It happens every season. When the high school playoffs roll around, dominant teams everyone knew would be dangerous roll into the postseason leaving a wake of battered opponents in their path.
Surprise teams no one picked to be in the mix find a way to make the playoff roster.
And, some good teams everyone thought would extend their seasons find themselves without an invitation to the postseason party.
As sure as folks in East Texas will wear camouflage to the game the Friday night before the opening day of deer season, football fans across the state will look at the first-round high school football playoff pairings and ask themselves how one team made the list and another team didn’t.
I’m feeling that same scenario brewing with the Peters Chevrolet Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat GOAT (Greatest of All Time) contest that will settle – once and for all – who was the best player to ever suit up in East Texas.
As expected, the Tyler Rose – Earl Campbell – heads up the list with four weeks of voting left. The rest of the top 10 has fluctuated throughout the process, with the expected names such as Patrick Mahomes of Whitehouse, Adrian Peterson of Palestine and Y.A. Tittle of Marshall hanging around each week while guys like Jackson Sampson of New Diana, Kevin Johnson of Waskom and Jeff Wilson of Elkhart keep on getting votes.
Edd Hargett of Linden-Kildare and Bobby Taylor of Longview – along with the above mentioned names – make up the top 10 as of now.
If you don’t see your favorite player on that list, go find him and vote. Otherwise, when we cut the list down to five in a few weeks and your school isn’t represented, you’ll feel like one of those teams that heads into the offseason way before you wanted to.
The process is easy.
Visit https://www.news-journal.com/contests/ and look over an amazing list of players from every school in the combined coverage areas of the Longview News-Journal, Tyler Morning Telegraph, Marshall News Messenger, Kilgore News Herald and Panola Watchman.
You can vote for one player one time per week for the rest of the regular season. Every player is in the running until then, and we’ll cut the list down to the top five vote-getters for a five-week playoff stretch before unveiling The GOAT on Christmas Day.
This is an online contest only, so please don’t email me your votes.
■ This week’s Game I’d Pay To See If I Had To Pay To See Games: Winnsboro at Sabine.
Sabine is 5-0 for the first time since 2002 and coming off a road win at Tatum. The Cardinals still have a brutal schedule ahead of them after tonight, with road trips to West Rusk and Gladewater and home games against Mineola and White Oak, but I’m calling it now. The Redbirds finally break into the postseason win column this year after coming up empty on previous playoff trips in 1949, 1952, 1953, 1985, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
LESS IS MORE
With the combined points (81), total yards (1,043) and first downs (47) compiled by Pine Tree and Mount Pleasant last week, it would be easy to miss some of the numbers Pine Tree DIDN’T pile up in the 56-25 win.
The Pirates punted just once, did not turn the ball over and weren’t penalized in a road game.
Points and yards are nice, but teams that don’t turn the ball over and don’t hurt themselves with penalties typically get to play football in December.
You can blame a sports writer for this one.
Much like the Alabama Crimson Tide earning its name from a reporter, Chattanooga (Tennessee) Central High School pounded opponents so badly back in the 1930s, a writer dubbed them the Purple Pounders. …and it stuck.