The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


October 26, 2012

Harold Raker's column on high school football: Making some sense of playoffs

Everyone had their predictions before the season on which teams would get to the playoffs, and even which ones would win the titles in Class AAA, AA and A in District 4.

Now, with two weeks left in the regular season, it's time once again to handicap the playoff picture, now that we have something with which to base those projections.

Unlike the last couple of years, we already know most of the participants. Where they will land in the seedings and, thus, where they will play in the preliminary round, remains rather cloudy.

There are of course no guarantees that what is written here will make it any clearer, but, let's give it a try.

Class AAA

Barring an upset win by East Juniata, the four teams are set. Moreover, we can also pencil in (or type into your computer) Selinsgrove as the No. 1 seed, even if it loses its final two games. Losses by the Seals to Mount Carmel this week and Danville next week would still have the Seals with somewhere around 800 points. A battle looms behind them for the remaining three seeds, and home-field advantage in the first round.

Shikellamy gets the No. 2 seed with wins over Shamokin this week and then Milton. Milton should nail down at least the No. 3 seed, but would get a home game in the first round with Shikellamy by beating the Braves next week. Either way, the Black Panthers and Braves will play in back-to-back weeks.

The only other team with a shot to make the field is East Juniata, but the one-win Tigers face Tri-Valley League foes Millersburg and unbeaten Williams Valley to finish out.

Class AA

A year ago at this time, and at least for the last two seasons, this field had some 12 teams battling for its eight playoff berths. Looking at the points now, while a lot can change in the next two weeks, it appears that the top eight teams in the current standings will not drop out of the tournament. But what an exciting battle looms for those eight.

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