The North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2012 football playoff projection brackets have been released by the state. These projections don't mean this is who the three Edgecombe County teams will play in the first round of the playoffs, but most of the time the projections are correct.
The Tarboro Vikings are projected to be a No. 1 through 3 seed depending on the outcome of the final week of the season. Tarboro along with Northside Jacksonville and Edenton Holmes are all three still undefeated going into the last week of the regular season.
The two undefeated teams in the 2-A rankings besides Tarboro are teams the Vikings had to defeat last year in route to their third straight state championship.
If Tarboro gets the first seed in the 2-A East bracket, they will play at home throughout the playoffs until the state championship game. The first seeded team will play Louisburg. If Tarboro gets the two seed then they will host Croatan and if they get the three seed they will host First Flight from Kill Devils Hill.
Tarboro is still the No. 1 ranked team in the state Associated Press poll going into the final week of the season. They are also fifth in the latest power rankings poll that is released each week by the NCHSAA.
In the 2-AA projected East bracket, the SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars are projected to get an eight seed. If the bracket holds up, they will host the first two rounds of the playoffs this year vying they win when they host Swansboro during the first round.
SouthWest finished their regular season last week with a very impressive 52-6 victory over the Greene Central Rams. The Cougars finished the season 5-5 and were 4-2 in Eastern Plains Conference action with their only two conference losses coming to North Pitt and Tarboro.
When the brackets are released in the 2-AA, if everything stands as projected right now, if the Cougars can win the first round, they will host the second round as well and play the winner of the No. 11 seed versus the No. 13 or 14 seed. Right now, the projection is the No. 11 seed will be Topsail and they will host either Bertie or Kinston.
The North Pitt Panthers are also in the projected bracket with the Cougars. The Panthers are the No. 6 seed in the East.
For the North Edgecombe Warriors, they are projected to be a No. 11 seed in the Mideast 1-A bracket. As projected right now, the Warriors will travel to play No. 9 seeded Union High School. Union has a 6-4 record going into the last week of the season.
The Warriors are coming off of a tough 43-26 loss to Gates County in the Warriors Tar-Roanoke Conference season finale. The Warriors finished the year with a 4-4 overall record and are 2-3 in the conference.
The Warriors' struggles have been scoring touchdowns this season. They haven't produced points like teams of the past.
First year head coach Keith Parisher has given his coaching staff high praise this year, because he has missed two weeks of practice due to illness and his staff took over and prepared his team for games. They prepared the team as well as Parisher could expect.
He has guided a young team this year to playoffs in hopes of them catching fire and blasting through the playoff bracket with a couple of wins.