The brackets for the 2016 boys soccer state tournaments were released Sunday and, as expected, the Front Range League will be well represented in the Class 5A state tournament.
Nine out of 13 teams from the Front Range League were selected for the state tournament, including BoCoPreps.com area staples Boulder, Broomfield, Fairview, Legacy and Monarch. With so many familiar faces from their conference, none of the Front Range League teams expect to have any easy games.
That goes for the defending champion Broomfield Eagles, as well.
"It's a real testament to the competitive nature of the league," Broomfield head coach Jim Davidson said. "Night in and night out, we beat each other up for two months. That really seasons us, and hopefully it prepares us for what's to come over the next couple weeks."
Each classification's 32-team bracket was determined based on a combination of automatic qualifiers out of each conference and the final RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) standings as of Sunday. The 4A tournament starts Wednesday. The 5A tournament starts Thursday. The 3A tournament starts Friday. Higher-seeded teams will host.
Quarterfinal games for all three classifications will be played Nov. 5. Semifinals will be Nov. 9. The championship games are set for Nov. 12 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.
Under the new RPI seeding system, the Eagles enter as the fourth overall seed and will play No. 29 Gateway in the first round. Also in Quadrant 2 of the 5A bracket, No. 5 Fairview will host the No. 28 FNE Warriors, and No. 13 Legacy will host No. 20 Arvada West. With a good chance of facing two conference rivals before the semifinal round, Davidson believes his team has arguably the toughest road to a repeat title.
"Gateway is a good team, and they'll be very technical," Davidson said. "It's not the ideal first-round matchup, and the bracket presents some challenges for us. I was hoping we would be higher in the RPI, but we're not. We have arguably the hardest quadrant, and whoever gets out of that quadrant will have earned it."
Front Range League champion Boulder is seeded second and will host No. 31 Rampart in the first round. Monarch snagged the final state tournament berth and will travel to face No. 1 Denver East.
In the 4A bracket, Niwot enters as the 13th seed and will host defending champion Evergreen, which enters this year's bracket as the No. 20 seed. Silver Creek comes in at No. 8 and will host No. 25 Steamboat Springs, while No. 27 Longmont will travel to face No. 6 Denver West. Skyline earned the 18th seed and will face No. 15 Valor Christian, while No. 23 Centaurus drew No. 10 Skyview to open the bracket.
In 3A, Jefferson Academy got the sixth overall seed and will host No. 27 William Smith. A quarterfinalist last year, Peak to Peak is 13th and will host No. 20 Delta. Dawson School is 31st and will travel to face No. 2 KIPP Denver Collegiate.
All first-round games on Thursday
(32) Monarch at (1) Denver East, TBD
(17) Rock Canyon at (17) Cherokee Trail, 4 p.m.
(25) Lakewood at (8) Fort Collins, 6 p.m.
(24) Grand Junction at (9) Pine Creek, 4 p.m.
(28) FNE Warriors at (5) Fairview, 6:30 p.m.
(21) Horizon at (12) Ralston Valley, 5 p.m.
(29) Gateway at (4) Broomfield, 6 p.m.
(20) Arvada West at (13) Legacy, 4 p.m.
(30) Fossil Ridge at (3) Cherry Creek, 4 p.m.
(19) Castle View at (14) Lincoln, 3:30 p.m.
(27) Aurora Central at (6) Arapahoe, 3:15 p.m.
(22) Greeley West at (11) Rangeview, 6 p.m.
(26) Fruita Monument at (7) Grandview, TBD
(23) Bear Creek at (10) Mountain Vista, 4 p.m.
(31) Rampart at (2) Boulder, 6 p.m.
(18) Vista Ridge at (15) Regis Jesuit, TBD
All first-round games on Wednesday
(32) Northridge at (1) Cheyenne Mountain, 6 p.m.
(17) D'Evelyn at (16) Denver North, 6 p.m.
(25) Steamboat Springs at (8) Silver Creek, 7 p.m.
(24) Fort Morgan at (9) Battle Mountain, TBD
(28) Green Mountain at (5) Mullen, 3:30 p.m.
(21) Greeley Central at (12) Pueblo West, TBD
(29) Kennedy at (4) Air Academy, 6:30 p.m.
(20) Evergreen at (10) Niwot, 3:30 p.m.
(30) Windsor at (3) The Classical Academy, 4:30 p.m.
(19) Pueblo Centennial at (14) Standley Lake, TBD
(27) Longmont at (6) Denver West, 3:30 p.m.
(22) Ponderosa at (11) Palmer Ridge, 5 p.m.
(26) Pueblo South at (7) Durango, 7 p.m.
(23) Centaurus at (10) Skyview, 6 p.m.
(31) Mitchell at (2) Lewis-Palmer, 7 p.m.
(18) Skyline at (15) Valor Christian, 7 p.m.
All first-round games on Friday
(32) James Irwin at (1) Kent Denver, TBD
(17) Denver School of Science & Technology: Green Valley Ranch at (16) Frontier Academy, TBD
(25) Arrupe Jesuit at (8) Coal Ridge, 4 p.m.
(24) Jefferson at (9) Fountain Valley, 2 p.m.
(28) Ridgeway at (5) Colorado Springs Christian, 12:30 p.m.
(21) Liberty at (12) Bruce Randolph, 3:30 p.m.
(29) Sheridan at (4) Vail Mountain, TBD
(20) Delta at (13) Peak to Peak, TBD
(30) Roaring Fork at (3) Colorado Academy, TBD
(19) St. Mary's at (14) The Pinnacle, TBD
(27) William Smith at (6) Jefferson Academy, 6 p.m.
(22) Denver Chrsitian at (11) Basalt, 4 p.m.
(26) Beth Eden Baptist at (7) Denver School of Science & Technology: Stapleton, TBD
(23) Crested Butte at (10) Salida, TBD
(31) Dawson School at (2) KIPP Denver Collegiate, TBD
(18) The Academy at (15) Aurora West College Prep, TBD