The 21-14 conference championship victory over Richmond Friday night wasn’t the only piece of good fortune to fall the Fighting Scots’ way over the weekend.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) state playoff brackets were released on Saturday, and the Scots were given a prime position in the 4A bracket.
Scotland is officially the first seeded team in the Mideast pod, and the second seed overall behind perennial 4A powerhouse New Bern.
“When I first took the job, we had lost a ton of seniors and never envisioned us getting this far,” said Scotland coach Richard Bailey. “To go from then to fresh off a win at Richmond, which was the first win against them in my career, has me feeling pretty good about where we are as a team. But like I tell my guys, every team from here on out is good.”
Finishing atop the Southeastern Conference with a 9-1 record, the Fighting Scots have guaranteed that the next three playoff games will take place at Pate Stadium, should they advance in the postseason.
With roughly 1800 students enrolled, Scotland High School barely missed the 4AA playoff bracket which features conference foe Richmond (the number one seed in the 4AA Mideast pod, and fourth overall). New Hanover, the team which handed the Scots their only regular season loss, is a number two seed in the 4A playoffs and could appear in Scotland's cross-hairs yet again should they advance in the tournament and topple New Bern if both teams continue their current trajectory.
“I’m very content to be in the small 4A bracket,” Bailey said. “It’s where we need to be in terms of equity, because as good as we’ve been it wouldn’t have been fair to compete against schools with 700 or more students than us. I wouldn’t have minded facing New Hanover again however, now that we’ve figured out our identity.”
This Friday night, Scotland will host the East Chapel Hill Wildcats, who are seeded eighth in the Mideast pod and 16th overall. The Wildcats finished their regular season with a 5-5 mark, going 3-3 in the PAC-6 conference.