A look at playoff favorites for Class 3A-A Pub/Private
But at the top, a solid program, Pike County, is looking for its first title.
Senior Matthew Webb has 44 goals, 108 points and 20 assists to lead the top Pike County Pirates (4-1-2 record). Pike will close his regular season on Tuesday against Central-Macon (0-12) at home.
Pike did not lose to a program in the state. The blemishes came against strong Spanish Alabama (1-0) and tied with Tennessee’s St. George’s (2-2) and Class 5A No. 4 McIntosh (0-0).
Greater Atlanta Christian is ranked No. 2 in the class and will enter the state tournament trying to win his first title since 2015, when he successfully defended his 2014 2A title. The Spartans are 15-3 , 6-0 and will face the No. 4 seed from Region 7 in the first round of the playoffs.
No. 3-ranked Oconee County lost 2-1 to No. 10 East Jackson (10-2-1) on Friday and will look to right the ship by entering the playoffs.
No. 4 West Hall (14-3-1, 7-0), No. 5 Tattnall County (13-1, 6-1) and No. 6 Westminster (8-6-3, 6- 1) are also in pursuit. Westminster has won 14 championships, including three consecutive titles from 2017 to 2019 in Class 3A. The Wildcats are still considered among the favorites.
Top-ranked Lovett enters the playoffs as a state favorite, and the Lions want the program’s first title since 2003. Lovett has seven titles, but it’s been nearly 20 years since the last one. The Lions are 13-1-1, 8-0 and are riding a 12-game winning streak that will be tested this week at Class 5A No. 2 Woodward Academy on Tuesday and Class 3A No. 6 Westminster on Thursday. Call it playoff prep.
2nd-ranked and defending champion Pace Academy lost to Lovett 2-1 on March 29 and bounced back with a 10-0 win over Washington. The Knights play at home against Tucker on Tuesday to close out their regular season and enter the table in search of the program’s third title (2021, 2006).
Gordon Central hasn’t won a title and still has a game at Class 5A Calhoun (4-10-1) before entering the playoffs. The Warriors are 12-1, 10-0 and are riding a six-game winning streak.
Bremen, ranked No. 4, closed their regular season with a 1-1 draw against Class 6A No. 9 Kennesaw Mountain and enters the playoffs in hopes of winning the team’s first title.
Thomasville, a two-time champion and ranked No. 5 (14-1-1, 8-0), won the 2019 title and hasn’t lost since Feb. 1 against Class 7A Colquitt County (4-2). The team drew 1-1 with Class 4A Thomas County Central on Feb. 8 and since then the Bulldogs have won 13 straight games heading into Friday’s game against Atkinson County (9-4-1).
Class A Public
Top-ranked ACE Charter (13-4, 4-0) is one of the favorites and enters the playoffs on a five-game winning streak. The Gryphons lost to Class 4A Spalding 4-0 on March 7 and haven’t lost since.
ACE will host Class 3A Peach County (7-7-1) on Tuesday before entering the playoffs.
2-ranked Dalton Academy (13-2, 5-0) are led by two seniors – Adrian Granados (18 goals) and Fernando Garcia (11 goals). The Pumas beat Trion (7-4-3) 2-1 on Thursday and head into the playoffs in search of the program’s first title.
Lake Oconee, No. 3, ranked No. 4 and defending champion Georgia Military and No. 5 Social Circle could face off.
Class A Private
The top-ranked Atlanta International (13-0-2, 5-0) have not lost in 11 games and close their regular season against Galloway (2-6-1) Thursday at home.
The Eagles’ two stars are seniors Mateo Bargagna (18 goals) and Noah Kristensen (14 goals), but the mighty offense has goals from 10 other players. Seniors Josh Grand and Evan Theriot and junior Leo Zaller combine for 15 goals.
2-ranked Paideia (11-2-2, 8-0) beat Whitefield Academy 6-0 on Thursday and will enter the playoffs on an eight-game winning streak.
No. 3-ranked St. Anne Pacelli, No. 4-ranked Walker, and No. 5-ranked Athens Academy can and likely will piece together a deep playoff.
[Note: To view the GHSA playoff brackets follow the link.]