Polk County Middle School's Junie-May Mitchell

PCHS, PCMS teams gear up for final phase of regular season

Days are getting longer and warmer and May has almost arrived, which means the end of the spring sports season is approaching.

It’s hard to believe that the journey begun back in the chilly days of February is nearing its end. Only a couple of weeks remain in the middle school spring season, with the high school schedule likely to reach its end within the next 4-5 weeks.

With Polk County’s spring break wrapping up and student-athletes preparing to return to class and competition, here’s a look at where each sport stands at both Polk County High School and Polk County Middle School:

Baseball: In the Year Of The No-No for the Wolverines (Polk has three no-hitters), Polk has two games remaining, a home date Tuesday with Rugby and a trip to Brevard, date still to be determined.

The Wolverines (5-5) have clinched one of the Blue Ridge Conference’s East Division playoff spots and are battling to finish in the top two in the division and earn a first-round home game.

Girls Soccer: Polk Middle (6-4-1) has just one game remaining, Tuesday’s home game with Brevard Middle. The Wolverines appear to be in the top four and thus heading for the playoffs, though it appears Polk will begin the postseason on the road.

Softball: Polk Middle (2-8) roared into spring break with a five-inning rout of Flat Rock. The Wolverines have games remaining with Rugby and Brevard and would likely have to win both to have any shot at a playoff berth.

Baseball: Polk County currently sits in fourth place in the Mountain Foothills 7 race, the Wolverines at 8-7 overall, 4-4 in league play.

There still exists a path to earning one of the MF7’s two automatic playoff berths, but it’s a challenging one. Polk would need to sweep East Rutherford and Patton and hope that Chase loses three of its final four conference games. Two of those are with Patton, winless in league play, so that may be asking a bit much.

So Polk will need to hope for an at-large playoff berth. At present, Polk sits 21st in the 2A West RPI rankings. That would get the Wolverines into the postseason, so Polk needs to continue to pick up wins where possible. As long as the Wolverines stay in the top 30 in RPI, Polk should be dancing come postseason time.

Boys Golf: Polk County will tentatively wrap up its regular season on Monday, competing in an MF7 match at Cleghorn Golf and Sports Club. Polk looks likely to finish second in the conference standings, behind Chase.

That runner-up finish will earn the Wolverines a spot in the 2A West Regional, set for May 2 at Cleghorn. The top three teams at the regional will advance to the 2A state championship, set for May 9.

Girls Soccer: Polk’s girls will be busy over the next three weeks, with eight matches scheduled.

At 2-9-2 overall and 2-4-2 in conference matches, Polk isn’t in the running for either of the league’s two automatic playoff berths. The Wolverines also sit 45h in the RPI ratings and will need to go on a winning tear in order to have a shot at reaching the postseason.

Softball: Polk County returns from break with a Monday game at Landrum.

The Wolverines own a 7-8 overall record and, at 3-5, are tied for fourth in the MF7 race. Catching either East Rutherford or R-S Central for one of the league’s top two spots isn’t likely, so Polk will need a wildcard berth for the postseason.

Polk County currently sits 35th in the 2A West RPI (though Monroe, at 34th, doesn’t appear to be actively competing this season). It’s tough to see what the Wolverines need to do in order to move into the top 32, but head coach Phillip Miller and team will definitely be RPI-watching over the next three weeks.

Boys Tennis: Polk County will find out Monday if it earns a wild-card berth into the 2A West playoffs.

It appears that there will be 13 automatic berths in the 2A West bracket, which would leave three wild cards to be determined by overall winning percentage. Polk County finished its season with a 10-5 record.

A playoff berth would be a fitting finale for head coach Richard Davis, who is retiring at season’s end.

Polk’s Banks Barber, meanwhile, is set to begin play Friday in the 2A West Regional individual tournament at Gardner-Webb University. Play there will begin Friday afternoon.

Track and Field: Polk County has added a trip to this week’s Falcon Invitational, and that likely will be the Wolverines’ final regular-season meet before hosting the MF7 conference meet on May 4.

Polk will then turn its attention to the 2A West Regional on May 13 at East Burke High School.