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The Roanoke Times (Virginia)
October 10, 2013 Thursday
Metro Edition
Sports; High School Notebook; Pg. C3
940 words
New football playoff formats are released
Robert Anderson 981-3123

Patrick Henry's football team will not be going to the beach this winter.

At least not in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

The VHSL has released modified postseason formats for several of its new divisions.

The biggest change involves the Group 6A South region where Patrick Henry resides.

Instead of a straight 16-team playoff bracket that was initially announced and highly trumpeted by the VHSL office, Group 6A South will divide itself in half because of concerns over travel and gate receipts.

PH is competing with 12 other schools from Conferences 3 and 4 (Roanoke Valley, Richmond, Woodbridge, Fredericksburg areas) for one of eight available bids. The top eight teams from Conferences 1 and 2 (Tidewater area) will be bracketed together in the first two rounds.

The final four Group 6A South teams will be reseeded based on the VHSL Rating Scale and determine a finalist to face the Group 6A North winner in the state championship game.

Group 6A North will seed its teams 1-16.

A team such as Patrick Henry would not have to face the likes of powerhouse Oscar Smith until at least the third round of the playoffs.

PH has the No. 7 spot out of eight available bids in its half of Group 6A South at the moment. The Patriots would be tied for 13th in the race for 16 spots if all four conferences were combined.

Here's the VHSL plan for the rest of the state:

Group 5A South - The top eight rated teams from Conferences 9 and 10 (Tidewater area) will be bracketed together. The top eight from Conferences 11 and 12 (Richmond area) will be bracketed together.

Group 5A North - The top 16 teams will be bracketed together by the Rating Scale regardless of conference. the Groups 5A South and North will not cross-bracket for the semifinal round, meaning the South and North finalists will play for the championship.

Groups 4A North and South - The top 16 teams will be bracketed together by the Rating Scale regardless of conference and the final four will not be cross-bracketed.

Groups 3A, 2A and 1A - The top 16 teams will be bracketed together by the Rating Scale regardless of conference. The semifinals in each group will be cross-bracketed, allowing two teams from the same side of the state to face each other in the championship game as was the case last year when George Wythe played Honaker in the Division 1 final.

Four 2012 state champs highlight two-day event

Four reigning Virginia state volleyball champions and six other schools that have won state titles previously will take part in a 17-team Tournament of Champions this weekend at Spectrum Sports Academy.

VHSL 2012 champs Floyd Kellam (Group AAA), Loudoun County (Group AA), Auburn (Group A Division 1)and Flint Hill Academy (VIS Division I) are in the field along with 10-time West Virginia champion Parkersburg, five-time Group AA champion Cave Spring and four-time Group AAA champ Frank Cox.

Other former state champions in the event are Jefferson Forest, Bath County and Musselman (W.Va.).

Other Timesland teams in the field are 2012 Group AA runner-up Hidden Valley, Lord Botetourt, Patrick Henry and Franklin County.

The two-day event begins at 4 p.m. Friday. A match between unbeaten Hidden Valley and Auburn highlights the early schedule.

Saturday's play begins at 8:30 a.m when Flint Hill, which has won four of the last five VIS titles, plays Kellam. Loudoun County will play Kellam in a marquee match at 2:30 p.m.

The event does not use a tournament format so there will be no champion crowned. As many as six matches can be played at once inside the northwest Roanoke facility.

Coach's son recovers from painful injuries

Tim Cromer has developed Christiansburg's football program into a consistent winner since taking the school's head coaching position in 2002.

Last week he was happy to learn that the team could get along without him.

Cromer missed two days of practice leading up to last Friday's game at Cave Spring after his 7-year-old son, Caleb was hurt.

Caleb suffered injuries to fingers on both hands while climbing on a moving gate at a self-storage facility and is expected to make a full recovery, Cromer said.

The Christiansburg coach was absent from the Blue Demons' Monday and Wednesday practices, and the team responded with a 49-7 win over Cave Spring to run its 2013 record to 5-1.

"The coaches told me the Wednesday practice was one of the best we've ever had," Cromer said. "I told the team after the game how proud I was of them. It was a tough week for our family."

Cromer said Caleb is returning to normal despite having a pin inserted in one finger.

"I had to drag him off the trampoline the other day," the Christiansburg coach said. "Then I had to hide his scooter.

"We're just thankful he's that way instead of letting it get him down."

Hanks leaving post as Pulaski County AD

Mark Hanks is stepping down from half of his dual post as the athletic director and boys basketball coach at Pulaski County.

Hanks, who will become an assistant principal, is turning the AD job over to former Pulaski athlete and ex-assistant football coach Scott Vest.

Hanks said he will remain Pulaski's basketball coach, at least through the 2013-14 season.

"I'll coach this year and play it by ear," Hanks said. "A new coach might be Scott's first hire."

Oak Hill, Massanutten play at Fleming Oct. 15

Oak Hill Academy will play a basketball scrimmage against Massanutten Military Academy's postgraduate team at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at William Fleming High School.

Oak Hill has four players who have committed to ACC schools including 6-foot-4 B.J. Stith, who helped Brunswick to three consecutive VHSL Division 3 championships before transferring to the private school Grayson County.

October 10, 2013

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