LONGMONT — When the Colorado High School Activities Association released the 4A boys soccer state tournament brackets on Sunday, the Silver Creek Raptors had a lot of interesting things to look at.
Earning the 10th overall seed, the Raptors were pleased to find out they were hosting a first-round playoff game again in 2017. The Raptors also learned that they can likely expect a big crowd, with nearby Holy Family set to drive just up the road from Broomfield as the No. 23 seed on Wednesday. On top of that, should the Raptors escape the first round, they will likely have a short drive themselves with a potential second-round matchup against No. 7 Centaurus likely in nearby Lafayette.
That potential second-round game against the Northern League rival Warriors would also be a rematch from the two teams' regular-season game on Oct. 3, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
"We sat in the top five, for the most part, all year," Silver Creek head coach Rob Johnson said. "But due to some injuries and other things, we lost some key players. Had we finished a little stronger and not lost our last three games, we may stay be up there. But we're going to bounce back and try to make a run at it. Last year we came in seeded eighth and that was the highest we've ever been so to be 10th, that's right up there and we're excited about it."
One of the Raptors' three regular season-ending losses was against Niwot, which grabbed the No. 3 overall seed in the playoffs and will host No. 30 Erie on Wednesday. The Tigers won their last game of the regular season, 1-0 against Windsor, to leap up the RPI standings and into the bracket.
The Skyline Falcons won the Tri-Valley League title and earned the No. 8 seed in the postseason, and will host No. 25 Pueblo Centennial in the first round. Across town, the Longmont Trojans enter the playoffs as the 28th seed and will travel to face No. 5 The Academy.
In 3A, last year's runner-up Jefferson Academy enters the playoffs as the No. 1 overall seed in the bracket. The Jaguars will host bottom-seeded Beth Eden Baptist on Thursday. No. 16 Peak to Peak will host No. 17 Arrupe Jesuit and should the Pumas reach the second round, they would like face the Jaguars.
"For me, there's always a bit of luck that comes with the bracketing," Peak to Peak head coach Peter Chandler said. "I guess I wouldn't have chosen JA in the second round and I don't want to look by Arrupe. But we did play our best game of the season against JA earlier this year and they're justifiably the No. 1 seed. We're in a position in the bracket where we have a chance to take down the No. 1 seed and that's very exciting."
The Dawson Mustangs also qualified for the state tournament and will enter as the No. 20 seed. They'll play on the road at No. 13 Manitou Springs in the first round.
Class 4A state soccer tournament
First Round Wednesday
(25) Pueblo Centennial at (8) Skyline (12-1-2), 3 p.m.
(30) Erie (7-8) at (3) Niwot (12-1-2), 3:30 p.m.
(28) Longmont (3-9-3) at (5) The Classical Academy (14-1), 6:30 p.m.
(26) Thomas Jefferson (8-7) at (7) Centaurus, (12-2-1), 6 p.m.
(23) Holy Family (8-7) at (10) Silver Creek (10-3-2), 4 p.m.
Class 3A state soccer tournament
First Round Thursday
(32) Beth Eden Baptist (11-2-2) at (1) Jefferson Academy (14-0-1), 4 p.m.
(17) Arrupe Jesuit at (10-4-1) at (16) Peak to Peak (8-6-1), TBA
(20) Dawson School (10-3-2) at (13) Manitou Springs (12-2-1), 6 p.m.