Wow, here it is almost the end of September.
Besides the usual “time flies” cliché, that also means every classification in Mississippi will be playing meaningful football games this week.
While Northeast Mississippi will have its share, a quick mention of two games out of our area, but in the state.
One that has an indirect impact on the area is South Panola at Olive Brach. This is the defending Class 6A champion – Olive Branch – versus the ultimate football school in the state – South Panola. Win or lose, these two teams should earn the top two seeds in Region 1-6A.
That division, 1-6A, is also the Tupelo Golden Wave’s division. Tupelo is at Grenada, with the Wave basically in a must-win situation. The Wave’s margin of error the rest of the season – zero – they can only lose to South Panola and Olive Branch to make the playoffs.
The other game within the state of note is also in 6A – Oak Grove at Petal.
Within Northeast Mississippi, some might feel differently, but I think that the most important contest with playoff impact is in 2A – Baldwyn at Calhoun City. Ultimately, an area 2A school could make one of the deepest playoff runs, and this contest could be for the No. 2 seed from 1-2A, and a home game the first round of the playoffs.
Over the years, 1-4A has provided some of the most competitive matchups an area fan could want. Perhaps 1-4A’s level is down a bit this season, but no less up-for-grabs.
Count this week’s Itawamba AHS at Corinth matchup as one of the more important games. It is also the only pairing of undefeated teams in the state this week. Good stuff.
Just keeping it within the division, Amory at Tishomingo County and Pontotoc at Shannon should begin the whittling down of possible 1-4A playoff teams.
Not to forget, 2-4A has produced the last two state titles, thanks to Lafayette. The defending champs are at Lewisburg, and might give an indication how strong their playoff run could be.
Here are some of the other division favorites I like, and where they are this week:
Booneville in 1-3A hosting Alcorn Central.
Water Valley in 2-3A hosting Mooreville. No matter the outcome, the Troopers still might have playoff hopes,
West Point in 1-5A at Hernando. The Green Wave have played a tough non-division schedule, but should start taking care of business in division games. And just a 1-5A note, Saltillo defeating New Hope last week was big for the Tigers post-season aspirations.
Vardaman in 1-1A, at Coffeeville. Perhaps the Rams have their biggest 1-1A game behind them against Falkner, but they have to continue to take care of business.
Bruce in 1-2A hosting Walnut. Baldwyn-Calhoun City-Bruce still have to work out the top spots in the division, but give the early edge to Bruce right now.
David Wheeler has been contributing to the high school sports coverage of the Daily Journal since 1985,