THE DISTRICT 10 committee members have to be shaking in their boots at the prospects facing them with the upcoming football playoffs.

These men and women — who aren’t overly popular amongst the fans of their member schools to begin with for many of their decisions — may have to make some pretty unpopular decisions about who gets to compete in next month’s football tournament.

The D-10 football committee could have several interesting decisions to make when setting the Class A brackets.

Entering the final week of league play, Wilmington leads Lakeview by a half-game for the region title, while Farrell, Sharpsville and West Middlesex are a full-game back.

If the Steelers beat Mercer, the Big Reds down Reynolds and the Blue Devils can ‘upset’ the Greyhounds, Region 1-A will have a five-way tie for first place.

If that happens, the district will be forced to take all five teams since their by-laws state that all region champions automatically qualify for the playoffs.

The problem is District 10 has always tried to have an equal balance between its northern and southern regions in A and AA.

What will they do?

Will they deviate from status quo and take all five Mercer County schools? If so, who has the decided disadvantage of having to play another Region 1 club in the first round, while the other three play Region 2 teams in the quarterfinals?

If not, how do they decide which of the five teams to leave out of the playoffs?

Region 2 is shaping up to have a thrilling final week as well with Cambridge Springs (6-0, 6-2) and Iroquois (5-1, 5-3) battling it out for the crown, while Cochranton (4-2, 4-3) and Eisenhower (4-2, 4-4) will be competing for third place.

And quite possibly, Region 2’s final playoff berth. But no one that knows football has illusions that the north is as strong as our Region 1-A. After all, Mercer opened the season with a 40-14 rout of Eisenhower, but hasn’t won a game in the region, while Reynolds mauled Cochranton, 37-6, but has won only one region game. West Middlesex beat Cambridge Springs, 28-22, to open the season.

Region 3-AA is pretty cut and dry.

Slippery Rock (6-0, 8-0) has already wrapped up at least a piece of its third straight league title, while Greenville (5-1, 7-1), Hickory (4-2, 6-2) and Sharon (4-2, 5-3) are all already in the playoffs.

All that needs settled is where they fit in behind the Rockets.

A Tigers victory over the Trojans this week and a Hornets conquest of Titusville would forge a three-way tie for second.

It would also force the playoff committee to make some decisions on where to seed Greenville, Hickory and Sharon.

Region 4 is even more hairy than Region 1.

One game separates six schools.

Girard (4-2, 6-2), Fairview (4-2, 5-3), North East (4-2, 5-3) and Northwestern (4-2, 4-4) are tied for first place, while Seneca (3-3, 5-3) and Fort LeBoeuf (3-3, 3-4) are just a game behind.

Either Fairview or North East will earn a guaranteed spot in the playoffs this week when they square off at Fairview, while Northwestern and Girard could force a three-way tie for the top spot with victories over Fort LeBoeuf and Harbor Creek, respectively. Seneca can keep its playoff hopes alive by keeping Mercyhurst Prep.

No matter who makes it and who doesn’t, we can all expect some pretty exciting football over the next five weeks.


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