Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Hey Buddy, your broadcasting.....!

Well, the boogers and haunts (pronounced haints) have all gone home and the Halloween décor has been stored, hope eveyone had an enjoyable all hallow's eve.  I had a few surprises myself last Saturday. 

Now the real fun begins. Hard to believe that the 10 week high school football season is over and now starts the 2nd season, the playoffs. There is no tomorrow as you lose, you’re done. This is the season that separates those that can from those that can’t. The beauty for those teams that are still alive is they control their own destiny and need no help from any other games or teams to achieve their goals. As a reminder for those of you that are parents, you play a huge role in the success or demise of a team with your attitudes. Get on board, be positive, be supportive and shut up! That is my soapbox for the week.

The first round pairings are all done so we know who is playing who this Friday. A look at what teams are hot, warm, and cool heading into post season play.

HOT Teams

1) Cullman – Probably the most consistent team all year and enters the playoffs undefeated and ranked #1 in 5A. After escaping with a 1 point win over Pleasant Grove in week 3 this team has played very well including regular season ending victories over Mountain Brook and Austin, both 6A schools. This is the second time since 2000 that Coach Mark Britton has had his Bearcat squad undefeated in the regular season (10-0 in 2007) so they are not in uncharted waters here. I can see them getting to the finals but will most likely have to go thru an 8-1 McAdory and then most likely Hartselle/Russellville.

2) Madison Academy – A team that which has been to playoffs 6 out of the last 7 years and has not had a losing season since 2002 has run the table in the regular season for the first time in school history. MA won 10 games in 2005 but that included victories in the playoffs. Depth is always a factor at MA so losing a starter or two over the last few weeks could be a huge impact in the playoffs. This team success is the defense, only allowing 9.2 pts per game. First round game against Danville could be a dangerous draw for a top seed. Danville coming in 7-3 and at one time was 5-0. I can see MA getting to round 2 but a re-match with CC or Winfield may be too tough to overcome with the injury situation.

3) Bob Jones – You have to go way back to 1983 to find the last time BJ won 9 games in the regular season. Although BJ may not be use to this kind of success, they sure have played like they belong with the elite teams. This team has a salty defense that has pitched 5 shut outs in 10 games. In fact, ever since that head scratching loss to Homewood in week 6, the Patriots have not allowed any opponent to score. The bad news is they get an 8-2 Hewitt-Trussville for the first round that is also very hot. I can see them winning this game but it will be tough to get to round 4 to see how they match up with the Hoover/Vestavia Hill bunch. To get there will mean going thru 3 rounds of Hewitt Trussville, Gadsden City, Clay Chalkville or a rematch with Decatur. If they navigate this, watch out!

4) Deshler – After opening the season with a close loss to 5A Russellville, the Tigers have been rolling. Being region champs is nothing new as they have won the region the last 7 out of 9 years. Two years ago they lost in the finals. Last year they made it to the semi’s where they lost to Cherokee county. If they can again get to the semis, they most likely will get a chance to revenge last year’s 39-36 loss to CC. This potential matchup has the making for the game of all games this year.

5) Lexington – 9-1 season and have been impressive. Like Bob Jones, hard to figure how they lost to a weaker Lauderdale County but headed to the playoffs a very hot team. Could go all the way to the finals in 2A.

Other hot teams to watch are Hewitt Trussville, Muscle Shoals, and Walker

WARM Teams

1) Elkmont – Coming in as a 2 seed from 3A R8, no team has accomplished more with less and could advance to 2nd round.

2) Guntersville – after back-to-back losses in week 5 and 6, the wildcats have been on a role. Starting with the second round, it will be tough to get thru either Brooks or North Jackson (again) and then most likely a Deshler in round 3.

3) Russellville – been playing better since back-to-back losses in week 4 and 5. I could see them getting to the third round.

4) Hartselle – at one time I thought they could challenge Cullman for the north but that was before losing the last 2 games of the regular season. Motivation may have been a factor since they had already locked up the region when they lost to Muscle Shoals and I am not surprised they lost to a good 6A Decatur squad. If they can survive to semis, they should get Cullman and that one would be a game to watch.

Other warm teams are Decatur, Florence, Brooks, and Susan Moore

COOL Teams

1) Colbert County – you have to go all the way back to 1992 to find a CC team entering the playoffs with a 4-6 overall record. That year they made it to the 3 round before losing 6-2 (yes 2). Like this year, the 1992 squad also lost the last 2 regular season games. It is not hard to imagine this CC team doing what the 1992 squad did since this team is still in search of an identity.

2) Athens – have played well at times this year but has shown signs of struggling to protect the QB late in the year. Rivers got a little banged up against Hazel Green last week and if he is not 100% that could be a factor in the 1st round against Boaz. This may be one of the most interesting 1st round games.

3) Huntsville – earned their way into the playoffs late in the year with help. This team is young in places but with their offensive line as a strength, has under achieved all year and don’t see them getting past round 1.

Other teams cooled off late in the year but are in the playoffs are Danville, Fairview and Plainview.

Now for the Bully prior to playoffs picks to represent the north in the super 6 (finals):

1A – tempted to take R.A. Hubbard but will go with Hackleburg
2A – watch Lexington, Lamar County, and Ider but I will go with Clay County
3A – watch out for Hamilton but it is hard to put a value on knowing how to dance on the big stage. I will go with Leeds
4A – Deshler knows how to get there but Cherokee County seems to be too good this year. I will go with CC.
5A – Hartselle and McAdory could make things interesting but I will go with Cullman
6A – Vestavia Hills could be the safe pick but I will go with Hoover

Some blue maps came back to the Huntsville metro area from the volleyball finals in Pelham. Congrats to Huntsville, Guntersville, and Athens Bible on your state championships.

In the “hey buddy your broadcasting” category: If you ever get the opportunity to catch a Pelham Panther football broadcast out of Birmingham, you will certainly not forget it.  You will not hear the score given out a whole lot and poor old  “papa” will get woken up a few times to add comments to what he sees.  If papa don't see it, he will tell you.  Very entertaining. While we are on the topic of radio broadcast, let me send out a note to certain NA radio broadcast crew. Take it from someone who has been on that side of the microphone on Friday nights; if your upset with the the lack of press your team is receiving in your local paper, blasting that paper on the air waves is not a way to fix it. You want more press, ask your coaches and AD why they are not marketing their programs better.  As someone who has been plugged into HS athletics, I know you can do a lot in that department. Crying on the radio, your disdain for the lack of coverage is not the answer. You might get press in the short term but could pay for it later and it’s just not very smart. Just saying….!

Basketball season is just around the corner but until then, get out and catch a football playoff game. You won’t be sorry you did!

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