All four area football teams were granted postseason berths in the upcoming state playoffs, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced Saturday.
Starmount (8-3), which clinched a share of the Mountain Valley Conference championship with a win over Alleghany in the finale, was awarded the No. 2 seed in the 1AA West pod. The Rams will open against seventh-seeded Mitchell (1-10) in the first round Friday in Boonville.
East Wilkes (1-10) received a bid in the 1AA bracket despite the lone win (29-21 victory over Wilkes Central on Nov. 1). The Cardinals will travel to top-seeded Swain County (9-2) Friday in the opener.
The Maroon Devils routed East in the playoff opener last season, 68-22, en route to the 1AA State Championship game.
Elkin (6-5) was named the No. 5 seed in the 1A West pod and will kick off the postseason on the road with conference rival Alleghany (6-5) for the second-straight season.
The Buckin’ Elks blasted the Trojans, 44-6, in last year’s playoff game. But Alleghany cruised to a 47-6 victory two weeks ago at Grissom Stadium.
Forbush (6-5) is back in the playoffs after a one-year hiatus. The Falcons, the No. 11 seed in the 2AA West pod, will open against sixth-seeded Maiden (10-1) Friday night on the road.
Forbush secured its first winning season since 2004 with a victory over North Surry in last Friday’s finale.
In other Mountain Valley Conference pairings: fourth-seeded Ashe County will host No. 13 Bunker Hill, while third-seeded North Wilkes will welcome No. 14 Brevard to Hays. West Wilkes and Wilkes Central were not granted berths.
In other Western Piedmont Conference pairings: top-seeded Carver will open against Lake Norman Charter in Winston-Salem, while No. 7 West Stokes will host 10th-ranked East Davidson. Surry Central will travel to second-seeded North Rowan in the opener.
In other Northwest Conference pairings: conference champ Mount Airy secured the No. 2 seed and will host 15th-ranked East Montgomery, while No. 3 East Surry will host sixth-ranked Walkertown. Bishop McGuinness will head to North Stanly in the 4-5 match-up with sixth-seeded Atkins rounding out area teams against No. 3 South Robeson.
All games are slated for Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the higher-seeded teams.
For full brackets, visit nchsaa.org.
Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.