Welcome to the first installment of PrepSoccer’s playoff preview for Richmond, VA area high schools. We will be starting with the boys in Region 6A West. This region is split between Class 6 schools near Richmond (West) and in the…
Welcome to the first installment of PrepSoccer’s playoff preview for Richmond, VA area high schools. We will be starting with the boys in Region 6A West. This region is split between Class 6 schools near Richmond (West) and in the Tidewater (East) area. James River are the defending Region 6A champs.
As with every region, both teams that reach the region final in 2023 will punch a ticket to the state tournament quarterfinals, with the winner earning a home game.
Kellam are the 1 seed in the East and favorites to make the Region 6A title game, with Landstown and Ocean Lakes as the other contenders. Let’s take a closer look at the teams on the West side of the region.
Cosby just finished a perfect regular season with an exclamatory 8-0 win at Powhatan. The 16-0 Titans have wins over James River (2), Midlothian (2), Deep Run, and Thomas Dale this season. Cosby finished first in the Dominion District. When asked about how he can manage to keep this talented group focused, head coach Mike Anderson said the key is to block out the noise. “We have insisted on not talking about season record, rankings, or outside expectations. This group has done a great job of keeping focus and simply trying to play the way we prefer.” With a +44 goal differential on the season, the outside expectations are very high. The Titans have quality all over the pitch. Parker Brooks Parker Brooks GK VA has been great in goal, Ryan Londeree Ryan Londeree M VA and Tyler Johnson have led the back line, and Evan Gaines has been critical to the midfield. Cosby will open the Region 6A tournament with a home game on 5/26 against the winner of Manchester v. Franklin County.
Cosby Player to Watch (P2W) – Senior Forward and Hampden-Sydney commit, Ka’eo Gonsalves, has been a thorn in the side of every defender he has come up against this season. His relentless work rate and elite balance make up for the size discrepancy he faces most nights. Attacking players Javi Catedral and Jesus Hernandez also help to keep opposing defenses off balance.
Under new head coach, Matt Szucs, the James River Rapids finished 11-4. The Rapids split two series this season with Midlothian and Clover Hill. Their only other losses came at the hands of Cosby. This team is one to keep an eye on, as they have the skill to make a tournament run. James River will begin the region tournament at home against Thomas Dale. River beat Dale 4-0 in their only meeting this season.
James River P2W – Sophomore midfielder Lucas Spiegel seems to be the straw that stirs the drink on any team he is a part of. The Grove Academy product will need to play well for the Rapids to make some noise in the playoffs.
The Thomas Dale Knights finished the season 10-5-1. Unlike Cosby, James River, and Manchester, the Knights play in the Central District. Dale’s top wins were over Manchester, Colonial Heights, and Prince George this season. The Knights look to give River a tough test on 5/26.
The season started poorly for Manchester (5-10-1), losing their first six contests. After winning three of their last four to close the regular season, head coach Ryan Johnston is looking forward to the playoffs. The Lancers most notable results of the season were a win against Powhatan, a tie against Thomas Dale, and a five-goal win over Wythe. Manchester also took Cosby down to the wire the second time they met, before losing in overtime. Johnston hopes the momentum the Lancers have found late can propel them to another shot at Cosby. In order to get that chance, Manchester will need more of what they have gotten lately from attackers Luis Hidalgo and James Blalock. Manchester opens up the playoffs at Franklin County. The winner will travel to Cosby in the regional quarterfinal.
Manchester P2W – Junior defender Isaac Torres has been crucial for the Lancers this season. Torres covers the field in what seems to be third gear, turning it up when needed to cut out a pass or track down a would-be goal scorer. He has the ability to create space to make sure he finds the right pass up the field. Isaac has also been great in the air, scoring headed goals when coming up to join the attack and defending set pieces.
It seems everyone has been waiting to see Kellam vs Cosby, we will see if we get to soon enough. Good luck to all the boys in the Region 6A playoffs!