The Virginia High School League released its first football power ratings of the 2019 campaign Monday, and five area teams would currently qualify for the postseason.
Unbeaten and three-time defending Class 1 state champion Riverheads leads the local contingent as the Gladiators are the top seeds in Region 1B by a huge margin over William Campbell. Riverheads, which is riding a 15-game winning streak, faces perhaps its stiffest test of the season so far Friday with a road trip to Class 3 Skyline.
In Region 3C, Fort Defiance is clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot over Brookville. The Indians find themselves in the same precarious position as last year when they just missed out on the postseason.
One-win Wilson Memorial and winless Waynesboro are currently on the outside looking in at the Region 3C playoffs. The Green Hornets stand 12th, while the Little Giants are in the last spot at 16th. These are the only two area teams not in the top 8 in any of the three regions that are represented in Augusta County.
Region 2B is loaded with area representation as Stuarts Draft, Staunton and Buffalo Gap are all in the top 8.
The Cougars are No. 2 in the region, just behind former Shenandoah District foe Luray. The schedule works perfectly this week as the Cougars and Bulldogs have a showdown of unbeatens in Stuarts Draft.
Staunton and Buffalo Gap hold down the final two playoff positions in Region 2B. The Storm have a tough nondistrict matchup at home Friday against Class 3 powerhouse and undefeated Lord Botetourt, while the Bison enjoy their bye week.
The season reaches its midway point Friday with Week 6 action, which also marks the end of nondistrict games for the teams in the Valley and Shenandoah districts. The final five weeks will be all district clashes with no byes for anyone.
The jockeying for the playoffs and playoff positioning is definitely going to become more intense, especially in the new-look Shenandoah where county rivals will be clashing every week.