With three weeks left in the regular season, some conference championships have been determined but others remain wide open. Colorado Preps takes a look at all league standings and previews the top remaining matchups plus we run through the RPI status for each club.
Standings are provided by MaxPreps and RPI numbers were based on the release on Tuesday morning at 10:00am.
Concerning regional tournaments, league champions earn automatic bids with the remaining spots filled by RPI. 24 teams qualify in Class 1A and 36 advance to Class 2A. Eight regional events are set for 1A with champions advancing to state along with four wildcard selections. 12 regional tournaments are on tap in 2A with champions from each filling up the 12-team state tournament bracket. The top eight seeds in 1A host regionals and the top 12 in Class 2A do the same.
PHOTO PROVIDED BY OT SPORTSCHECK
- 5280: Belleview Christian and Flatirons Academy are both 5-0 and each is at least two games ahead of all other conference teams. That makes their Thursday battle at Flatirons Academy the matchup that will decide the top two spots. Belleview Christian is sixth in RPI and in position to host a regional tournament. Flatirons Academy is 11th. Rocky Mountain Lutheran (18th) is a third league team in the top 24.
- ARK VALLEY: Wiley (4-0) has a one game edge and a win over second place Springfield (5-1). The two clubs meet again on Friday at Springfield and that match will determine if Wiley wins the championship outright or if the two teams end up sharing the crown. All other league members have at least three conference losses. Concerning RPI, Wiley is second and within range of Briggsdale for the top overall seed. Springfield is 15th with Kim/Branson on the bubble at #23.
- BLACK FOREST: Simla (5-0) is alone in first and can take a major step to winning the league crown by beating Elbert on Tuesday night. Simla leads the Bulldogs, Kiowa and ECA by one game in the loss column. They’ve already beaten the other two so another win over Elbert puts them in control. Simla is 20th in RPI but gets off the bubble and into regionals automatically with a league championship. They are the highest ranked team from the conference as ECA is next at #29 followed by Elbert (31st) and Kiowa (46th).
- FISHERS PEAK: This is a just three-team conference but the champion earns a spot in the regional tournament bracket. La Veta (10-4) is favored overall but they’re tied with Manzanola atop the league standings at 1-0. Those two play on October 22nd. La Veta is 17th overall in RPI and Manzanola is 59th.
- HIGH PLAINS: Cheraw (5-0) has clinched the league championship and a playoff berth. They’re 7th in RPI and in the running to host a regional tournament. That benefit goes to the top eight seeds. McClave (12th) and Kit Carson (16th) are also strong playoff contenders with Kit Carson winning that head-to-head matchup. Cheyenne Wells sits 25th in RPI and is squarely on the regional tournament bubble.
- NORTH CENTRAL: Briggsdale and Fleming have split their two regular season matchups so the Falcons and Wildcats should end up sharing the championship. They are also first and fifth in RPI so there’s an excellent chance both will host regional tournaments. Weldon Valley is 13th in RPI and will be a third league team in the regional bracket. Prairie (24th) could be a fourth team to get in.
- YWKC: Idalia (3-0) leads both Otis and Arickaree/Woodlin (both 2-1) by one game. The Wolves have beaten Otis and will host Arickaree/Woodlin on the 30th. Otis has the tiebreaker for second as they topped AW earlier this year. Idalia has climbed to 10th in RPI and a strong finish could get them in position to host a regional tournament. Otis is 21st in RPI and on the bubble right now. Arickaree/Woodlin is 30th and still within range of the top 24 and a postseason bid.
- SOUTHERN PEAKS: We rely on standings from MaxPreps and they have the 1A/2A Southern Peaks combined for one conference so it’s always difficult to get a read on where teams stand. Sangre De Cristo is favored but they could get tested by Antonito on Friday. They also play Sierra Grande on the 29th and recently those three teams are the strongest from the conference. Sangre is 22nd in RPI, Antonito 34th and Sierra Grande 45th so there’s a good chance that only the conference champion takes part in the regional tournament.
- OTHERS: Dove Creek leads the San Juan conference, Stratton shares the Union Pacific lead and Haxtun is second to Sedgwick County in the Lower Platte. We breakdown all three leagues in our 2A coverage. Haxtun is fourth in RPI and in great shape to play at home in the regional tournament. Stratton and Dove Creek are hoping to join the Bulldogs as they sit 8th and 9th in RPI respectively. The Eagles and Bulldogs have tough tests against 2A league rivals this week so those results could change the RPI order going into the final two weeks.
- BLACK FOREST: Calhan (9-6) has the best record overall but the Bulldogs are part of a four-way tie for the conference lead as they along with Peyton, Colorado Springs School and Fountain Valley all have one league loss. One will fall off the pace on Thursday when CSS visits Fountain Valley. Calhan and CSS collide on the 22nd and that one could eventually decide the league championship. CSS is 29th in RPI followed by Calhan at #30 so both are probably in the regional tournament. Fountain Valley is 40th and Peyton 52nd.
