Thomas County Central's loss to Harris County not only cost the Yellow Jackets a region title, it dropped the Region 1-AAAAA runners-up to one of the toughest playoff brackets in the state.
The Yellow Jackets open the postseason tonight against Creekside, a seven-win team during the regular season. A win sets up a possible second-round showdown with top-ranked and undefeated Northside-Warner Robins. If the Yellow Jackets are fortunate enough to advance to the quarterfinal round, they could face perennial playoff participant Flowery Branch or last year's Class AAAA champion, Tucker.
As for Central coach Bill Shaver, the focus is on the only team that can beat the Yellow Jackets this week — the Creekside Seminoles.
“We don't need to look past Creekside because they're as talented as anybody. They're 7-3 and two of their losses were to 6-A schools. Then they lost to the region champion (Whitewater) by about five or six points. They're a very, very talented team,” Shaver said. “Obviously, bracket wise, we knew when we first started off the year that our region didn't match up well when the brackets were set up. Obviously, you'd like to be playing a (No.) three or a four out of the Warner Robins region because we think those are pretty weak teams or a three or four out of the other region because they are a lot weaker teams. You've got a region that we're playing against that is sub-divided so, sometimes, the two or three best teams are all in one sub-region.
“(Creekside) can't be a two because they didn't win their sub-region. We're getting a team that's No. 2 in the sub-region because they lost one game by five points. They're a lot better than the one that's playing as a No. 2.”
For full details, see Friday's edition of the Times-Enterprise.