With just two games remaining in the prep football season, the playoff picture is beginning to come into focus and the results are positive for teams in Manitowoc County.
Of the eight schools in the county, a trip to the post season is within reach for six with only Kiel (2-5, 1-4 Eastern Wisconsin Conference) and Valders (0-7, 0-5 Olympian-Packerland Large) already eliminated from contention.
According to Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association rules, teams with a winning record in conference, with a minimum of five league games, are guaranteed a playoff berth. This rule puts both Two Rivers (6-1, 4-1 EWC) and Roncalli (7-0, 5-0 OP Large) automatically in at this point in the season and has three more knocking on the door.
Manitowoc Lincoln (4-3, 4-2 Fox River Classic Conference), Reedsville (6-1, 3-1 Olympian-Packerland Small) and Manitowoc Lutheran (4-3, 3-1 OP Small) all stand one win away from automatic qualification. Most, if not all, teams that finish at .500 are expected to also qualify.
In these teams’ favor is a remaining meeting against a foe without a conference win. The Ships host Green Bay West (0-7, 0-6 FRCC) on Friday while the Panthers and Lancers each play St. Mary Central (1-6, 0-4 OP Small) at home Oct. 18 and away on Friday, respectively.
Should all three squads drop their final pair of games, the playoffs are still not lost. Teams with a .500 record in conference become playoff-eligible according to WIAA rules meaning Lincoln, Lutheran and Reedsville are likely to receive a postseason bid even without an extra win.
The other area team with a chance to become playoff-eligible is Mishicot (2-5, 2-3 OP Small), which faces Oconto (3-4, 2-2 OP Small) on Friday in a must-win matchup. It is the final conference game for the Indians; they play Port Edwards in a non-conference clash to end their regular season.
(Week 7 results)
1. Roncalli (7-0) — def. Chilton 21-7
2. Two Rivers (6-1) — def. Sheb. Falls 36-14
3. Lincoln (4-3) — def. Sheb. South 21-17
4. Reedsville (6-1) — lost to Man. Luth. 12-6