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Pitching with Pritch...Let the playoff madness begin PDF Print E-mail

By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS Activities Director

This is one of those things that I think isn’t right, but really don’t have an answer for, I have watched for years as the NSAA has tried a lot of different approaches and it seems no one likes what has happened, so maybe this is how it has to be but THERE ARE TOO MANY FOOTBALL TEAMS IN THE NEBRASKA HIGH SCHOOL PLAYOFFS!
There are 28 teams in Class A and 16 of them are in the playoffs.  Thirty-Two teams in Class B and 16 are in the playoffs.  Fifty teams in C1 with 32 in the playoffs, 51 in C2 with 32 in the playoffs and in D1 there are 56 teams with 32 in the playoffs and in D2 57 teams with 32 in the playoffs. There are 274 teams playing football and 160 of them are now preparing for the playoffs that start tonight (Thursday) and end up sometime close to Thanksgiving.
In Class A four of the 16 teams have losing records.  You could look at that and say really only three of them have losing records because Millard North at 4-5 had to forfeit a couple games for using an ineligible player and those wins would have got them to 6-3.  
Class B is the only grouping that doesn’t have a team at .500 or worse, but they have five of the 16 that are 5-4.  
In C1, 11 of the 32 have .500 seasons or worse. In C2, nine teams are .500 or worse and in D1 and D2, 17 of the playoff teams are .500 or worse.
I am not saying that one of those teams can’t win a State Championship, but I wouldn’t bet on any of them.  If I were to bet on one of them, it would be Millard North in Class A because they won four straight after they quit using some other team’s player as one of theirs.  
The NSAA does what the member schools vote to do and the voting has gone from letting everyone in the playoffs to the current system.  When everyone got in the playoffs, there were some really one sided games.  
The current system has not eliminated that completely and even if everyone was 7-1 doesn’t mean it can’t get ugly.  
I would be willing to bet that Bayard is just going nuts over getting in the state playoffs and traveling to play Hastings St. Cecilia.  
Maybe the Tigers will pull the upset, and maybe Doctor Tom will fire Bo and take over the coaching duties this week.  Don’t think either will happen.
Maybe the good thing is that many years from now when someone walks down the hallway of one of these schools they will see that “State Qualifier” plaque hanging on the wall and they can remember back when that school was one of the best 3-5 teams in the State.  The good thing is that they don’t put records on the plaques and you always get better with time!
The SPVA had five of the six teams get into the playoffs and only one of them was a .500 team so that is a good thing.  The conference had a pretty good year, but advancing out of the first round will be tough.  
There is one sure thing, there will be one SPVA group moving on because Chase County and Perkins County get to play each other again.  This time the home team will be Perkins County and they get to play at Haenfler Field.
Come and support the Plainsmen, The coaches and players will welcome your support.