No high school football coach ever wants to assume anything. But the 2016 Texas high school football season is reaching its final third where the playoff hopes of teams are going to be defined. All that would be left is trying to determine who can win a district championship.
Now, winning district championships are still important. But their value has decreased in some respect because four teams now make the postseason. Getting to the tournament is how seasons are judged.
With three weeks remaining, there are still many scenarios remaining. But the picture is also coming into focus for the races in District 8-5A and 5-6A. So this is a good time to start looking what is in play for each.
District 8-5A: The playoff race looks pretty defined with the exception of one spot. Richland (7-0, 4-0) will clinch a playoff berth on Saturday when it is expected to defeat outmanned Fort Worth Carter-Riverside (3-4, 1-3). Then the Rebels can push for the district championship with games against Fort Worth Dunbar and Colleyville Heritage (5-2, 4-0). If Colleyville Heritage defeats GCISD rival Grapevine on Friday, the Panthers would also clinch a playoff berth. A loss doesn’t hurt too much.
In fact, it may not hurt at all. If Birdville defeats Fort Worth Dunbar Friday, the Panthers are in the postseason because they would be 4-1. Dunbar would drop to 2-3 but wouldn’t have the tiebreaker against Colleyville Heritage since the Panthers have the head-to-head advantage. The scenario exists that if both the Rebels and Panthers continue to win, they would meet Nov. 4 at the Birdville Fine Arts/Athletic Complex for the district championship.
Grapevine (6-1, 3-1) would clinch a spot with a win and a Birdville win over Dunbar. But the Mustangs are not in a position where a loss hurts them either, although it would take them out of district championship contention. They still have a very winnable game against Fort Worth Eastern Hills on Oct. 27 that would wrap up the playoff berth.
Birdville (4-3, 2-2) faces its watershed moment on Friday against Dunbar. If the Hawks win, they are in a good position to wrap up a playoff berth on Oct. 28 against Fort Worth Poly. Their game against Grapevine on Nov. 4 would mean nothing. Now, if the Hawks lose to Dunbar, then they’re in big trouble and that game against the Mustangs means everything. The Wildcats face Richland in Week 10 and then finish with Fort Worth Poly. Should both teams finish the same district record, Dunbar would have the head to head.
District 5-6A: There really isn’t too much drama left for Carroll (6-1, 4-0). Should the Dragons defeat Northwest Byron Nelson on Friday, they would clinch a playoff berth. Of course, this team wants to win the outright district championship and still can do that should it defeat Hurst L.D. Bell and Lewisville Hebron to close out the regular season.
For Euless Trinity, the Trojans have games remaining against Hebron Friday, Flower Mound and Flower Mound Marcus in the finale. The Trojans have to at least win two of those three in order to make the postseason. Their hopes of clinching a share of the district title are pretty slim.
Hurst L.D. Bell (2-5, 0-4) is not going to advance to the postseason.