The road to a state title is clearer now for area soccer teams.
The Florida High School Athletic Association released the regional brackets on YouTube Live on Friday, with tournaments set to begin next week.
The Class 2A-4A tournaments will start on Tuesday with regional quarterfinals. The Class 5A-7A tournaments will begin the following week, Feb. 13, for those quarterfinal rounds.
State tournaments for 2A-4A are Feb. 20-24 in Auburndale, while Class 5A-7A state tournaments are Feb. 27 through March 2 in DeLand.
Escambia and Santa Rosa counties will have nine teams in the regional quarterfinals, with three of those teams hosting the quarterfinals.
Here’s a look at the regional tournaments for area teams.
Someone was bound to get into the regional tournament with District 1-6A comprised of all local teams. Navarre wound up winning the district title over Pace this past week and earned the No. 3 seed in the region.
This is the first regional tournament for the Raiders since 2022. Navarre will host No. 6 Nease (Ponte Vedra). The Panthers, ranked 42nd overall in the state and 11th in Class 6A in the latest rankings, lost to Ponte Vedra – the No. 1 team in the state – in the District 3-6A championship.
Pace, the runner-up in District 1-6A, earned an at-large bid as the No. 5 seed in the tournament. It’s the Patriots first run in the regional tournament since 2014. Pace will travel to No. 4 Chiles, which lost to Niceville in the District 2-6A title game.
Chiles, ranked 28th in the state, beat Pace, 5-1, in December during the regular season.
And speaking of Ponte Vedra, the Sharks will host defending state champion Gulf Breeze, which picked up the No. 8 seed in the tournament. The Dolphins have a tough task ahead of them in the quarterfinals.
It won’t be the first meeting between the two teams this season, however. Ponte Vedra won, 4-0, on Nov. 11 against Gulf Breeze.
Outlook: the winner of the Ponte Vedra-Gulf Breeze game will play the winner of the Chiles-Pace contest. While the winner of the Navarre-Nease game will place the victor of the No. 2 Niceville and No. 7 Springstead matchup.
West Florida, despite falling in the District 1-4A championship to South Walton, 7-3, earned an at-large bid into the regional tournament.
The Jaguars earned the No. 6 seed, which means they will travel to No. 3 Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) in the quarterfinals.
Outlook: Whichever teams win the West Florida-Bishop Kenny game will play the winner of the No. 2 Stanton-No. 7 Santa Fe contest.
Pensacola Catholic also earned an at-large bid into the regional tournament after falling to North Bay Haven Academy in the championship game.
The Crusaders, the No. 7 seed of the tournament, will travel to No. 2 Florida State University High School for the quarterfinals.
Outlook: The winner between Pensacola Catholic-Florida High will move onto the semifinals to play the winner of No. 3 Episcopal School of Jacksonville and No. 6 Wolfson.
Tate earned the automatic bid into the regional tournament with the District 1-6A championship, knocking off Navarre in the title game.
With the win, the Aggies earned the No. 5 seed in the tournament. Despite being the lower seed, Tate will host No. 4 Buchholz (Gainesville) in the quarterfinals, since the Aggies are district champions and Buchholz is an at-large bid.
Also in the Region 1-6A tournament will be Gulf Breeze, as the No. 2 seed, which was knocked out in the semifinals of the District 1-6A tournament against Navarre in penalty kicks. The Dolphins travel to No. 7 Nease – the District 3 champion – for the quarterfinals.
Gulf Breeze is still ranked No. 13 in the state, and will look to snap a four-game losing skid as it enters regional play.
Outlook: The winner of the Tate-Buchholz game will go against the winner of the No. 1 Niceville-No. 8 Forest (Ocala) quarterfinal game. Niceville is ranked third in the state. The Gulf Breeze-Nease winner will play against the victor of the No. 3 Chiles-No.6 Fleming Island.
Booker T. Washington had a big penalty kick shootout victory over the then-No. 1 team in the state, Arnold, to secure the District 1-5A championship.
While the Marlins remain the No. 1 seed in the tournament and are now No. 2 in the state, Booker T. earned the No. 2 seed and will host Clay (Green Cove Springs) in the quarterfinals.
The Wildcats made a run to the state semifinals in 2023, and have – as long as they keep winning – more home games to utilize compared to last year.
Outlook: The winner of the Booker T. Washington-Clay game will face the winner of the No. 3 Fort Walton Beach-No. 6 Beachside (St. Johns) game.
Remember Bishop Kenny from earlier?
Well, the West Florida boys soccer team is also going to Jacksonville for the regional quarterfinals. The Jaguars earned the No. 5 seed in the tournament after falling to Bay in the District 1-4A championship. Bishop Kenny is the No. 4 seed in the Region 1-4A tournament.
Outlook: The winner of West Florida-Bishop Kenny will advance to play No. 1 Bay or No. 8 Wakulla, depending on the outcome of that contest.