A meeting was held Thursday night to determine seeding for the 3A South Region field hockey tournament. The Southern Maryland Athletic Conference's top four teams -- Northern, Great Mills, Leonardtown and La Plata -- were selected by their minimum nine-game regular season records and will host quarterfinal games against lower-seeded teams on Thursday.
The six other 3A teams that compose the SMAC were randomly selected through a bingo-style drawing complete with ping-pong balls with team names that were drawn from a container. Lackey, the lone 2A team in the SMAC, will play second-seeded Centennial on Thursday in the 2A South Region tournament.
Thomas Stone and Patuxent received byes as the fifth and sixth seeds, respectively. The only tournament games played Tuesday will be Chopticon at McDonough and Westlake at Calvert.
Cancellations because of rain and the sniper shootings have forced almost every SMAC team to squeeze in as many as three games before Monday's deadline for regular season games. The region drawing also made some coaches, such as Great Mills's Michelle Richmond, relieved to have a few days off.
"The way our schedule works with us having to play Saturday and Monday, I did not want them to be back-to-back," said Richmond, whose team beat Westlake, 1-0, on Thursday. "I wish we could have played everyone on our schedule, but one of my goals was to be one of the top four seeds."
Lackey will play host to Chopticon on Monday, and Chopticon Coach Anne Vallandingham said that with all that has kept her team off the field for practice and games, a bye would not be a favorable situation.
"We like to play, we don't like to sit around," said Vallandingham. The Braves lost, 2-1, to McDonough, their tournament opponent Tuesday, in the regular season. "I think the more we play the better it will be for us."
Thomas Stone Coach Lauren Long was surprised to learn her team would travel to fourth-seeded La Plata in the quarterfinals on Thursday. She said her team wanted a rematch with the Warriors since they lost, 4-1, early in the season.
"I know the girls will be shocked when I tell them at practice," Long said Thursday night. "I'm really excited to get a chance to play La Plata because the girls thought they didn't play to their potential. I think the bye will give us more time to prepare."
Northern Coach Jen Shoup was hard at work before the Patriots' game against Leonardtown on Friday, lining the field and pouring sand and cat litter into muddy potholes to repair rain damage. Northern got in its ninth game with a 10-0 victory over Lackey last Tuesday and played games on Friday and Saturday.
"I'm hoping we'll be able to pull off a home-field advantage this year," Shoup said. "I'm excited because I've worked out some scenarios with the brackets in which, if everything goes well, we could be hosting the final."