Well, all is not lost.
The final regular-season predictions went an impressive 6-2 (.750) to set the bar for postseason action. Nothing gets easier at this point, and those nobrainers are a thing of the past.
High school football playoff action begins Friday night and eight of the Wild Bill ‘Big-11’ are still in the hunt.
The team that came closest to a playoff spot, but just missed, was the one that was probably the hottest team in their respective classification down the stretch. North Cross, winners of their last four games, including a 52-7 blowout of 2011 state runner-up Norfolk Christian last Friday, will not be on hand to defend the Raiders 2011 Division 3 title.
North Cross was a young team with only three seniors, and early season growing pains, including a loss to North Carolina private school powerhouse Charlotte Latin – which cost them points in the final tally. The Raiders defeated two-of-four VIC division number-one ranked teams, but will still stay at home.
Lee Johnson’s William Fleming squad also fielded a young team in 2011, missing the Northwest Region post-season. But, congratulations go out to the Colonels for getting over the hump with their first win at Fleming Stadium over Halifax in the next-to-last week of the regular season. A large group of freshmen and sophomores will give Fleming foundation for 2013.
Same goes for Roanoke Catholic, a young team that came on strong at the end, winning three of their last four to provide momentum for the 2013 campaign.
So, who’s set for week-one of postseason play? Salem (10-0) and Hidden Valley (6-4) get byes. Here’s a look at the other six preparing for action Friday night.
Patrick Henry at Colonial Forge: Division 6 Northwest Region. A pair of 8-2 teams meet up in Stafford with PH seeded 6th, Colonial Forge 3rd. The Patriots can take a positive approach in that the Eagles had 59 points hung on them two weeks ago on this same field by Massaponax. May be just the push Alan Fiddler and the Whorley brothers need. Patrick Henry- 24 Colonial Forge- 21
William Byrd at Lord Botetourt: Division 4 Region III rematch of Byrd’s OT win in early October. Byrd is 4-6, and Lord Botetourt, in its first winning regular season since 2000, is 6-4. Could be close if Byrd quarterback Zac Hill is back from a late-season injury. Irregardless, the winner has no bargain in week-two. Lord Botetourt- 26 William Byrd- 23
Fort Defiance at Northside: Division 3 Region III battle. Fort Defiance enters the contest 3-7 against a 6-4 Viking team that is used to getting the week-one bye. Northside should be prepared to advance with ease. Unfortunately, the winner here may be heading to Brookville. Northside- 34 Fort Defiance- 12
Abingdon at Cave Spring: Division 3 Region IV showdown. The Southwest District invades Bogle Stadium to challenge the River Ridge Knights. Abingdon at 4-6 looks close record-wise to 5-5 Cave Spring. But, the Falcons lost to Tazewell earlier and the Southwest may be having an off-year. Enough information. Cave Spring- 42 Abingdon- 13
Glenvar at Wilson Memorial: Division 2 West matchup between the #15 seed, 5-5 Highlanders and #2 seed, 9-1 Green Hornets. Glenvar finished strong to nab the post-season spot. It may be difficult for Kevin Clifford’s team to pull this one out on the road. Wilson Memorial- 35 Glenvar- 23
Anyone who likes boxing may want to be on hand Monday, November 19th at the Salem Civic Center as Pernell “Sweet Pea’ Whitaker is the guest speaker at the Roanoke Valley Sports Club’s monthly meeting.
Whitaker, a title-holder in several weight classifications throughout the years and Gold Medalist at the 1984 Olympics will talk about his celebrated career in the ring.
Guests and potential new club members are invited to attend the 5:45 social and 6:15 dinner meeting. For more information contact Maggie Drewry at 540-725-7387.
Finally, we take a look at this week’s mailbag, where one little letter offers potential disaster to a regular reader.
Dear Dr. Bill: With winter around the corner, what’s your opinion on mail-order thongs to promote foot comfort and air circulation? (Myrtle/Roanoke)
Geez, Myrtle. You and your feet. I say place the order. Just don’t forget that ‘s’ in thongs on your order form.
See you next time, and keep things very brief with your comments to: [email protected]