By Shad Kline
A 3 team district with the top 2 going to the playoffs. Lefors will battle Higgins for the 2nd place spot this week. Follett is off this week. Follett, Lefors, Higgins is my prediction.
Groom will have Hedley this week and should easily handle them by 45+. Valley will handle Silverton in the same fashion. Valley should walk away with this district. The only real question is who will get second? We will find out when Groom and Silverton play each other. I think it will finish Valley, Groom, Silverton, Hedley.
This district is almost set already. I expect Amherst to finish on top and give Whitharral their first loss in district. The battle for second seems to be in Whitharrals hands, but they still have to play Cotton Center, who isn’t that far behind them in the ratings. If Cotton Center wins, I will have to pull out the slide rule to break that down for you, depending on what else happens in the district. Lazbuddie is the 10 point favorite over Kress this week which means nothing in sixman, it’s anybody’s game. Amherst, Whitharral, Lazbuddie, Cotton Center, Kress is my best guess on how this district will finish.
Motley County and Petersburg square off this week with a 1 point spread. The winner should take this district and the loser should take second. Southland and Wilson are over 100 points behind MC and Petersburg and will not be in the playoff picture. I believe Wilson will edge out Southland this week and take the #3 spot. Petersburg, Motley County, Wilson, Southland is what I have right now, but 1&2 could switch with each other and 3&4 could too.
Balmorhea! #1 in the district and #1 in State. Last years state runner up is on a mission, to win state, and will not settle for anything less. They will win this district and keep a 0 in the L column. They have already taken down Sierra Blanca and will do the same to Sanderson this week. Dell City will have Sierra Blanca this week and are the overwhelming favorite. Grandfalls-Royalty has a bye this week, but has already beaten Sanderson and Dell City and will most likely finish 2nd. Balmorhea, Grandfalls-Royalty, Dell City, Sanderson, Sierra Blanca is my expectation.
Sands is sitting in a great spot for 1st. They have already won 2 in district and expect to get their 3rd this week against Wellman-Union. Wellman-Union has the ability to take it away from Sands though and it could be a battle. Dawson will have an easy time with Loop, as Loop is just not very strong this year. If Sands wins over Wellman-Union, it will be quite the battle between Wellman-Union and Grady for the #2 spot as they both have identical ratings right now, only 7 100ths of a point difference. My pick for this district is to finish Sands, Grady, Wellman-Union, Dawson, Loop.
What a battle this district should be, well, for 3 teams anyway. Blackwell and Lorain will face off this week and in my opinion, will be for the 2nd playoff spot. Highland has Trent and it should finish with Highland winning by all they want to. Blackwell and Highland are a huge rival, and we all know how rival games can go, especially when the two teams are less than 20 points apart in the ratings. Loraine is capable of beating either, neither, or both Blackwell and Highland. So it will take until week 11 to sort this district out. My current picks are Highland, Blackwell, Loraine, Trent.
Once again, this district playoffs are virtually already set. What isn’t set is whether Guthrie or Jayton end up on top. Jayton will walk all over Patton Springs this Week and Guthrie will have a slightly tougher time with Benjamin, but should still end it early. Jayton, Guthrie, Benjamin, Patton Springs is the order I’m going to pick this district in.
Follett should easily take out Groom. Motley County will undoubtedly finish off Amherst. Valley is head and shoulders above Lefors, and Petersburg will not have any problems with Whitharral. A boring round 1 in this region.
I think Balmorhea will beat everybody, and that includes Grady this round. Highland and Guthrie will be a solid matchup with Highland coming out on top by a little. Sands will struggle to end the game against Grandfalls-Royalty early, but I think they will late in the 4th. Blackwell and Jayton will definitely be the game of the week in Round 1 Division II. They will battle it out into the 4th and possibly beyond.
Follett and Motley County could be a very good game, I think Follett will edge out the Matadors. Valley can’t take Petersburg lighly, but should come out on top. Balmorhea will have little to worry about with Highland. Blackwell will have their 2nd really tough game in a row and it will show when they fall to Sands by just a hair.
Valley will soundly defeat Follett. They are good, like they always are, but Valley is better than their usual really good. Balmorhea will end Sands hopes after a good run. Balmorhea is just that good.
Balmorhea will finally get a game that they have to work at to win, but win they will over Valley.