- SANTA FE: Fowler (11-0) is in complete control of the standings as they have a two-game edge on both Rye and Hoehne (two leagues loss). They’ve beaten both clubs but have a rematch with each later in the season. Fowler hosts Rye on Thursday and a win there clinches the league crown. The Grizzlies meet Hoehne again on the 21st. Fowler is 3rd in RPI and should host a regional tournament. Rye is 9th and would host a regional if the brackets were released this week. Their standing can improve even more with a win over Fowler this week. The league should also get several more teams into regionals as Hoehne is 15th in RPI, Crowley County 19th, John Mall 24th, Rocky Ford is 27th and Las Animas 32nd.
- LOWER PLATTE: Sedgwick County (6-0) took over sole possession of the conference lead with their four-set win over 1A Haxtun last week. Despite the loss, the Bulldogs have clinched second since they have a one game edge and a win over third place Wiggins (5-2). Sedgwick County has two league matches remaining and needs just one win to secure the crown. They meet Holyoke on the 26th and Caliche on the 29th. Wiggins has wrapped up third. Sedgwick County is atop the 2A RPI this week with Wiggins fourth so both will host regionals. Holyoke is 12th and in position to play at home as well. Akron and Yuma are #22 and #25 and should be in the regional field as well. Wray sits 31st and could use a few wins to boost their chances.
- SAN JUAN: 1A Dove Creek (7-0) leads Ignacio (8-1) and Dolores (6-1) by one game atop the standings. The Bulldogs have a win over Ignacio and will visit Dolores on Thursday. Dove Creek also meets Nucla on Saturday so wins in both will give them the championship. Ignacio has a win over Dolores so they own the tie-breaker over the Bears as well. Dove Creek is 9th in 1A RPI and in position to host a regional. Ignacio is also in good shape for a 2A host as the Bobcats are 7th in RPI. Dolores is 23rd and Mancos is 36th this week. Telluride also in contention at #39. Nucla sits 27th in 1A RPI and needs to get into the top 24 to earn a berth there.
- SOUTHERN PEAKS: Sargent scored a non-league win over Sanford last week so they may be the league favorite at this point. The two clubs meet again on Saturday and that one counts in the league standings. The winner could end up with the league title and improves their chance at hosting a regional. Sargent is 13th in RPI and four spots higher than Sanford (#17) this week. Del Norte (#35) and Monte Vista (#35) are both on the regional tournament bubble.
- UNION PACIFIC: 1A Stratton and Byers are both unbeaten in league play but they square off on Tuesday to break that tie. Stratton can clinch the league title with a win but Byers cannot as they still have an important league match with Limon on the schedule next week. As mentioned, Stratton is battling several teams for a top eight finish in 1A RPI; Byers meantime has climbed to 11th in the 2A standings. A win on Tuesday could push them higher and in better positioning to host a regional event. Limon is 18th in 2A RPI and Genoa Hugo is 14th in the 1A ranks.
- WEST CENTRAL: Custer County (3-0) has clinched the league championship and will make the regional bracket regardless of where they end up in RPI. That’s a good thing as the Bobcats are only 42nd in the current standings. Cotopaxi is 37th in 1A RPI and will likely be out of the postseason this year.
- WESTERN SLOPE: Meeker is unbeaten in league play and overall. The Cowboys are in great shape for the league championship as they lead both Soroco and West Grand by two games and have conference wins over both. They have three games on the schedule this week including a tough test with Olathe on Friday. West Grand has the tiebreaker over Soroco as they outlasted the Rams last Friday. Meeker is 2nd in RPI and will be home for the regional and Soroco (5th) should join them. Olathe is 14th and West Grand 16th in RPI with Plateau Valley 21st and Vail Christian 26th. Those four clubs should qualify for regionals with Rangely (#33) and Vail Mountain (#38) in contention. North Park is also 19th in 1A RPI and battling for a trip to regionals as well.
- MILE HIGH: Denver Christian (8-0) remains atop the conference by one game over Dayspring Christian (7-1). The Thunder have a league win over the Eagles so they’re closing in on another league championship. Union Colony and Lyons share third with two losses apiece but Lyons can create a three-way tie between the two and Dayspring if they upset the Eagles on Tuesday night. Denver Christian has a date with Lyons on the 29th. For RPI, Dayspring Christian is 6th and actually two spots higher than Denver Christian (#8). Both will probably host regionals and Union Colony Prep (#10) could be a third team to do so. Lyons is 28th and Heritage Christian #34. Gilpin County is 44th. In Class 1A, Longmont Christian is 28th but needs to reach the top 24 to qualify. Highland is trying to make the 3A bracket but the Huskies are #43 this week.
- OTHERS: Addenbrooke Academy competes in a 3A league but drops into the 2A division for the postseason and should be a regional qualifier. They are 20th in RPI this week. No other clubs competing in 3A conferences are in the top 50 of 2A RPI.