The playoff brackets have been released. The guessing is over. Now it’s time to get ready for the postseason.
Nine area football teams found out where they were seeded when the Sac-Joaquin Section office released the playoff brackets on Sunday afternoon.
Buhach Colony (10-0), Hilmar (9-1) and Mariposa (6-4) all received first-round byes in their respective divisions.
The Thunder earned the No. 3 seed in Division III and will host the winner of Roseville and Johnson on Nov. 15. Hilmar is the No. 2 seed in Division VI as the Yellowjackets try to defend their section and state championships. The Yellowjackets will host the Bear River-Highlands winner on Nov. 15.
Mariposa is the No. 2 seed in the six-team Division VII bracket and the Grizzlies will face the winner of Woodland Christian and Vacaville Christian.
Atwater, Merced and Golden Valley make up three of the 12 teams in the Division IV field.
With Manteca and Placer winning Division III leagues, both teams were moved up from DIV to DIII. That bumped Atwater down to Division IV.
Instead of opening on the road in Division III, Atwater (7-3) is the No. 5 seed and will host No. 12 Kimball (5-5).
The Falcons are trying to bounce back from a tough 14-13 loss to Buhach Colony in Friday’s Bloss Bowl XIV. The big question will be if Falcons quarterback Julius Peacock’s hamstring can heal in time. The junior left Friday’s game in the third quarter.
It’s the Falcons first playoff appearance since 2013.
Merced (5-5) is the No. 6 seed and will host Western Athletic Conference champions Beyer (7-3). The Bears have won four of their last six games after a 1-3 start. It’s the Bears third straight playoff appearance.
Golden Valley (4-6) is the No. 13 seed and will open at No. 4 Sierra (7-3).
The Cougars finished the season banged up with Jabari Phillips, Avery Townsel and Ryan Nunes all sidelined.
“I’m hoping we might have at least a couple of them back,” GV coach Rick Martinez said. “We’ve got a couple doctor appointments. I should know more tomorrow where we’re at and who we’ll have.”
Los Banos (5-5) and Livingston (6-4) are both starting on the road in Division V. The Tigers will travel to No. 5 Woodland (7-3). The Wolves are seeded No. 11 and will face No. 6 Rosemont (8-2).
Joining Mariposa in the Division VII field is No. 4 Le Grand (5-5). The Bulldogs will host No. 5 Big Valley Christian (6-4). Le Grand defeated the Lions 41-28 on Sept. 6.
All games on Friday will start at 7 p.m.
In the Central Section, Dos Palos (1-0) is the No. 3 seed in Division V. The Broncos will host No. 14 Liberty (4-6) in the first round on Friday.
Shawn Jansen: 209-385-2462, @MSSsports