|4A football playoff brackets promise a free-for-all in West Region|
|Myers Park and Hough top Magnificent Seven|
|Published Tuesday, April 13, 2021|
|PHOTO | HERBERT L. WHITE|
|Vance High’s Cougars, who won the 2019 North Carolina 4AA football championship with a strong postseason push, is back for a shot at repeating in the spring despite dropping their regular season finale to Hough for the I-Meck Conference title. The Cougars (6-1) are fifth in this week’s Magnificent Seven rankings.|
The question is: who’s most likely to earn it?
When the state playoffs kick off Friday, every team in The Post’s Magnificent Seven rankings will be in the field, with new No. 1 Myers Park hosting a first-round contest in the 4AA draw along with No. 2 Hough, the region’s top seed.
Both teams are unbeaten and riding a wave of momentum, especially Hough, which knocked off previously top-ranked Vance.
The best game on paper, though, appears to be Ardrey Kell, No. 3 in the Magnificent Seven, hosting No. 5 Vance, which had its unbeaten season marred by the home loss to Hough in the regular season finale.
No. 6 Olympic travels to Cary for a first-round game at Panther Creek.
No. 7 Providence, which is seeded second in the 4A West tournament, hosts Hickory Ridge while Butler, the fourth-ranked team in The Post’s survey, travels to Winston-Salem Glenn as the sixth seed.
The rankings going into the playoff chase is as follows:
1. Myers Park (7-0). For the first time all season, a team other than Vance is top dog. Interim coach Mark Harman has done a magnificent job after inheriting the job on short notice with a team that lost a bevy of Division I recruits.
Next: home date against Northwest Guilford in the first round of the 4AA playoffs.
2. Hough (7-0). Anyone who thought the Huskies were pretenders got their answer with last week’s convincing win against Vance. Who would’ve thought? Next: Green Hope (4-1) in the 4AA tourney.
3. Ardrey Kell (6-1). The Knights warmed up for the playoffs by thumping Providence 41-10 to move up the rankings. Their reward is an angry and experienced Vance in the 4AA first round.
4. Butler (6-1). The Bulldogs have kept their heads up after an early-season loss to Myers Park and are hitting stride going into Friday’s date at Winston-Salem Glenn in the 4A draw.
5. Vance (6-1). One game does not a season make unless it’s a championship battle, so the Cougars, who won the 4AA state title the last time it was contested, won’t panic over last week’s loss to Hough. Ardrey Kell will force them to focus.
6. Olympic (6-1). The Trojans have been one of Mecklenburg’s most underappreciated programs this year, but Olympic is capable of doing postseason damage. First up is a road game at unbeaten Panther Creek.
7. Providence (6-1). Last week’s 41-10 shellacking by Providence is no way to dive headlong into the playoffs, but Hickory Ridge won’t have much pity when they get together on the Panthers’ turf.
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