After a 10-2 loss on March 29 in Zebulon to the No. 1 AAA-ranked team in Pike County, the Jackson Red Devils were eyeing a possible three-way tie for 3rd and 4th place in the region with Peach and Upson. -Lee. But thanks to Mary Persons’ 1-0 April 1 win over Upson-Lee, Jackson is assured of at least a 4th place finish in the 2-AAA region and a first-round game in the state playoffs.
The Red Devils are currently ranked 3rd in 2-AAA, but must await the outcome of the Peach game against Americus on Thursday to know their final ranking. If Americus defeats Peach, Jackson will be seeded 3rd. But if Peach beats Americus, Jackson will drop to 4th since Peach beat the Red Devils earlier this season. Pike County is ranked #1 and Mary Persons is ranked #2 in the region.
Coach Shaun Guillory and his Red Devils had high hopes at the start of the season that their match against Pike would be for the regional title. But it didn’t work like that.
“Earlier this season, when we were sitting in first place in the region, we had the date circled with Pike because we were hoping it would be for the region’s championship,” Guillory said. “We were both sizzling at the time and heading for an epic showdown. Unfortunately, unexpected losses to Peach and Mary Persons took our breath away, but we were still excited to come out and compete against the ranked team. No. 1 in the AAA and a team that is even nationally ranked.
“Pike has a phenomenal team and great athletes and that would prove to be a good yardstick for our team. scoring a few more goals in the second half en route to a 10-2 win Honestly the scoreline wasn’t indicative of how competitive the game was and we knew we’d allowed a lot of goals that could have easily been avoided, but I doesn’t take away from what Pike has accomplished.
Spring break for Jackson is this week and the Red Devils can rest and hone their skills. On Friday, April 8, they will host Lamar County in an out-of-region contest. On February 8, the Red Devils lost to the Trojans, 2-1, but had several key players absent due to a skirmish with Locust Grove a few days earlier. This time they will be complete.
Jackson is currently 4-3 in area and 9-6-1 overall.
The state playoffs begin Tuesday, April 12. The top two teams from one region will host the bottom two teams from another region. Because Jackson can only finish 3rd or 4th, they’ll be on the road to the first playoff game.
If the Red Devils are 3rd in 2-AAA, they will face 2nd place team Harlem in the 4-AAA region, who finished with a regional record of 6-2, 11-5 overall. Harlem High School is located in Harlem, Columbia County, just east of Augusta and 186 miles away.
If the Red Devils are 4th in 2-AAA, they will face 4-AAA region team Morgan County, who finished 7-1 in their region and 9-4-1 overall. Morgan County High School is located in Madison, 44 miles northwest of Jackson.