A Closer Look: Playoffs and League Tittles On The Line

Can you believe it is week 10 of high school football coming up this weekend? League championships will be finalized and playoff spots locked in. At WHBC we conclude the regular season in style, with 3 games – Central and St. Thomas on Thursday, Hoover/Jackson Friday and Massillon/McKinley Saturday afternoon. What a way to get ready for the playoffs.
One big change this year, that only recently has been talked about in the press boxes – the first two rounds of the playoffs will all be played on Friday night, regardless of division. The last several years, some divisions played on Friday and the other divisions played on Saturday night. That was great for the media, and fans I hope, as we were able to bring you games each night. Now, we will be able to broadcast only on Fridays. The other obvious affect the change to Fridays only will make – the officials will all be busy the first Friday, not just the better crews.
Speaking of officials, our game at Perry Friday night included something you don’t see very often. In the first quarter, the Referee (white hat) was injured and could not return to the game. High school officiating crews are usually 5-man crews so the injury forced the remaining 4 guys to work the rest of the game without their leader. In the Perry press box we were lucky enough to have a veteran official’s evaluator from the OHSSA district board sitting 2 seats down. He explained that before the game the working officials decide who will take over in case the referee is injured. So in this case, the remaining 4 officials made the adjustment and I did not notice any difference the rest of the game with 4 rather than 5 officials.
As always, we will have several local teams in the playoffs. Who has a chance to go deep? The teams that are healthy and have been getting better lately are best prepared to make a run. Teams that come to mind are McKinley, Lake, Massillon, West Branch, Fairless, Northwest, Alliance. One thing for sure, it will be fun! High school football is awesome!!