When it gets to be this time of the year I like to sit down at the computer, look at the wildcard points and try to figure out which of our teams will be most likely to be making postseason appearances and which teams will be staying home.
It’s a little bit too early for football and volleyball, but not so much for softball.
This year in Class B things are a lot different as the new setup will help to assure that even if some of the teams with a higher number in wildcard points don’t win their subdistricts, they will more than likely get a chance to play for a state berth in the district final.
In Class C, win your district and you are in Hastings. If not, you have to hope you have enough wildcard points to sneak in as one of the two wildcards.
Some of the subdistricts in Class B are relatively weak, while others, such as B-5 (Beatrice, Crete, NEN and North Bend) and B-8 (Hastings, Northwest, Adams Central and St. Paul) are stacked with some pretty good teams who sit high in the wildcard points. In both of those subdistricts combined there are six teams total in the top 15 of the wildcard points.
York will host the B-7 as the No. 17 team in wildcard points, along with Aurora (22), GICC (27) and Lakeview (39). This is one of three districts that doesn’t have team in the top 15 of the wildcard points. The other two are B-9 and B-10 which are both west of Grad Island.
I looked at the subdistricts in Class B and my choices to advance are Omaha Skutt, Omaha Gross, Blair, Norris or Waverly, Crete or Beatrice, Wayne, York, Hastings, Gothenburg and Gering.
This leaves Crete or Beatrice, Waverly or Norris, Northwest, Adams Central, Seward, NEN (Wisner-Pilger/Pender/Bancroft-Rosalie/Lyons-Decatur Northeast) and Seward all to advance by virtue of wildcard points to the district finals.
Now this is all based on wildcard points as of Thursday, Oct. 3, and these will definitely change after subdistricts.
The field is then seeded 1-16 by wildcard points and the top eight go on to host a best of three series to be held on Friday, Oct. 11.
Because Crete and Beatrice are currently two and three in the wildcard points and Norris and Waverly are six and seven, I see some slight changes based on the outcome of the two subdistricts they are involved in.
I like that the district final is not a one-game, winner-take-all scenario, however, I would assume that a team like Gothenburg, who I have traveling to Omaha Skutt (just my opinion) may like their chances better in a winner-take-all one-game final.
I also have the Dukes on the road at either Crete or Beatrice based on who wins that B-5 subdistrict.
This same format would also work in Class C as both classes have 40 teams in them. At some point I could see Class C going to this, but it will not be this year.
Also with the ever-changing number of teams in classes due to schools combining, the numbers may not work out and other changes may have to be considered at some point and time.
Just for fun, the rest of my projected Class B district final looks like this:
Gering at Beatrice (road trip for the Bulldogs!); Adams Central at Hastings (home game for both teams); Blair at Wayne (fairly close); Seward at Norris (backyard showdown); Omaha Gross at Waverly (trip west up I-80 for the Cougars) and NEN at Northwest (four schools against one).
As you can see, no teams further west than Grand Island or Hastings are hosting district finals. Only two teams in the entire field are west of Grand Island.
The regular season comes to an end for Class C softball teams next week and they get their districts started on Thursday at predetermined sites.
Centennial will be at the C-3 in Fairbury with the No. 1 Fairbury Jeffs, and both Polk County and Fillmore Central/Exeter-Milligan/Friend play at the Hastings Softball Complex in the Class C-4 district. The No. 1 seed at that district would be Hastings St. Cecilia.
That’s it for now.
Have a great weekend and if you need to be on the road be safe in your travels!