CHAPEL HILL — There were very little surprises for the six Southeastern Conference schools when the North Carolina High School Athletic Association released this year’s Average Daily Membership numbers earlier this week.
The NCHSAA will select the 64 4A teams to receive postseason berths, then divide those into the 32 biggest and the 32 smallest based on ADM numbers. Then it will place the 32 4A and 32 4AA teams into four pods based on geography.
Richmond Senior is the 29th largest school with an enrollment of 2,018, one behind West Mecklenburg. The Raiders’ ADM number means it will once again be placed in the larger 4AA bracket when the football playoff pairings are announced Saturday.
The rest of the SEC members rankings are: Lumberton 18th, Pinecrest 23rd, Hoke County 44th, Scotland 50th and Purnell Swett 54th.
The conference will receive four automatic bids into the postseason and those have been secured by the Bucks, the Fighting Scots, the Patriots and the Raiders. None of the seedings have been decided at this time. Richmond and Scotland will battle for the league championship Friday, while Hoke and Pinecrest will fight it out for the SEC’s No. 3 seed.
In the Heartland Publications postseason projection released last week has the Patriots and the Bucks joining the Raiders in the 4AA playoff brackets. Pinecrest is expected to be placed in the Midwest pod along with Richmond, while Hoke is expected to play in the Mideast pod.
There appears to be 31 teams which have secured a spot into the playoffs and 10 schools on the bubble ahead of Scotland in enrollment. Because of this, it appears just like last year, the Fighting Scots should be placed in the 4A playoffs and in the Mideast pod.
One of those bubble teams ahead of Scotland is Lumberton. Earlier in the season, the Pirates appeared set to lock themselves into the playoffs with a 4-1 record going into their open date. Since then, Lumberton has dropped four straight and are on the verge of missing the postseason in Mike Brill’s final year as coach.
The only SEC school eliminated from postseason consideration is Purnell Swett. The Rams are 2-7 on the season and are winless in league play.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.