District football: Who gets in and who's out?
Week 10 is upon us folks, and in less than 24 hours a handful of area football teams will decide their District playoff fate. The stakes are sky high. A few teams will snag a coveted spot. Others, inevitably, will fall short.
I feel like I need a good motivational speech to get the blood flowing.
There we go.
Now, onto business. By my count, there are eight area teams that can count themselves on the District tournament bubble. Let's take a case-by-case look at those teams, after which I'll offer my predictions as to who gets in, and who's left out in the cold come next Friday.
CLASS AAA: Top 16 get in
William Penn (11th place, 670 points) -- I'll start by saying I'm picking against the Bearcats this weekend. Were William Penn completely healthy, that might be different. But after not scoring a point in ten quarters, I think it's hard to pick them against what should be a re-focused Central York team.
That said, let's look at the teams behind William Penn. Of the seven teams that could conceivably catch the Bearcats, I pick four to win. Those four would leapfrog William Penn - once again, IF it loses to Central - but that would still leave the Bearcats 15th in quad-A. Which makes for a tough District playoff game, but hey, once you're in, you never know.
Dallastown (12th place, 640 points) -- I'm taking the Wildcats to win their rivalry game with Red Lion. They're a perfect 4-0 at home this year, and that defense has been clicking lately. That said, these sort of intense rivalries are so hard to predict, so I'd stop short of guaranteeing a win.
If the Wildcats lose, they'd need quit a bit of help. But I'll guess that it doesn't get that far.
Spring Grove (15th place, 610 points) -- The Rockets are looking at an opponent (Dover) they should be able to handle. The winless Eagles won't provide many bonus points, but a victory should be enough to get Spring Grove in. Things would get hairy, however, if Red Lion were to beat Dallastown, in which case the Lions would bypass the Rockets.
Red Lion (18th place, 550 points) -- Even though Red Lion is on the outside looking, it basically controls its own destiny. A win, and the Lions leap over, at the very least, Spring Grove and Dallastown. But basically this comes down to the question of 'Will they beat Dallastown?' You could go either way with that pick. I'll lean toward the home team, but I wouldn't bet the house on it.
New Oxford (12th place, 720 points) -- The Colonials would have to pull a pretty heroic effort to topple South Western at the Corral. The good news is even with a loss and a 5-5 record, the Ox should be able to sneak its way into the District playoffs, unless Solanco pulls a huge upset against Cocalico.
In fact, if things fall the way I think they might, don't be surprised to see a New Oxford-West York matchup in the first round of the District playoffs.
Kennard-Dale (14th place, 700 points) -- A win against Susquehannock and the Rams are in. I don't see that being too much of a problem.
7. York Suburban (7th place, 820 points) -- A win against strugglers Biglerville won't give Trojans a ton of points, but it will get them into the District playoffs. This is still a team that could make some noise.
9. Bermudian Springs (9th place, 740 points) -- This one is interesting. The Eagles are facing 5-4 York Catholic - a solid squad, but one I think Bermudian will be able to handle.
From there, the Eagles need help to get in. Current No. 8 seed Wyomissing plays Pottsville, a 6-3 triple-A school. Sixth-seed Milton Hershey plays Trinity, which is 7-2 this year. Bermudian needs one of those schools to lose. Considering both are probably underdogs in their Week 10 matchup, I'll put my money on that happening.
So there you have it. I think seven of the eight teams I examined will get in. And no, that doesn't make me a homer (at least, I don't think it does). I just think the possible scenarios this week generally lean in the YAIAA teams' favor.
But we'll find out for real Friday night.