Most of our attention this week has been turned toward the playoffs. Were we with Major League Baseball, we might have come up with some type of cheesy slogan about these games counting and paired it with some commensurately corny celebrity spokesperson or an atrocious, “One Shining Moment” wannabe pop song flop.
But we’re not (and we sleep a lot better for it). So instead, we’re going to turn our attention to games that still count, just not for an opportunity to take part in the PIAA tournament. Each team that plays in the next couple weeks has something to gain and a story to tell. More than a few have exciting football to produce. So for those teams not getting their postseason tickets punched, here are a few talking points:
– It would be really nice for Radnor to get off the schneid this week. They’re making progress, playing Marple Newtown tough before taking Penncrest to overtime. The Red Raiders are getting contributions from Tim Wilson, and TaJae Bryant is healthy again and showing the potential that had me thinking he was among the county’s top 10 running backs at the beginning of the season. They can beat Lower Merion in one of the nation’s oldest public school rivalries. And I think they will.
– Haverford may have missed out on the AAAA playoffs. But I firmly believe a team that gets 10 games out of Eddie Durkin under center – and Mike Clancy full-time in the backfield – is a playoff-caliber team. The Council Rock North game is assuredly a win if everyone’s healthy, and who knows if the games against Springfield and Conestoga don’t turn out differently with the benefit of a full season together. They have two games to turn this into a seven-win season, and both – Sun Valley and Upper Darby – are eminently winnable.
– Two games remain for Chichester, against Neumann-Goretti and Sun Valley. What kind of a boost would a four-win season give that program? This is a team loaded with talented juniors and sophomores. Call me crazy, but Duffy Gilhool and company could make some hey in the Del Val next year.