By Erik Harris, sports editor
With Week 9 in the books and region play mostly finished up across the state, many teams now shift their focus to first-round playoff opponents.
The AHSAA state playoffs will begin on Nov. 6 following Week 10 play on Oct. 29-30.
Nothing is official until the AHSAA releases its statewide bracket next week. Below is a list of likely first-round matchups for local teams:
- Class 7A No. 4 Hewitt-Trussville (8-2) at No. 10 James Clemens (8-2). Winner moves on to play the winner of No. 1 Thompson vs. Grissom.
- Class 6A No. 3 Pinson Valley (7-2) vs. Arab (4-5). Winner draws the winner of Cullman vs. Shades Valley.
- Class 6A No. 6 Clay-Chalkville (8-1) vs. Southside-Gadsden (6-3). Winner gets the winner of Athens vs. Homewood in the second round.
- Class 5A Leeds (8-2) vs. Boaz (5-4). Winner draws the winner of Russellville vs. Fairfield the following week.
- Class 5A Center Point (7-3) at No. 10 Fairview (8-1). Winner gets the winner of No. 3 Ramsay vs. Lawrence County.