For some there was jubilation, for others it was a thud–the figurative slamming of the door on their 2019 season. Game number 10 was decision week regardless of who your team might be.
A couple of potential playoffs teams experienced the pain of rejection last night:
• REJECTION: Montgomery Central (final record 7-3)–What a difference a couple of games makes. After beating Springfield back on October 11, the Indians were sitting atop Region 5-4A, with an elusive region championship championship in sight. But uncharacteristic turnovers committed late in their final two games against White House and White House Heritage translated into losses, and Montgomery Central fell from a possible position of hosting the first two weeks of the playoffs to being completely out of the post-season. The losses were a tough way for 14 seniors to end their career–a class that won more games than any class in MCHS history.
• REJECTION: Rossview (final record 4-6)–It was a roller-coaster season for the Hawks, unfortunately with a few more more valleys than peaks. The final result was somewhat expected, after graduation left Coach Todd Hood dreadfully short on experience. Despite a last-minute transfer by highly talented quarterback Gabe Siebert, the Hawks had difficulty scoring points, particularly against key region opponents. On the bright side, Hood uncovered some talented juniors and sophomores to build for the future.
One team experienced “jubilation” while three others got some confirmation:
• JUBILATION: Sycamore (5-5, #2 Seed in Region 6-3A)–For the War Eagles, the door of opportunity opened up three weeks ago, and Justin Robison’s team took advantage. At 3-5 overall but 2-1 in the region, Sycamore earned dividends on their September 6 win over Stewart County when the Rebels got blasted on the road by Camden. That put the War Eagles and Tigers on a collision course for their Week 11 showdown, which Sycamore won last night going away, 47-22. The win sealed the #2 seed (behind region unbeaten Fairview) and the opportunity to host a playoff game for only the second time in school history. They will welcome Region 5-3A #3 seed East Nashville Magnet (8-2 overall) next week.
• CONFIRMATION: Stewart County (6-4, #4 Seed in Region 6-3A)--While the Rebels are to be congratulated for the ascent from the ashes of their dismal 2018 season (1-9 final record), the last three games have them headed in the wrong direction. Stewart County was 6-1 before experiencing the wrong kind of streak–consecutive losses to Camden, Houston County and Fairview. The Rebels are in the playoffs (one of their top goals of the seson) and get the privilege of travelling to the top seed in Region 5-3A unbeaten Pearl Cohn. The Firebirds will be a favorite to win the State AAA crown.
• CONFIRMATION: Clarksville High (6-4, #3 Seed in Region 7-5A)--The Wildcats can explain the truth in this statement to the other teams in this story: sometimes its not just how many teams you beat, or which teams you beat, but when you beat them. At one point in the season, CHS was 2-4 overall, and 0-2 in the region. But those region losses were against top seed Henry County and second seed Dyer County. Since then, the Wildcats are 4-0 and rolling, outscoring their opponents 169-45–momentum when you need it most. They go on the road to play Region 8-5A two-seed Munford (7-3 overall) and we believe they come back with a victory.
• CONFIRMATION: Kenwood (2-8, #4 Seed in Region 7-5A)--The Knights proved the one thing that matters–you have to win the right games. By beating Northeast and Northwest early in the year, first year head coach Les Greer gets his team into the playoffs. They get rewarded with a nice road trip to Memphis and a date with Region 8-5A top seed Southwind Jaguars.