The contenders vs. pretenders
It’s that time of the year when football teams become divided between the contenders and the pretenders.
Those cream of the crop teams always seem to rise to the top. In district 8-3A DI West Rusk and Gladewater are living up to the pre-season hype. They had an epic battle two games ago where West Rusk took an exciting 28-27 victory. Tatum looks good too, and White Oak has been somewhat of a surprise. I will stick to my original feelings though, as I believe Mineola will recover after having to play both of those teams and will go on to be a playoff team.
Coach Luke Blackwell and his staff knew it would be tough going into the season in the new district. The Jackets still have four games left and they can win them all. It must start this week with White Oak on the road followed by a homecoming win over an improved Sabine team. That leaves Tatum and Winnsboro left on the schedule. The Tatum game is on the road and should be a barn-burner. Look for the Jackets to get back on track at White Oak this week with a big win.
In District 10-3A DII, Harmony is running away with it whipping all comers. Actually, Alba-Golden held their own against them. I still think the Panthers will come out with a playoff spot in this district. Coach Derrick Smith has the Panthers in a good place. The Panthers must win this week’s home battle with bitter rival Grand Saline and finish on a winning run. They will have another tough battle when they must go to Troup next week. Both games will have playoff implications for the teams involved.
Hats off to a feisty Hawkins Hawk football team after losing a tough one in overtime to undefeated Union Grove. The Hawks led the game until the fourth quarter when the Lions were able tie the game and then win in overtime. The Hawks will beat Cushing this week and then they finish the season with tough games against Highway 80 rival Big Sandy, Alto and state-ranked Carlisle.
In college games, the Aggies and the Longhorns both won again. Both teams played tough opponents, but still came out on top. The Aggies won on the road at South Carolina and Texas beat a better than expected Baylor team in Austin.
The Cowboys looked like a different team whipping Jacksonville 40-7 on Sunday. For the sake of all you Cowboy fans, I hope this was the real Cowboy team and they will continue to play as good as they did. They better be ready quickly as they face Super Bowl champion Philadelphia this week.
Volleyball season is winding down. Quitman’s Lady Bulldogs have a big match at Edgewood Tuesday. Edgewood gave Quitman their only district loss so far this season. Quitman is coming off five set matches against Alba-Golden and Grand Saline. After the Edgewood game, the Lady Bulldogs will face Mineola Friday and it will be senior night.
The Lady Bulldogs have clinched a playoff spot, but need to continue winning to get a good draw in bi-district. The district our girls will play in the first round is made up of six charter schools and Dallas Madison.
The Alba-Golden Lady Panthers need to continue playing tough and winning their final three matches would seal a playoff spot for them. They have Lone Oak, Grand Saline and Rains to go.
Football and volleyball playoffs are nearing and I hear the thump-thump of basketball just over the horizon beginning next month.