Steven Okonek – There are a number of interesting playoff scenarios going into week 9 of the high school football season.
We start in the Marawood conference with a game that has huge implications, as always. The Edgar Wildcats (8-0, 5-0 in the Marawood) travel to Stratford to take on the Tigers (7-1, 5-0 in the Marawood) to decide the Marawood Conference Champions. The winner not only gets bragging rights, but can lock up a much higher seed in the playoffs.
The Auburndale Apaches have finished their Marawood Conference Schedule at 3-3 after a win over the Chequamegon Screaming Eagles. Auburndale is playoff eligible but can help their cause to get in with a win at Whitehall (1-7, 1-5 in the Dairyland).
Then in a huge match-up in the Cloverbelt that will have huge implications for seeding, the Colby Hornets host the Stanley-Boyd Orioles. Both are in the playoffs as each team sits at 6-2 overall, 5-2 in the Cloverbelt. Stanley-Boyd is currently projected into Division 5 and Colby is projected to be the largest school in Division 6. These projections can change based on who makes the playoffs, and if Colby were to be bumped up to Division 5, there is a strong possibility that we could see a Stanley-Boyd vs Colby playoff game in Week 1.
Also in the Cloverbelt, following their loss to Eau Claire Regis, the Spencer/Columbus Rockets have a game to try and secure a high seed as they take on the one win Altoona Railroaders.
In the Cloverwood for the second year in a row, the conference title will be decided in Week 9 when Loyal and Abbotsford play. Each team have clinched a playoff spot in their respective divisions, a conference title could go a long way to clinching a good seed, and for Loyal delaying a matchup with Edgar in the playoffs.
Staying the Cloverwood, the Gilman Pirates have clinched a playoff spot and will be playing for seeding when they take on the Greenwood Indians on Friday night. Greenwood who currently sits at 3-3 in the Cloverwood, 4-4 overall need a win to qualify for the playoffs, a loss could leave them on the outside looking in.
The same scenario is playing out with the Wisconsin Rapids Assumption Royals, who need a win on Friday night to qualify for the playoffs, the difference is the Royals have a game at winless Thorp on Friday night.
Moving south into the CWC-Small, Pittsville is coming off their first loss of the season, they will take on Flambeau in a non-conference game, a win by Pittsville puts them in a similar spot to Loyal in trying to avoid Edgar for as long as possible in the Division 7 playoffs.
And ending in the least dramatic conference this year, the VFA West, the Stevens Point Panthers have a tough road to try and be only the second team from the conference to get into the playoffs, Stevens Point needs a win at top-ranked Fond du Lac in order to have any chance at making the playoffs, Fond du Lac (8-0, 7-0 in the VFA South) ended Kimberly’s 70 game win streak in week one and have sat atop the Division 1 rankings since then.
Staying in the VFA but moving to Division 2 where Marshfield has clinched the conference title, they have clinched a spot in the playoffs and are playing for an undefeated season as they travel up Thom Field to take on the 2-6 Wausau West Warriors. Marshfield can clinch their first undefeated regular season in at least 16 years with a win.
Stay tuned to OnFocus for all the news on Friday night as playoff groupings come out, and then on Saturday when playoff brackets are released.