Cover Photo via @MCHSAthleticDep on Twitter
We’re another week closer to the start of the 2019 playoffs and that means each game means more than the last as teams fight for playoff position. Two districts we’ve been keeping an eye on this season had big games to determine seeding. Find out which districts those are and who is in prime position in this edition of The Cooldown.
1. Shadow Creek and Foster Battle in 10-5A
Many preseason predictions, including that of the esteemed Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, had Richmond Foster winning District 10-5A. Those predictions wouldn’t have been right even if they had Foster finishing second in the district.
After last weeks’ 24-17 loss to Shadow Creek, the Falcons picked up their second district loss after falling to Friendswood earlier this season. The win likely locks up the district championship for Shadow Creek, who will need to lose both of its remaining games against Hightower and Terry to finish second, unless Hightower wins out. Simply put: a district championship is highly likely for the Sharks.
Thursday’s loss is the third straight game Foster has lost to Shadow Creek, but the largest margin of defeat. The Falcons lost to the Sharks by one point in district play and four points in the playoffs a year ago before a seven-point loss in district play this year.
A rematch in this years’ playoffs may not be guaranteed, but history says it should be a great game if both teams make it there. Shadow Creek will be the favorites to return to state in 5A Division I from the Houston side of the bracket.
2. Several Key Games Shape 15-6A
I have to preface this section by saying there is a reason I write words and don’t do math. We’re going to dive into numbers but I can’t promise you it’ll all make sense.
Let’s start with a little housekeeping: At 6-1, Klein Collins and Klein Oak will finish in the top two spots in the district. With current records of 2-4 or worse, Klein, College Park, Oak Ridge and Klein Forest will all miss the playoffs.
That leaves Klein Cain, The Woodlands and Conroe fighting for the last two spots. While anything can happen, I would guess Klein Cain will split its games against College Park and Klein Oak, The Woodlands will split against Klein Collins and Klein Forest and Conroe will win each of its last two against Klein Forest and Oak Ridge.
That’s a lot of info to digest. To simplify it: There will be a three way tie for the last two spots if we assume wins and losses against good / bad teams for the final two weeks. To avoid further confusion, I’ll put it like this: Klein Cain, The Woodlands and Conroe have “round robin” wins over each other. I’m not totally sure how the tie breakers work in this situation, nor am I smart enough to figure it out, but keeping an eye on these three will be must see football over the last two weeks of the season.
Klein Forest and Oak Ridge will have the chance to ruin someone’s season while each team could (likely) lock up a playoff spot by upsetting Klein Collins or Klein Oak. No matter who winds up making it, I know all of us at Inside High School Sports will be locked in to watching the playoff participants from 15-6A. It’s been arguably the most entertaining district in the Houston area all season.
3. Katy ISD...
There are plenty of games and/or teams we could mention for our final talking point this week. North Shore impressed in a double-digit win over a reigning state finalist, Sterling was impressive against Manvel and Friendswood picked up another impressive win. But instead I want to talk a little about Katy ISD and one team in particular.
Katy is one of the most known teams in the historic football state of Texas, and rightfully so. The Tigers have won eight state championships and have reached the title game 14 times. That’s impressive for any state, let alone one that has the amount of talented teams that Texas has each season.
The Tigers are once again 8-0 and look primed to make a 15th state championship appearance. Impressive as it is, I want to talk about the rest of the district. Katy usually mows over the handful of other schools it shares a town with, but this year is at least a little different.
Katy Tompkins is 8-1 with a narrow 35-30 loss to the Tigers, and Mayde Creek is headed back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008 with a 7-1 record. The Rams only loss was 28-0 to Tompkins.
While a potential blow-out looms against Katy this week, the Tigers are far from the only team in the district that is a threat of making noise in the playoffs. The Rams are coming off a year in which they finished 3-7 and have turned it into their first playoff appearance in over a decade after a win against Seven Lakes a week ago.
I don’t know what Mayde Creek’s road may be or who they will play, but I wanted to give them some shine for a 7-1 start and a playoff appearance for a school that doesn’t have many playing in a district constantly overshadowed by one of the premier teams in the state.