Gossett: Prep playoff picture comes into focus

Gossett: Prep playoff picture comes into focus

October 18th, 2010 by Ward Gossett in Sports - Preps

Copper Basin and Boyd-Buchanan don't play until Oct. 29 but each already has secured a playoff spot, Copper Basin in Class 1A and Boyd-Buchanan in 2A. The winner of this game will secure the District 5-A championship and perhaps improve its postseason seeding.

So what else is decided? Signal Mountain has won District 6-A and South Pittsburg is assured of a second-place finish which translates into another postseason trip for each.

Polk County won District 5-AA Friday with a convincing (40-0) win over Sequoyah. It was Sequoyah's first district loss.

The standings are jumbled in District 7-AA because of Grundy County's 34-13 victory over Bledsoe County. Grundy lost to Sequatchie County but Sequatchie lost to Bledsoe. Sequatchie has completed its 7-AA schedule and has a 3-1 record. Grundy has a game left with Notre Dame and Bledsoe still must play Chattanooga Christian. If Grundy and Bledsoe win then the three teams are likely looking at a tie-breaker.

Who can tell in District 6-AA? The only sure thing is that that Tyner goes to Howard Friday with the winner taking the championship. Both of those are Class 3A teams and it looks like each is going to get a guaranteed postseason spot so the Class 4A teams in 6-AA are going to have to play it out and hope for a wild card berth. Central, East Ridge, Red Bank and East Hamilton are each 2-3 in the district with two district games remaining. Central has East Ridge and East Hamilton, East Ridge's finale is with Howard, Red Bank has East Hamilton and Hixson and East Hamilton has Red Bank and Central.

The 5-AAA district also has been a mess but is more clear-cut than 6-AA. District leader Cleveland (5-3, 4-0) plays at Ooltewah Friday before a regular-season finale at Soddy-Daisy where current Blue Raiders coach E.K. Slaughter was (2008) before moving. At 7-2 and 4-1, Bradley Central has its best season since Bill Price called South Lee Highway home. Currently the third-place team, Soddy-Daisy (5-3, 3-1) has Rhea County this week and Cleveland on Oct. 29. Ooltewah has won one district game and Walker Valley and McMinn County have yet to win a district game.

* I hear I may have lost my most recent and most favorite target. A little Hurricane says I have to quit castigating East Hamilton football boosters, who haven't been working quite as hard as they should. It seems that some money from unspecified sources with no specific ties to East Hamilton has surfaced to fund the lighting of the multi-purpose field that will service high school and middle school football, soccer, track and band. Somebody must have gotten tired of seeing so-called boosters at one of Hamilton County's "showpiece" schools getting called out for their inactivity and inefficiency. One hard-working booster at another school said of the EH parents, "They don't have a clue."

Want to talk about inequities? Consider that the next fundraiser at East Hamilton will be for the girls' softball team rather than or plus the baseball team. Why? Title IX issues, I'm told, which reminds me of how Hixson got its softball field built by the city a few years ago. The baseball parents and coaches basically rebuilt an old field, turning it into a showpiece, and city fathers knuckled under to Hixson softball parents after they threatened to sue on the basis of guys vs. girls discrimination. Also, for those who don't know, check on the hitting facility adjacent to Soddy-Daisy's baseball field, how it came about and who uses it and when. Is that why wrestling coach Steve Henry loves the old high school gym on Hwy. 27 despite the numerous leaks from a patched and re-patched roof?

Now before you think I'm railing on female athletes or girls athletic programs, please know I'm very much behind girls' athletics - as much as I'm for equality. My daughter played her way through Rollins College on a basketball scholarship. While I was grateful that Title IX provided her with a wonderful education because of his athletic skills, It used to provoke me when the guys team would stop at a steakhouse on a road trip and the girls would have to settle for fast-food joints. It's a matter of what's fair and equitable with a dash of common sense thrown in.

(Well at least I didn't mention county schools advisors and supervisors and common sense in the same sentence. Before I get off on a tangent, I'll simply say that the folks in the county schools' personnel office desperately need some common sense and a former coach or administrator like retired principal Ed Foster who understood the importance of athletics as a teaching tool and as a common thread for all students.)

* Kudos to the East Hamilton band, which did not warm up to the national anthem this past Thursday evening at Finley Stadium as it had a couple of weeks earlier.

* Speaking of new schools, it appears that Signal Mountain is preparing to expand the home side stands, which already stretch from one 30-yard line to the other. There also are plans in the works for a new press box, a field house with dressing facilities for home and visiting teams, concession stands and permanent restrooms.

The Eagles are 9-0 this season and have an open date this Friday. Coach Bill Price said plans are to practice Monday and Tuesday and then let the team have the rest of the week off. Signal Mountain is averaging a point per minute and the Eagles also have forced a running clock in eight of their nine wins.

* It was inconsequential to the game's outcome but the Signal Mountain public address announcer was rather rude - certainly inhospitable - as he continued to drone on and on after the Eagles' band had played, marched and left the field. He kept the visiting Eagleville band standing on the field for a good five minutes waiting their turn to perform. The wait caused halftime to run long and Price, the officiating crew and probably the visitors were less than happy at the delay.

* Big games of the week:

In Alabama: Fairview (8-0, 6-0) at North Jackson (8-0, 6-0), 8

In Georgia: Calhoun (7-0, 4-0) at Dade County (7-0, 4-0); Dalton (5-2, 2-1) at LaFayette (4-3, 2-1); Ridgeland (6-1, 3-0) at Ringgold (5-2, 2-1); and Gordon Lee (3-4, 1-3) at Bowdon (3-4, 2-2).

In Tennessee: Tyner (6-2, 5-0) at Howard (7-1, 5-0); Ensworth (5-2, 4-1) at Baylor (7-0, 5-0); South Pittsburg (8-1) at Polk County (7-1); and, a rivalry game, Soddy-Daisy (5-3, 3-1) at Rhea County (3-5, 3-2).