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Free Kicks: Dist. 5 teams jostle for playoff positions


Did somebody mention playoffs?

Well, yeah, it is that time of year, and a decent number of area boys soccer teams are already casting their eyes to the rankings to see what shape they're in.

Unfortunately, Franklin County girls teams will not have a representative in the District 3 playoffs this year. McConnellsburg is currently in position to qualify for the District 5 1A playoffs, with three games left, so the Spartans are trying to hang in there.

Chambersburg and Greencastle-Antrim's boys teams have completed their schedules and are guaranteed playoff berths.

As of Monday night, the Trojans (10-4-3) are ranked No. 8 in Class 4A, and if they stay there as expected, it looks like they would host No. 9 Ephrata (14-3-1) in a first-round game Tuesday.

G-A (13-5) is ranked No. 7 in 3A and if things stay the same, the Blue Devils would host No. 10 Bishop McDevitt (9-5-2) on Monday.

Waynesboro (10-5-2) is seated at No. 18 in 4A, and only the top 16 get in. The cutoff date is Thursday, and pairings would become official after that.

The District 5 1A teams have another week before everything shakes out, but there has been plenty of movement recently. As of last week, McConnellsburg was No. 1, Southern Fulton was No. 4 and Fannett-Metal was No. 7.

Since then, the Spartans (13-2-1) lost to Everett and dropped behind Windber.

"We might still be able to get to No. 1, but it depends on how Windber does Wednesday when it plays Everett," McConnellsburg coach Cory Houck said.

Southern Fulton (8-7) - seeking its first playoff berth - has gone 0-3 and may have dropped one or two places. The Indians still have Everett and Fannett-Metal on their schedule.

F-M is peaking at the right time, going 5-0 since then. The Tigers (10-6) have hopes of sneaking into the No. 4 spot and getting a first-round home game on Oct. 29. A 1-0 win over 2A Everett on Monday was huge.

"It was a very nice win, and it was a Pink Out game, so we had a big crowd," Tiger coach Greg Best said.

Houck said, "I'm surprised with that score, but not really surprised. Everett (which was unbeaten) had three tough games in a row - Berlin, Fannett-Metal and Windber - and I thought one of those teams might knock them off."

GETTING HELP: Some of the playoff-bound teams are getting extra help at the right time.

Chambersburg striker Rafael Bonilla posted three goals Saturday in a win over Greencastle. He's just now getting comfortable after missing most of September.

Greencastle's Jared Rohrbauugh has scored seven goals in the last eight games to support Brandon Stuhler on offense, and help make up for the loss of Damian Sherrill early in the season.

For McConnellsburg, freshman forward Landon Seiders is on fire, scoring 14 of his 15 goals in his last nine games. And the Spartans expect to get a boost later this week when speedy Josh Booth returns from an injury.

Houck said, "Seiders is developing some confidence, and we're starting to click on offense."

HITTING A DROUGHT: McConnellsburg's female counterparts, on the other hand, have hit a lull in scoring. Other than a 5-0 win over Tussey Mountain, the Spartans have lost four of five - following a six-game win streak - and scored only one goal total in the four defeats.