Now Mississippi is fully engaged in high school football playoffs.
Classes 2A-4A are in their second round games, while 1A, 5A and 6A play first round games this week.
From the start, I have found the 4A bracket one of the most interesting, and the second round matchup that should catch Northeast Mississippi’s eye is Lafayette at Noxubee County. The defending state champ in this class, versus everyone’s pick for this season.
Who does this game mean more to?
Noxubee beating the champ?
Or Lafayette and the pride of being a champ another week?
Of course if things play out, next week will be even more interesting in the present – Itawamba AHS vs. Noxubee. But let us get past this week first.
In the bottom half of the 4A bracket, Houston vs. Yazoo County, and New Albany vs. Louisville.
For this area, wish for New Albany-Houston next week.
Houston and Lousiville were in the same division as Noxubee, so you almost do not know how strong each of these teams are. This will be a tough matchup for New Albany.
And just a word here about last week, with Houston perhaps shocking Amory. That is why you play the game.
There are some stories worth telling in the 5A bracket.
Area fans should want to see Starkville-Oxford next week.
Of course that means Starkville will take care of area favorite-team-of -the-season Saltillo this week. There might be a key injury that hastens Saltillo’s exit from the playoffs after a truly wonderful season.
Then there is the potential of a Nov. 23 pairing of Starkville-West Point, a matchup that West Point won early in the regular season.
Do you want a rematch? Or will Oxford maybe crash that party?
How about 3A?
One game that strikes a note with me is Byhalia at Booneville this week.
It was less than 15 years ago that Byhalia was the only 3A school in the state that did not play football, and now they’re in the second round of the playoffs. Way to build your program.
But darned if Booneville isn’t still good for a touchdown already because of Jim Drewry? Could be headed toward a Booneville-Water Valley meeting next week.
In the bottom of this bracket, Ripley hung 71 points on Velma Jackson last week, but can they do that against Charleston? Could be headed for Aberdeen-Charleston next week.
In 2A, slim area pickings.
Perhaps we can look forward to Bruce-West Bolivar next week.
And 1A looks as thin for me as 2A.
Watch out next week for a possible Vardaman-Shaw matchup.
Just to be clear, I’m not forgetting 6A, just not going into the bracket just yet.
And this week certainly does not have enough hours in the day for me. Time permitting, I would have written on-line columns already on cross country, Jeff Norwood, and Jonathan Ashley as football and basketball overlap.
Why isn’t anyone else taking advantage of this forum?
Good luck to all area teams in the playoffs this week.
David Wheeler has been contributing to the high school sports coverage of the Daily Journal since 1985.