With the final three games of the season in front of them, the boys soccer playoff spots are still up for grabs.
While Byron Nelson an Central are in cruise-control, sitting in the top two spots, Fossil Ridge and Keller are battling for the final spot behind third-place Denton Ryan.
Nelson has amassed 27 points, while Central has put together 25 and Ryan has 22.
Fossil Ridge was in the fourth and final playoff position heading into the week with 19 points, but Keller was just behind at 17.
And all the upper-level teams will be squaring off with one another down the stretch.
Central will take on Byron Nelson and Fossil Ridge this week, so there’s an element of control in the Panthers’ hands.
The opportunity to claim a district title has been a goal for Central’s program for a number of years now.
“The last district championship for Central boys soccer was 2006,” said Central head coach Aaron Cottrell. “We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Fossil Ridge is clinging to its position and has some momentum, too.
The Panthers picked up points with a shootout win over Denton Guyer and a win over Denton Ryan.
The game at Guyer was an emotion-filled event on a campus coping with tragedy and turmoil after two recent student deaths, while the Ryan game showed that Ridge could fight back from an early 2-0 deficit.
This week, the Panthers take on Central and Keller. They will finish with Byron Nelson.
With three challenging games remaining, Fossil Ridge head coach James Moore said the schedule is as he’d want it.
“We want to earn our way in,” Moore said. “It’s just the way we like it. We have the top half of the district at the tail end of the schedule.”
Fossil Ridge is being led by Noah Powell, who added a hat trick against Ryan last week.
Keller has its own scoring leader in Cole Asfour and a supporting cast helping to turn the tide this week.
The Indians lost two games by shootout last week to Central and Byron Nelson. But, they were still able to pick up points to stay in the chase.
With Denton Ryan and Fossil Ridge on tap for this week, Keller can still add points to its standings total and hope for a fourth-place finish.
Keller will finish the season next week against winless Northwest.
Timber Creek, tied for sixth place with Denton Guyer, will have its final three games to help give the Falcons an upbeat end to the season.
The Falcons will take on Northwest and host Guyer on Friday. They will finish with Central.