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CURRENT ARTICLE
10/19/2014 - From The Press Box: Final Week of Regular Season Has Playoff Spot Implications
 First off, let me say I'm sorry for being a slacker the last few weeks.  

I haven't been posting a "From The Press Box" column the last couple of weeks because of a busy schedule with family.  My wife's cousin passed away two weeks ago after a battle with ovarian cancer and her memorial service was held last week.  Plus, birthday celebrations and my television obligations for Nebraska Wesleyan football have kept me busy, too.

With that said, hopefully you can understand my reasoning.

Now, let's talk about the final week of the regular season in football.   WOW!  Where did the season go?  Yes, it's cliche and I say it every year but this season went by really fast.

If things hold up in the final week, Millard North; Lincoln East; Omaha North and Grand Island should be district champions in Class A.  Papillion-LaVista South, Norfolk, Creighton Prep, Omaha Westside should be runners-up and playoff qualifiers.  

Lincoln North Star, Millard West, Bellevue West, Omaha Central, Kearney should make the field of 16, while Lincoln Southwest, Papillion-LaVista and Millard South will be fighting for the final three spots.  

Class B has eight districts, with the potential of four teams from one district making the playoffs.  Omaha Gross would be the lone team in B-1 to qualify, by winning the district title.   District 2 would potentially have all four teams (Gretna, Elkhorn, Elkhorn South and Omaha Skutt) qualify.  Each of them occupy most of the wildcard points.  

It would come down to Blair or Bennington for the B-3 crown and a playoff spot.  Plattsmouth and Waverly would battle for the District B-4 title.  Crete clinched a playoff berth and a District title Friday night after beating Pius X.  The Thunderbolts face Beatrice next Friday night with a playoff berth on the line.

The same can be said in B-6 with Seward, Aurora and York.  McCook will likely runaway with the B-7 crown, while Scottsbluff could do the same in B-8 with Sidney likely clinching a playoff spot.


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PLAYOFF PAIRINGS

Saturday morning, we hope to find out the finalized pairings for the state football playoffs.  Chances are, for now, that Lincoln East will host a first round game at Seacrest Field.   If that's the case, it's possible that could be the only playoff game at Seacrest this season.

So, if East hosts their first round matchup, they would ultimately have to go on the road the following week.  From there, it would be a wait and see on whether East would return to Seacrest (which would be the likelihood).

I bring this up because, if you remember from an earlier "From The Press Box," Lincoln Public Schools will immediately begin the remodeling of Seacrest once the last game of the year is played.

Lincoln North Star would likely be the other team in Class A we'll follow.

Lincoln Pius X needs to beat Beatrice Friday night and have teams like Omaha Gross and Plattsmouth to pick up wins to solidify their spot in the Class B playoffs.  The Thunderbolts are sitting 16th in the point standings with a 4-4 record, so if the playoffs were announced today they would be the last team in to qualify.

Lincoln Christian, Lincoln Lutheran and Raymond Central would not make the cut in Class C1, although the Mustangs do have a 5-3 record and could squeak in by winning big over Lutheran this Friday night.   LCS wraps up the regular season Friday night at Fairbury.  Malcolm would likely qualify in Class C2.

Sometime this coming Saturday, we will decide which games will be covered here on LincolnPrepSports.com and with our radio partners KFOR 1240 and ESPN 1480.
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