will be at home for the first four rounds of the playoffs as long as they keep winning. The TSSAA State Championships are set to be held at Tennessee Tech.
We take a look at how the playoff race is shaping up entering Week 10.
Cloudland has clinched the Region 1-A title as well as the No. 1 seed. Oakdale clinched the No. 2 seed with last week’s win over Unaka. The No. 3 seed is up for grabs on Friday night as the winner of Hancock County and Unaka will take the spot with the loser being the No. 4 seed.
Hampton controls their own destiny as a win at North Greene will clinch the region title and the No. 1 spot for the Bulldogs. A Hampton loss and Sullivan North would even things out in the race for the No. 1 seed, but Hampton will have the tiebreaker with the head-to-head victory.
The No. 2 spot has North and Gatlinburg-Pittman sitting at 4-1. The two square off in Week 11, and will determine the No. 2 seed if both win this week. South Greene, who is sitting in the No. 3 spot as we enter Week 10, could take sole possession of the three-seed with a win over Gatlinburg-Pittman.
However, a Rebel loss and Happy Valley win against Cumberland Gap would set the stage for another winner advances game in Week 11. The No. 6 team Cosby has to hope for a win at Sullivan North as well as a Happy Valley loss to find themselves in a tie for the fourth and final playoff spot.
The Cyclones can take care of business and claim a region title on Friday night with a win at Chuckey-Doak. It would set Elizabethton up as the No. 1 seed and homefield advantage. If Pigeon Forge beats Johnson County on Friday night, the Tigers will clinch the second spot, and could pull even with the Cyclones should Chuckey-Doak take the win.
A Johnson County win along with a Unicoi County loss would set the Longhorns up as the No. 2 seed heading into the final week. However, the winner of the Unicoi County and Northview Academy game could slide into the No. 3 slot entering the final week with a Johnson County loss.
Northview, Unicoi and Johnson County are all currently tied for the final two playoff spots. Johnson County and Unicoi County square off in Week 11.