Playoff primer: Warren County teams poised for success
It was a successful regular season for many Warren County athletic programs, and now they turn their attention to the postseason, with visions of the ultimate goal of a District 10 title.
Things officially get underway today, with the Eisenhower boys soccer team hosting Sharpsville in a Class 2A first-round matchups.
Here’s a quick glance at the schedule for this week. Brackets will be published throughout the week, corresponding with the start of each respective sport.
2A Boys Soccer First Round: Sharpsville at Eisenhower (4:30 p.m.): It’s been a remarkable turnaround for the Knights from last season to this season, and their reward is a playoff berth, where they will meet the Sharpsville Blue Devils, the No. 4 seed from Region 2. The Knights are the No. 3 seed from Region 4. The Knights come in with a record of 8-8, while the Blue Devils enter at 8-6-1. It’s a 15-team field in 2A, with top seed Grove City getting a bye, to meet the winner of this game. Harbor Creek is the top seed on the other half of the bracket.
1A Girls Soccer Quarterfinal: Eisenhower vs. Kennedy Catholic (Hagerty Family Events Center, Erie, 5:30 p.m.): The Lady Knights (10-5-2) closed the season strong with a win over Iroquois to secure the No. 2 seed from Region 3. That was the difference between playing KC (4-9) instead of Mercer (14-3-1). With a great combination of youth and experience, the Lady Knights are once again looking for postseason success.
1A Volleyball First Round: Youngsville at Rocky Grove (Time, TBA): A start time for the Lady Eagles first-round matchup against Rocky Grove hadn’t been announced by District 10 as of press time Sunday, but whatever time they start, it will be the first time in a long time this program has gone to the playoffs. At 7-7, it’s been a strong year for first-year head coach Victoria Montecalvo, as a team that returned many key contributors from a season ago has taken the next step. RG enters the contest with a record of 10-6.
3A Volleyball Quarterfinal: Warren vs. Hickory (Cochranton H.S., 5 p.m.): The defending D-10 champs and state runner-ups begin their title defense against Mercer County foe Hickory. The Dragons got off to a slow start against some very talented teams, but have put together a great second-half, winning six of their final seven matches, including a sweep of previously unbeaten DuBois in their regular-season finale. They are dangerous.
3A Boys Soccer Quarterfinal: Warren vs. Fort LeBoeuf (Site, Time TBA): Game information isn’t yet available for this one, although it’s a strong possibility that it will be played at the Hagerty Events Center in Erie. These two teams met in the playoffs a year ago, a 1-goal victory for the Dragons. Caleb Lindell has put together one of the finest offensive seasons in program history, with his 46 goals just 1 shy of Troy Burns’ record established in 2009.
1A Volleyball: Should Youngsville beat Rocky Grove, they would face the winner of Union City/Farrell.
2A Football Quarterfinal: Eisenhower vs. Reynolds (Wilmington H.S., 7 p.m.): The Knights closed their regular season with a dramatic comeback win over Cochranton, setting them up with a rematch against Reynolds. The two teams met back on Oct. 4, a 41-6 Reynolds victory. Eisenhower led the game 6-0 at the end of the first quarter, but the Raiders were able to pull away in the second half. The winner will meet Maplewood, which received a bye, in the semifinals.
5A Football Semifinal: Warren vs. Meadville (Edinboro University, 1 p.m.): The Dragons now have back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 2012-13, and will look for their first playoff win in seven years when they battle the Bulldogs for the second time this season. The two teams met back on Sept. 20, a lopsided Meadville win. Star running back James Swanson didn’t play in that game for the Dragons, and his return has provided Warren with an added dimension on offense. The Dragons will come in hot, winners of three-straight.
District 10 Cross Country Championship: (Buhl Park, Sharon, 10 a.m.): Action gets underway with the 1A girls race at 10 a.m. Eisenhower’s Ethan Kellogg and Alex Hummel, Warren’s Naomi Hahn, Katie Beyer, Shyann Rulander, Devon Navaroli and Graham Carr and Youngsville’s Julia Bocjazko are among a strong contingent of county contenders.