The road to the AHSAA Super 7 state championships at the University of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium begins on Thursday with the first round of the playoffs.
A total of 28 games are scheduled for Thursday with the remaining 72 on Friday.
Six of the seven defending state champions are in the mix, including, Class 7A Hoover (7-3), Class 6A Ramsay (6-4), Class 5A Beauregard (8-1), Class 3A Piedmont (9-1), Class 2A Fyffe (10-0) and Class 1A Maplesville (9-0). Handley, the Class 4A champion, did not make the playoffs.
Maplesville is looking to win its fourth consecutive title and is riding a 32-game win streak. The Red Devils host Linden on Friday in a rematch of last year’s semifinals.
“They understand there is a target and you’ve got to come out and you’ve got to play ball and execute,” Maplesville coach Brent Hubbert said. “We’ve got to get ready because in the playoffs you are the target.”
Eighteen undefeated teams made the playoffs: Georgiana (10-0), Lynn (10-0), Maplesville (9-0) and Wadley (9-0) in Class 1A; Fyffe (10-0) and Lanett (10-0) in Class 2A; Fultondale (10-0) in Class 3A; Rogers (10-0) and Saks (10-0) in Class 4A; Briarwood Christian (10-0) and Carroll (10-0) in Class 5A; Austin (10-0), Oxford (10-0) and Pinson Valley (10-0) in Class 6A; and Central-Phenix City (9-0), Hewitt-Trussville (10-0), McGill-Toolen Catholic (10-0) and Thompson (10-0) in Class 7A.
Eighteen West Alabama teams advanced to the playoffs: In Class 6A, Hillcrest (7-3) and Paul W. Bryant (6-4); in Class 5A, Demopolis (8-2); in Class 4A, Bibb County (9-1), Fayette County (8-2), Northside (9-1), West Blocton (6-4) and Sipsey Valley (4-6); in Class 3A, Gordo (9-1) and American Christian Academy (7-3); in Class 2A, Aliceville (6-4), Lamar County (6-4) and Sulligent (9-1); and in Class 1A, Pickens County (8-2), South Lamar (7-3), Holy Spirit (4-6), Hubbertville (3-6) and Linden (7-3).
This marks Holy Spirit’s first appearance in the playoffs since 2009, Sipsey Valley’s first appearance since 2014 and Northside’s first appearance since 2015.
In Class 3A, Colbert County is making its 41st appearance in the 51 years of the AHSAA playoffs, the most of any member school. Sweet Water (Class 1A) is making its 38th appearance and Fyffe (Class 2A), Brantley (Class 1A), Thomasville (Class 4A) and Oxford (Class 6A) are making their 37th appearance. In Class 2A, Mars Hill Bible (7-3) is making its first appearance.
Reach Joey Chandler at email@example.com or at 205-722-0223.
All games 7 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 9
Paul W. Bryant at Sidney Lanier, Montgomery Cramton Bowl
Williamson at Demopolis
West Limestone at Fayette County
Westbrook Christian at Sulligent
Hubbertville at Addison
Friday, Nov. 10
Linden at Maplesville
Decatur Heritage at South Lamar
Holy Spirit Catholic at Lynn
Meek at Pickens County
Samson at Aliceville
Ider at Lamar County
Providence Christian at Gordo
Slocomb at American Christian Academy
Dale County at Bibb County
Sipsey Valley at Montgomery Catholic
Alabama Christian at Northside
West Blocton at Saint James
Stanhope Elmore at Hillcrest
Friday, Nov. 10
Bessemer Academy at Tuscaloosa Academy