MANSFIELD — As incredible as it sounds, especially since the temperatures are still in the 80s during the day, but high school football season is rounding the corner this weekend.
Week 5 is upon us, which means after Friday there are just five more games left in the regular season.
While there’s still plenty of football to be played, it should be pointed out that if the playoffs were to start today, eight area teams would make the postseason. Four more are just outside the top eight in their region and have time to vault into a playoff spot.
So far, Lucas, in Region 24 of Division VII, sits the best. The Cubs are second in their region with a 4-0 record, and have chances at huge point pickups starting next week when they host 3-1 Loudonville in a Mid-Buckeye Conference opener for Lucas. Undefeated MBC squad Danville lurks in Week 9. In the same region, Buckeye Central is solidly in fourth.
Right now, the Ohio Cardinal Conference looks really strong with five squads in the running for spots. Wooster and Mansfield Senior are tied for seventh in Division II’s Region 5. In Division III’s Region 8, Ashland is sixth, Lexington is seventh and Madison is 10th. What the OCC lacks in dominant teams, it makes up with lots of parity. With no stand-out, clear-cut favorite, the league will likely beat each other up.
Last year three teams made the postseason and that could be the case in 2015.
Hillsdale is undefeated at 4-0 and ranks third in Division VI’s Region 19. The Falcons are sitting nice today, but they are in the midst of a gauntlet as the Wayne County Athletic League features the best small-school football in the area.
Hillsdale and Chippewa are unbeaten, while five of the six remaining teams in the WCAL are 3-1. Only Dalton at 1-3 is under .500. To take it a step further, seven of the eight teams would be playoff-eligible if the postseason started this weekend. Obviously this will get sorted out over the next five weeks and the league isn’t going to send that many, but it shows just how tough a road the Falcons must navigate if they are to make it to Week 11.
Earning a spot in the playoffs is all about the points you get from beating teams and the points those opponents earn from their own wins.
That’s why in Division VI, Region 20, Colonel Crawford sits second and Wynford is ninth, despite the Royals spanking the Eagles 41-14 in Week 3. Crawford is being rewarded for wins over Mohawk and Seneca East, which are both 3-1, while Wynford’s lone quality win is against CC. Watch the Royals creep into contention in the coming weeks as they finish out with a string of big-point games.
In Division V’s Region 21, the Mid Ohio Athletic Conference Blue Division is represented by Fredericktown in sixth and Cardington sitting in 10th.
Loudonville is tied for 11th in the same region as Hillsdale.