There is an unfamiliar face atop the Class 5A boys state soccer bracket.
Santa Fe High School on Sunday was chosen as the No. 1 seed for the upcoming playoffs, as the postseason brackets in six divisions were revealed by the New Mexico Activities Association.
The Demons (19-1), champions of District 5-5A, will have a first-round bye, as will No. 2 La Cueva, No. 3 Sandia and No. 4 Hobbs.
“We’ve been ranked pretty high all season, and so we’ve had some time to sort of deal with that, and come to terms with that, and embrace that,” Santa Fe coach Chris Eadie said.
Santa Fe features one of the most explosive offensive players in New Mexico, in junior striker Alex Waggoner, a transfer from Taos who scored a whopping 65 goals in the regular season for the Demons.
“I had a sense of what we were getting, but I never knew he was this gifted,” Eadie said. “He has unreal vision, and explosive speed, and he makes the kind of runs that a professional player would make to open up space.”
The top four seeds have first-round byes, and will host quarterfinal games on Friday or Saturday.
Among the first-round games, which will be played Tuesday at the sites of the higher seed, perhaps the most fascinating pairing is No. 12 Atrisco Heritage visiting No. 5 Rio Rancho, the spring season state champion. The Jaguars won the District 1-5A title on Saturday by beating the Rams 3-2 in overtime.
No. 9 Volcano Vista has a difficult assignment, playing at Centennial, which is seeded eighth but ranked No. 4.
Rio Grande is making its second straight appearance in the playoffs, as the 11th-seeded Ravens visit district rival No. 6 Albuquerque High.
Later in the week, La Cueva gets Deming or Gadsden in the quarterfinals, and Sandia plays AHS or Rio Grande.
n In 4A, the two teams that met in the spring state final are the top two seeds, with champ Albuquerque Academy seeded second behind No. 1 Lovington.
Seeds 5-7 are metro programs: Hope Christian, Highland and St. Pius. The Sartans, if they upset No. 7 Artesia in the first round, would meet Academy in the quarterfinals.
n Defending state champion Sandia Prep is the No. 1 seed in the Class 3A-1A bracket. Oak Grove Classical Academy/Menaul is in the playoffs for the first time. The Owls are both a co-op and co-ed team, with a handful of girls on the roster. They’ll play No. 4 Bosque School, a district rival, in the quarters.
GIRLS: Despite a 2-1 loss Saturday to Volcano Vista to close the regular season, Cibola (14-2-1) is the No. 1 seed in 5A. Defending champ Carlsbad is second, followed by La Cueva and Hobbs.
This means the Bears, who missed the spring state tournament — as did Cibola — could have to travel to Carlsbad in the semifinals if both make it that far.
“The only issue is the travel for the semifinals,” La Cueva coach Amber Ashcraft said. “Which I don’t like.”
Tuesday’s first round is highlighted by a meeting between No. 9 Eldorado and No. 8 Rio Rancho, and the winner taking on Cibola in the quarterfinals later in the week.
AHS, a spring state finalist, was seeded 11th. Volcano Vista is a dangerous seed in the 7 slot, as the Hawks (ranked No. 4 by MaxPreps.com) play host to Clovis.
Santa Fe’s girls, like the boys, finished 19-1, and the Demonettes were seeded fifth.
n St. Pius, Hope and Academy are the top three seeds in 4A, with Los Alamos at No. 4. The Huskies and Chargers are seeded to meet in the semis, and they’ve already met three times this season.
Sandia Prep got the top seed in 3A-1A. That division doesn’t begin until the quarterfinals on Friday or Saturday. Bosque School (5) is also in that top half of the bracket.
Source : https://www.abqjournal.com/2440366/santa-fe-boys-take-top-seed-in-class-5a.html687