The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 25, 2011

Todd Stanford On high school soccer: Predictions for District 4 playoffs

By Todd Stanford
The Daily Item

— Hard to believe, but the playoffs are upon us.

Beginning today and continuing through next Thursday (assuming there are no weather-related delays) a total of 39 teams spread throughout four tournaments will compete not just for championships, but also for a total of eight berths in the state playoffs.

If you're a fan of District 4 soccer, come check out the games and you may just see a team destined for greatness: In four of the last five years, a District 4 team has won a state championship, all on the girls side: South Williamsport in 2006 (AA), Montoursville in 2008 (AA), Loyalsock in 2009 (AA), and Warrior Run last year (Class A).

NITTANY LIONS VISIT EMMITT FIELD: Lewisburg grad and 2010 Daily Item Co-Player of the Year Owen Griffith returns to his hometown Wednesday night as Penn State visits Bucknell for a nonleague clash. Griffith has played in every game for Penn State (7-7-2), starting in nearly half of them.

PREDICTIONS: Time for my time-honored predictions for the playoffs. Please feel free to disagree. (I know many of you will.)


Class A

Teams in the field: 11

Top seed: East Juniata

Lowest seed: Wellsboro

2010 champion: Loyalsock

Who goes to states: The top three finishers

Predicted winner: Warrior Run

Runner-up: Loyalsock

Dark horse: Mount Carmel

Interesting stuff you should know: In the last two years of this tournament, the two teams that made the final met two weeks later in the state semifinals — and both times the district runner-up got revenge and advanced to the state title game. ... East Juniata is the fourth different team to get the No. 1 seed in this tournament in the last four years. ... Mount Carmel senior forward Ranotta Ahrensfield has 91 career goals.

Class AA

Teams in the field: 8

Top seed: Troy

Lowest seed: Midd-West

2010 champion: Midd-West

Who goes to states: The two finalists

Predicted winner: Montoursville

Runner-up: Danville

Dark horse: Midd-West

Interesting stuff you should know: The eight teams in the field are the exact same eight who made it last year. In fact, two of the quarterfinal matchups are rematches from last year's quarterfinals: Montoursville/Lewisburg and Athens/CMVT. ... Montoursville is the Heartland Athletic Conference Division I champion. But no team has pulled the "double" — winning their league title and this tournament in the same year — since Shikellamy in 2006. ... Danville has been the runner-up in this tournament the past two years. ... Three teams in this field are currently ranked in the top 10 in the state among small-school programs. They are Danville at No. 4, Montoursville at No. 6 and Selinsgrove at No. 9.


Class A

Teams in the field: 13

Top seed: East Juniata

Lowest seed: Benton

2010 champion: East Juniata

Who goes to states: The two finalists

Predicted winner: East Juniata

Runner-up: Bloomsburg

Dark horse: Sayre

Interesting stuff you should know: East Juniata is gunning for its third straight district championship. ... Five different leagues are represented in this field (Tri-Valley League, Heartland Athletic Conference Division II, Heartland Athletic Conference Division III, Northern Tier League and Schuylkill League). ... Only four teams in the field have ever won a district championship, and two of them (Warrior Run and Benton) meet in the first round.

Class AA

Teams in the field: 7

Top seed: Central Columbia

Lowest seed: Montoursville

2010 champion: Lewisburg

Who goes to states: The champion

Predicted winner: Danville

Runner-up: Central Columbia

Dark horse: Selinsgrove

Interesting stuff you should know: Top seed Central Columbia last played in a district final in 2002. ... Lewisburg is gunning for its sixth district crown in the last eight years. ... The top half of the bracket (Central, Athens and Troy) has zero district titles; the bottom half (Danville, Montoursville, Lewisburg and Selinsgrove) have a combined 19 district titles.

— Sports reporter Todd Stanford covers high school soccer for The Daily Item. E-mail comments to You can also follow him on Twitter at