Football: Four local teams make reduced playoff brackets

Fairview, Broomfield, Mead, Holy Family will fight for state titles

Tim Hurst/Staff Photographer
Holy Family will host Evergreen on Friday night as the Class 3A playoffs get underway.

The Colorado High School Activities Association released the brackets for the state football playoffs on Sunday, much to the jubilation or disappointment of playoff-worthy teams across the state.

There are always teams that just miss the cut. Every year, there are a handful who are a bit surprised to find out they made it in. Perhaps less so this year because the field is smaller and the seeding was done with a mathematical formula, so many were able to calculate their fate ahead of time.

But upon hearing his team had earned the No. 2 overall seed in the Class 3A state playoffs, Holy Family head coach Mike Gabriel said he is simply glad, if not completely surprised, that they’re all still playing.

“First of all, I’m just thrilled that we have the opportunity to play,” Gabriel said. “If you would have told me week one that we’d get this far, I’d have said, ‘I don’t think so.’ As far as the seeding goes, I’m a math guy and I understand how it looks and I like the four-part criteria. But really, we’ve played every game like it was our last because it really could have been, so we’re just happy that we’re still playing.”

Holy Family will host No. 7 Evergreen in the first round, which will be the quarterfinals, on Friday at 6 p.m. Joining the Tigers in the 3A postseason, the Mead Mavericks claimed the No. 5 seed and will travel to face No. 4 Pueblo South.

In Class 4A, Broomfield enters the postseason as the No. 5 overall seed and will face No. 4 Loveland in the quarterfinals, also Friday night (6:30 p.m. kickoff). It will be an intriguing early matchup between two teams that, combined, have appeared in four of the last five 4A state championship games and have been trading victories in their head-to-head series for the past eight meetings.

“Obviously, the tradition between these two schools with a back-and-forth series against each other and both teams making deep runs into the playoffs is exciting,” Broomfield head coach Blair Hubbard said. “Both teams have experienced coaching staffs and players that are used to playing in big games. So, I think you’re going to see a well-played game between two good teams and it should be an exciting matchup in the first round.”

In Class 5A, Fairview earned the No. 6 seed and will face No. 3 Legend in this week’s quarterfinals. The Knights solidified their case with a Week 6 win over a good Castle View team, whereas a loss might have kept them out in this truly unique season.

The four criteria for playoff seeding are RPI, coaches poll, Packard and MaxPreps rankings, all weighted equally at 25 percent to generate a numerical seeding index rating for each team. Eight teams qualified for the postseason in each classification.