U-High quarterback Arion Worthman leads the undefeated Pioneers into the Class 5A playoffs against Galesburg. (Photo by kim Hanris/You Name It Sports).
By Bryan Bloodworth
BLOOMINGTON - Undefeated University High and LeRoy earned the top seeds in their respective brackets in the state high school football playoffs that begin next week.
In all, a dozen teams from the WJBC 1230 AM and 93.7 FM listening area made the 256-team field, including all five teams from the Intercity. Game dates and times will be announced Monday.
U-High (9-0), making its second straight appearance and 15th overall, is the No. 1 seed in its eight-team quadrant in Class 5A, and will play host to Galesburg (5-4). U-High is ranked No. 5 in the latest Class 5A state pairings.
Meanwhile, LeRoy (9-0) is the top seed in the 16-team lower bracket in Class 1A and will play Brown County (5-4). The Panthers are ranked fourth in Class 1A heading into the playoffs.
Should the Panthers win their first game, they will meet either Heart of Illinois Conference member Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland or Ridgeview in the second round. Flanagan (7-2), the No. 9 seed in the bracket, meets Ridgeview (7-2), the No. 8 seed in the bracket, at Colfax.
Ridgeview will be making its first appearance in the playoffs since the 2007 season after going 3-33 in its last three years. Ridgeview and Flanagan did not meet during the regular season.
Big 12 Conference and Intercity teams Bloomington, Normal Community and Normal West all have road games in their respective opening contests in Class 6A.
Bloomington (7-2) is the No. 5 seed in the quadrant that includes all the Intercity teams and travels to No. 4 Peoria Richwoods (7-2). The game has been set for Saturday, Oct. 27 at 1 p.m.
Meanwhile, NCHS (6-3) is the No. 7 seed and treks to undefeated and No. 2 seed Ottawa, while No. 6 West (6-3) must travel to No. 3 seed Rock Island (7-2).
This marks the 26th straight season BHS has made the playoffs and the 17th consecutive year for NCHS.
Central Catholic (6-3) is the No. 6 seed in Class 4A and will travel to No. 3 Charleston (8-1). Other area teams in Class 4A are Prairie Central (7-2) and Mahomet-Seymour (6-3). No. 4 Prairie Central entertains No. 5 Peoria Notre Dame (6-3), while No. 7 Mahomet-Seymour goes to No. 2 Rochester (8-1).
In Class 2A, Tri-Valley (8-1) earned a No. 2 seed and will play host to No. 7 Havana (6-3), while No. 4 Tremont (8-1) hosts No. 5 Illini West (7-2).
Bryan Bloodworth can be reached at email@example.com