From Press staff reports

Ocean City and St. Joseph high schools are the top seeds in South Jersey in their respective groups in the upcoming state field hockey playoffs.

The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association announced the seedings and first-round pairings Monday.

The South Jersey tournaments begin Wednesday with Group III first round games.

Ocean City (15-0), which is ranked third in The Press Elite 11, is the No. 1 seed in S.J. Group III. St. Joseph (18-0), ninth in the Elite 11, is the top seed in S.J.

Eighteen area teams will compete, including seven in Group III. Ocean City, St. Joseph, Southern Regional, Egg Harbor Township, Holy Spirit, Hammonton, Lacey Township, Mainland Regional and Millville each have first-round byes.

S.J. tournament matchups

(Games must be played no later than the days/dates posted. Dates for the finals were not announced.)

GROUP I

First round-Friday-(9) Clayton at (8) Pitman; (11) Woodbury at (6) Pennsville; (10) Lindenwold at (7) Gateway. Quarterfinals-Oct. 31-8/9 winner at (1) St. Joseph; (5) Salem at (4) Schalick; 6/11 winner at (3) Holy Spirit; 7/10 winner at (2) Glassboro.

Semifinals-Nov. 3.

GROUP II

First round-Saturday-(9) Barnegat at (8) Lower Cape May Regional; (12) Cedar Creek at (5) Buena Regional; (13) Medford Tech at (4) Woodstown; (11) Deptford Township at (6) Haddonfield; (10) Sterling at (7) Middle Township. Quarterfinals-Nov. 1-8/9 winner at (1) Collingswood; 5/12 winner vs. 4/13 winner; 6/11 winner at (3) Camden Catholic; 7/10 winner at (2) West Deptford.

Semifinals-Nov. 3.

GROUP III

First round-Wednesday-(9) Pinelands Regional at (8) Timber Creek; (11) Cumberland Regional at (6) Delsea Regional; (10) Winslow Township at (7) Oakcrest. Quarterfinals-Nov. 29-8/9 winner at (1) Ocean City; (5) Hammonton at (4) Mainland Regional; 6/11 winner at (3) Lacey Township; 7/10 winner at (2) Kingsway Regional. Semifinals-Nov. 2.

GROUP IV

First round-Thursday-(9) Cherokee at (8) Triton Regional; (10) Vineland at (7) Washington Township. Quarterfinals-Oct. 30-8/9 winner at (1) Eastern; (5) Millville at (4) Clearview Regional; (6) Egg Harbor Township at (3) Shawnee; 7/10 winner at (2) Southern Regional.

Semifinals-Nov. 2.