A year after being snubbed for a first-round playoff game by the NJSIAA seeding committee – despite all three mathematical categories (power points, OSI, UPR) ranking them higher – unbeaten St. Thomas Aquinas will get to play at home in the upcoming Non-Public Group B playoffs, as the seeds were released by the state athletic association late Sunday morning.
St. Joseph of Metuchen, meanwhile, earned its first playoff home game since 2019.
St. Thomas (9-0) got the second-seed overall in a six-team Non-Public B field, with numerous schools not opting into the playoffs in that section. The Trojans – who had a bye this weekend and last played October 20th, a 48-8 win over Edison – will be off again this week, and await the winner of 6th-seed St. Mary-Rutherford and 3rd-seed DePaul. They will host a sectional semifinal game on Friday, November 10th.
Red Bank Catholic got the top seed, and the other bye, and will play the winner of 5-seed Immaculata and 4-seed Holy Spirit, STA’s first-round opponent on the road last year.
The Falcons (7-2) are the 6th-seed in Non-Public Group A, where the top three seeds got byes in a 13-team bracket. St. Joe’s will host 11th-seed Seton Hall Prep (3-6) next Saturday at Brenner Family Field in Metuchen.
St. Joe’s will be seeking its first playoff win in school history. The program only played its first varsity season in 2011, and since has had six playoff appearances, losing in the first round each time, but often to powerhouses like Paramus Catholic (when they were a behemoth) or St. Augustine.
The Pirates have one win over a team with a winning record this year: Irvington, which is 6-3 and won its opening round playoff game this weekend. Their other two wins came over Paramus Catholic (3-7) and St. Peter’s Prep (1-8).
The winner goes on to visit 3rd-seed St. Joe’s-Montvale the following weekend.
Below are the full brackets for the Non-Public A & B Sections:
#9 Notre Dame at #8 DePaul, winner at #1 Bergen Catholic
#13 Paramus Catholic at #4 Donovan Catholic
#12 St. Peter’s Prep at #5 St. Augustine
#11 Seton Hall Prep at #6 St. Joseph-Metuchen, winner at #3 St. Joseph-Montvale
#10 Don Bosco Prep at #7 Pope John, winner at #2 Delbarton
#5 Immaculata at #4 Holy Spirit, winner at #1 Red Bank Catholic
#6 St. Mary at #3 DePaul, winner at #2 St. Thomas Aquinas