The private school football playoff picture is pretty grim for all but one local squad that participates in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association postseason.
Currently, Blue Ridge School is the lone school with a shot at the playoffs, holding onto the No. 4 and final slot in Division 2, which would force the Barons to head east and play Christchurch, who has already clinched the No. 1 seed in the playoffs in the division, who they lost to at home 36-0 back on October 15. The Barons still could get knocked out of the playoffs with a loss to St. Anne’s-Belfield Friday, a win by fellow bubble squad Nansemond-Suffolk and a couple of key upsets in other games across the state.
The VISAA playoffs are determined by a rating system based on wins and losses and points accumulated.
A year after St. Anne’s-Belfield and Fork Union Military Academy won state titles, they are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention heading into the final week of the regular season. Covenant also won’t be in the mix and Woodberry Forest doesn’t participate in the playoffs, ending its season with their traditional battle with archrival Episcopal.
According to a VISAA spokesman, who compiles the rankings each week for the association’s schools, the best rating STAB could hope for, with a win over Blue Ridge, is 6.50 while the lowest possible rating Blue Ridge could have is 6.67 — still ahead of STAB. Fork Union faces a similar situation, on the outside looking in despite beating Benedictine, who is also on the bubble, last week. The highest possible rating for Fork Union is 8.4, and St. Christopher’s, who is currently clinging to the final playoff spot, holds a lowest possible rating of 9.6. So the Blue Devils can’t get in, making their clash with Woodberry Friday the squad’s final contest.
STAB faces an interesting situation against Blue Ridge. While the two schools have often jockeyed for playoff position in their usual regular season finale, this time STAB, who fell 56-6 to Christchurch last week, gets to play the role of potential spoiler.
At 2-7, Covenant has been out of the race for a while now as Division III has a clear separation among the top four squads with a significant drop off between fourth and fifth place. Fishburne Military faces a similar situation in Division III.
Here are the current rankings:
1. Liberty Christian Academy (8-0) 15.00
2. Bishop Ireton (7-2) 12.00
3. Flint Hill (7-1) 11.13
4. St. Christopher’s (7-2) 10.67
5. Benedictine College Prep (5-4) 8.56
6. Fork Union Military Academy (4-5) 7.11
1. Christchurch School (8-0) 11.88
2. The Potomac School (6-2) 10.25
3. Bishop Sullivan (7-2) 9.44
4. Blue Ridge School (5-3) 7.25
5. Nansemond-Suffolk Academy (5-4) 6.11
6. Hargrave Military Academy (4-4) 5.38
7. St. Anne’s-Belfield (4-5) 4.89