“We lost three good pitchers, and we are still trying to sort things out,” said Bradley.
The Knights (2-6) have played each of the other county teams, as well as Calhoun and Rockmart, but those games won’t be a factor in whether or not they make the Class AAAA state playoffs for the second straight year.
River Ridge has a luxury the other teams in Cherokee County don’t have. The Knights won’t play their first Region 7AAAA game for another week.
“We don’t open region until March 18,” Bradley said. “It gives us a little more time than some other regions.”
In order to prepare for the upcoming region slate, the Knights will face Sonoraville and North Springs this week. They then open 7AAAA play with a three-game series against Cedartown, followed by a similar series with Gilmer.
Because of the number of teams, 7AAAA is divided into subregions. River Ridge will play three-game series with each of the other teams in its subregion, but it will not face a team from the other subregion until the region playoffs at the end of April. Along with Cedartown and Gilmer, Cass and Pickens are also in the Knights’ subregion.
“I think we have a pretty good shot of going back to the state playoffs,” Bradley said. “I think we will match up well against the region.”
Creekview and Sequoyah are more than a week into their Region 7AAAAA schedules, which follow a format of each team playing one another once before cycling through the schedule a second time.
Creekview (6-2, 3-0) posted victories over Osborne and Northview before squeaking out a 7-6 win against Northview. It will travel to Cambridge tonight before hosting Kell on Friday.
The Grizzlies have games with Sprayberry, North Springs, Forsyth Central, Pope and Sequoyah on the calendar before it begins its second swing through the region.
Sequoyah (7-3, 4-0) has also positioned itself well in the region. While the Chiefs lost to the Grizzlies on March 1, that neutral-site game at Kennesaw State did not count in the region standings, leaving Sequoyah atop the standings.
The Chiefs, who have wins over Riverwood, Northview, Cambridge and Kell, will travel to Sprayberry today before hosting North Springs on Friday.
Cherokee, Etowah and Woodstock will begin Region 5AAAAAA play within the next week.
Cherokee (4-5) has seen mixed results thus far. The Warriors strung together wins over River Ridge and Campbell before losing back-to-back games against Harrison and North Cobb.
The Warriors play at West Forsyth today in their final non-region game. They begin region play Monday when they host Wheeler in the opener of a two-game series.
Woodstock (4-2) is making the most of its final week of non-region play, going to North Forsyth today and hosting Grady on Friday. The Wolverines open their region schedule Monday at Walton before hosting the Raiders two days later.
Etowah has the best record of any team in Region 5AAAAAA, but it won’t mean a thing next week when the Eagles play last year’s Class AAAAAA state runner-up, Roswell.
coach Greg Robinson is excited about the region and thinks his team has a shot at earning one of the four playoff berths.
After the opening series with Roswell, the Eagles will face archrival Woodstock.
Over the next month, all of the teams in the state will complete region play and qualify for the state playoffs — or as Creekview coach Mike Nayman says, the “third season.”
“We have the first season, which is right now,” Nayman said. “Then we have region, which is the second season, because without that you can’t make it to the playoffs, or the third season really.”