The Reynolds boys soccer team has had a season to remember.
After going undefeated in the Central Piedmont 4-A, the Demons just had to play a waiting game to see if they would be the No. 1 overall seed when the NCHSAA released its pairings on Monday.
Reynolds (15-2-1) received the No. 1 overall seed in the Class 4-A West playoffs and will have a first-round bye. The Demons were the No. 3 seed last year after finishing in a first-place tie with West Forsyth, and they lost to South Mecklenburg in the third round.
“It was great to see that we were the No. 1 seed,” Coach Tony Sabio of the Demons said. “You know, good for the players to see the hard work that they’ve put in paid off.”
It came down to Reynolds and Northwest Guilford, which won the Metro 4-A, to see which team would be No. 1. The Vikings (18-2-2) received the No. 2 seed in the West.
“I think that with the way things had gone, I figured it was either going to be a No. 1 or a No. 2,” Sabio said. “So for me personally it didn’t really matter. I mean we’ve got to win whatever games are in front of us from here on out.”
Reynolds plays in a conference in which five of the six teams received playoff berths, and West Forsyth (17-4-1) also received a first-round bye as the No. 8 seed in the West. The lowest seed of those five teams is No. 20 Reagan.
“I think our conference, as strong as it is, definitely helps prepare any of the teams in our conference for the state playoffs,” Sabio said. “So it’s just a testament to how strong this conference is, having two teams that are in the top five and and two teams that also get a bye.”
Reynolds was 8-0 before it played Glenn last Monday. It had already clinched a tie for the conference title before that game, and it clinched it outright after defeating Glenn 3-1. Its next goal was to finish the conference undefeated and it accomplished that the next night after defeating East Forsyth 2-1.
Reynolds will play the winner of Wednesday’s first-round game between No. 17 Matthews Butler (15-7) and No. 16 Charlotte Ardrey Kell (12-5-3) in Saturday’s second round.
“We’re going to start this brand-new season (Monday) with training and just look to go out and continue what we’ve been doing,” Sabio said.
Reynolds isn’t the only area team that received a No. 1 seed. Ledford is the No. 1 seed in Class 2-A East after the Panthers finished the regular season 20-0-1 and were 18-0 in the Central Carolina 2-A.
“It’s awesome,” Coach John Blake of Ledford said. “It’s the first time in our school’s history for our boys. These guys really earned it this year. It’s been great.”
Ledford, which outscored its opponents 85-30 this season, will play No. 32 North Pitt at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in the first round. If the Panthers win, they will play host to the winner of Wednesday’s other first-round game between No. 17 Croatan (13-5-2) and No. 16 Greene Central (18-3).
“We like it,” Blake said. “We were hoping we were going to go to the East to see some new teams for us because we know pretty much everybody in the West, so it’s it’s kind of nice to go to the East and see something different.”
North Forsyth transitioned from the Piedmont Triad 3-A to the Western Piedmont Athletic 2-A, and the Vikings found that to their liking.
The Vikings won the conference and received the No. 5 seed in Class 2-A West. They will play host to No. 28 East Henderson (9-7-1) at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
“I knew we were going somewhere positive,” Coach Dan Proctor of North Forsyth said. “And it just kept rolling all the way through the summer.”
In Class 1-A, it was a battle between Mount Airy and Bishop McGuinness to see which would be the top seed from the Northwest 1-A. They played each other twice last week, and each won at home. The conference has a best-of-10 penalty-kick shootout to determine the winner. Mount Airy defeated McGuinness 8-7 on Friday, which made Mount Airy the conference champion.
The Granite Bears (20-1) are the No. 2 overall seed in the West and received a first-round bye. They will play host to the winner of Wednesday’s game between No. 18 East Surry (8-8-1) and No. 15 Mountain Island Charter (11-10), on Saturday. McGuinness (10-5-3) is the No. 11 seed and will play host to No. 22 Blue Ridge Early College (9-9) on Wednesday. Polk County (19-2) is the No. 1 seed.
“I kind felt like it could go either way,” Coach Will Hurley of Mount Airy said. “I kind of felt with splitting with Bishop there that Polk might leap-frog us. I guess that’s what happened.”