There’s another hurricane heading our way, with forecasts calling for heavy rain from Hurricane Delta to arrive in our general area sometime Friday night. For that reason several teams (Handley, RCHS, Ranburne) will be playing on Thursday to stay ahead of the weather.

As we know, what the forecast is now and what will actually happen can change over the next couple of days.

The same can be said about the playoff picture in the county and beyond at this point of the season. You can kind of see the general direction that things are going for our six local teams, but there’s still enough uncertainty that making an exact, accurate prediction right now is difficult.

With that in mind here’s a first look at where all six teams stand and the playoff possibilities for each one.

Central

Current forecast: Region championship

With wins this week over Holtville and two weeks from now against Tallassee, outcomes that seem very likely, Central will win the 5A, Region 4 title. The only surprise about that is that it will be the Vols first region championship under coach Danny Horn. Central finished second each of the past two seasons.

Handley

Current forecast: Region championship

Handley’s etch-a-sketch schedule has actually played to its favor in terms of its region standing. The Tigers got a win against Jacksonville without playing them and can take another major step toward the region title Thursday against fellow front-runner Cherokee County. A win in that game would leave Handley in need of wins over Anniston and White Plains (combined region record of 1-6) to claim the No. 1 spot.

RCHS

Current forecast: Top two in region

Just as everyone suspected at the start of the season, the Tigers are on a collision course with Lanett next week to decide the region championship. The winner of that game will win the region. The loser will almost certainly finish second. In fact, there’s a pretty clear-cut top four of Lanett, RCHS, B.B. Comer and LaFayette in this region and it doesn’t seem likely that anyone outside of that top four will be able to crash the party, including…

Ranburne

Current forecast: Out of playoffs

Friday against LaFayette was probably Ranburne’s last, best hope to get into that top four. They fell short by a touchdown and now would need a huge upset against Lanett or for LaFayette to lose two of its last three region games in order to reach the postseason. Those things just don’t seem very likely, which means Ranburne will likely be sitting home for the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Woodland

Current forecast: Top two in region

Woodland will be 3-1 in the region after Friday’s homecoming win over Talladega Central. (It hasn’t happened yet, but it will.) Unlike most other regions, there just isn’t a clear-cut pecking order here. So it’s hard to forecast how things will play out. But if Woodland wins out the Bobcats will at the very least finish in a three-way tie for first with Winterboro and Ragland, a scenario in which tiebreakers would almost definitely put Woodland in the top two. But if Ragland slips up in any of its final three region games – a possibility with Victory Christian and Wadley in that group – then Woodland would control its own destiny for the top spot.

Wadley

Current forecast: In playoffs as a four seed

If Wadley wins this week and next the Bulldogs would most likely finish as the three seed in the region, but even if they split they’ll most likely get the No. 4 spot at 3-3 in region play. But there’s still just too much unpredictability in the remaining three weeks of region play to have a real good idea of how this will play out.

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