Cooke was surprised because his is the only squad of the top-5 seeds in his division not to get a first-round bye. Cooke thought his team, which doesn't play in a league, is being penalized.
"We played such a tough schedule on purpose to get that respect," Cooke said. "I don't know why being in a league is better than freelance."
Joining the Wildcats in the playoffs will be the Tornadoes, who are coming off of a second-place Pacific League finish.
Twelfth-seeded Hoover (19- 7) will go on the road to take on the Miramonte League's runner-up, Charter Oak (13-15) in a Div. IIAA first-round matchup on Friday.
Much like the Wildcats, the Tornadoes were caught off-guard by having to start with a road game. However, the team is far from concerned with playing away from home.
"It doesn't make a difference," Hoover Coach Vigen Jilizian said. "We like playing out there on the road. We've just got to go out and play."
The final team in the playoff picture is Crescenta Valley. After failing to finish in the top four of the Pacific League, the Falcons (12-15) petitioned for an at-large bid and received it. They will battle Don Lugo (11- 17), the Mt. Baldy League's third-place finisher, in a Div. II-AA wildcard game on Wednesday. The winner will advance to take on fourth-seeded Temecula Valley in the first round on Friday.
The Falcons are happy to just be in the playoffs, being that their playoff hopes came down to the final regular-season win against Arcadia.
"We're really excited," Crescenta Valley Coach Shawn Zargarian said. "It's a nice reward for the kids to get in the postseason.
"I'm just happy to be playing."