Undefeated Wayzata, one-loss teams Champlin Park and Lakeville South, and Totino-Grace were awarded the four No. 1 seeds in the Class 6A state football tournament bracket released Thursday morning.
Wayzata, expected to be seeded No. 1 in Section 6, posted an 8-0 record and is the only undefeated team in Class 6A. Champlin Park (7-1) earned the top spot in Section 5 as the only one-loss team in its section. That same rationale held true as well for Lakeville South (7-1) in Section 3.
As for Totino-Grace in Section 4, the Eagles and Mounds View both finished the regular season with 6-2 records. Section coaches voted to award the top spot to Totino-Grace largely on the strength of the Eagles' losses to fellow No. 1 seeds Lakeville South and Champlin Park by a combined eight points.
While Wayzata had the best record, Champlin Park was the lucky recipient of the first-round bye in the 31-team field.
Here's how the brackets were determined: After all four sections seeded their teams, the teams were slotted into six different predetermined brackets. The bracket that became the official state tournament bracket was then selected through a random draw.
Class 6A was originally formatted as a 32-team field, but that was changed to 31 teams when Coon Rapids petitioned to drop to Class 5A after the 2016 season.
In 2017, Cretin-Derham Hall got a first-round bye and advanced to the 6A semifinals, where the Raiders lost to Minnetonka 17-14. Last year, the bye went to Eden Prairie, which fell to Lakeville North in the state final.
Lakeville North (7-1) and Eden Prairie (6-2) earned No. 2 seeds, as did Mounds View (6-2) and Centennial (6-2). No. 3 seeds went to Woodbury (5-3), Rosemount (5-3), St. Michael-Albertville (5-3) and Edina (4-4).
If any team might have a gripe about seeding, consider East Ridge. The Raptors (5-3) were seeded No. 4 in Section 4, the only No. 4 seed with a record above .500. The other No. 4 seeds are Maple Grove (4-4), Prior Lake (4-4) and Shakopee (3-5). The Raptors' low seed is a result of the strength of its section. Woodbury also finished the season with a 5-3 record, but the Royals won the head-to-head matchup between the teams 21-10 on Oct. 4.
Hopkins posted a 6-2 record but picked up a No. 7 seed in Section 6 and will play at Lakeville North in the first round. The Royals' seemingly low seed is because of their regular-season schedule, which consisted of seven games against Class 5A teams. The only game they played against a 6A team was a 14-6 victory at Forest Lake on Sept. 13.
The first round of the Class 6A playoffs will take place on Friday of next week.
Other No. 1 seeds
Class 5A: Defending state champion Owatonna (Section 1), Chaska (2), St. Thomas Academy (3), Tartan (4), Spring Lake Park (5), Armstrong (6), Coon Rapids (7) and Bemidji (8).
Class 4A: Winona (Section 1), Hutchinson (2), Simley (3), Fridley (4), Benilde-St. Margaret's (5), Cloquet (7) and Detroit Lakes (8). Section 6 has not officially announced its seeds, but Becker and Zimmerman each posted 7-1 records.
Class 3A: Glencoe-Silver Lake was seeded No. 1 in Section 2. Sections 4 and 5 had not released official seedings, but Breck is expected to be the No. 1 seed in Section 4 and Annandale in Section 5 because of higher QRF (quality results formula) ratings.
Class 2A: Minneapolis North (8-0) was seeded No. 1 in Section 4.
The playoffs for all classes other than 6A begin Tuesday.