Editor’s note: The North Buncombe BlackHawks have made it to the playoffs for the first time in several years. Congratulations to the team. The following article was written before their fate was known.
By Lance Hickey
NBHS – Following North Buncombe football’s loss to Asheville in the last regular season game, the BlackHawks will now have to wait to find out its playoff fate.
“Asheville is a very talented team,” said head coach Brandon Allen. “They have done some really good things to take advantage of their team speed and put us in a bind defensively. I felt our young men played hard and gave us a chance to win at the end of the game. I’m very proud of our players,” he said.
While putting forth a spirited effort at home against Asheville on Thursday, the BlackHawks would go on to lose 28-19 against a talented and athletic Cougar team. North Buncombe now falls to 6-5 fro the season and 4-4 in conference play.
The question now remains whether the BlackHawks’ memorable season will turn into an opportunity for a playoff run. If North Buncombe is able to clinch a playoff spot, it would be the team’s first time it has participated in the postseason in nearly five years.
“We are uncertain about the playoffs, but I do feel like we have done enough to get in,” Allen said.
North Buncombe will need to rely on other schools in order for the BlackHawks to have an opportunity at a playoff run. North Buncombe will have a bye this week and therefore will not have the opportunity to build on its record on the last week of the season.
“It all comes down to everyone else’s overall record and the numbers once the last week has been played,” Allen said. “We will not know anything for certain until the following weekend.”
The BlackHawks’ six wins, while a tremendous next step for the Allen-led program, puts them in uncertain territory as teams have made the NCHSAA playoffs with the same win total, but others have not been as fortunate.
“Six wins is a ‘who knows,’ because West Henderson was 6-5 last year and they got snubbed and they didn’t make it in,” said Allen. “We don’t know whether we’re in or out.”
The BlackHawks will find out their playoff fate by November 10. The first round of NCHSAA the playoffs will begin on November 16. The playoffs include three rounds, regionals and the state championships, which will take place on December 14 and 15. If North Buncombe does make the playoffs, the matchup will likely take place on the road.