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Potential 2008 PIAA Playoff Match-ups

Written by: on Friday, June 20th, 2008. Follow Josh Funk on Twitter.


It may only be April, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the 2008 high school football season.

It’s even tougher not to think about potential playoff match-ups when the PIAA released its restructured brackets for the 2008-2009 state playoffs.

The Class “A” bracket didn’t change from its format of last season, but the District 5/7 quarterfinal match-up could be an interesting one. District 7, though, has yet to lose a meeting with District 5.

Bishop McCort could face Steel-High in the quarterfinals of the eastern part of the “A” bracket. McCort played in the “AA” quarterfinals each of the last 2 years, and, if the Crushers would defeat the Rollers, would become just the second team in PIAA history to play in both an eastern and western PIAA semifinal. Bellwood-Antis is the other.

Newcomer to Class “AA” West Catholic could make a deep push into the PIAA playoffs this season. If the Burrs would advance past the preliminary round against District 11’s champion, then the PCL rep. would draw the District 2 champion. Wouldn’t a West Catholic-Dunmore match-up be a dandy? If WC were to make it to the Eastern Finals, wouldn’t a tussle with Lancaster Catholic or Trinity (Camp Hill) or Montoursville be another classic?

Karns City could finally win its first state playoff game in school history. The Gremlins, 0-6 all-time in the PIAA playoffs, would draw the champion of a District 5/8 subregional either November 21 or 22. But a potential match-up at this juncture could be the Cougars of North Star High, and we know what the green and white nearly did to WPIAL champion Serra Catholic last season.

Things could get interesting in “AAA.” Assuming West Scranton would win its preliminary round game against District 11’s champion and say that Hollidaysburg would stun Selinsgrove in the D4/6 prelim. Would the Invaders then have to travel to Mansion Park Stadium to play Hollidaysburg in a “AAA” eastern quarterfinal? That would be quite a trek for either team to make.

That 2/4/6/11 “AAA” portion of the bracket could be interesting in a couple years if Berwick and Selinsgrove both advance to the quarterfinals.

District 3, rightfully or not (depending on your personal perspective), will automatically advance to the “AAA” Western Finals, meaning the potential exists for a Manheim Central – Thomas Jefferson rematch in the next couple of years. We won’t see an MC vs. Pine-Richland match-up for some time, as the Rams moved up in class to “AAAA.”

Just an aside, but wouldn’t it be different to see a “AAA” team from Berks County be competing in the Western Finals?

For the first time in who-knows-how-long, District 10 will not be meeting District 7 in the “AAA” Western Finals. That match-up moved up one week to the quarterfinals, where it’s more than likely that Thomas Jefferson could draw Erie Strong Vincent for the third time since 2004. But if it’s not SV that the Jaguars draw, then it would be Erie Prep, a team the black and gold bulldozer would have little trouble disposing of.

“AAAA” really didn’t provide any exciting changes except for the fact that Districts 6/8/9/10 have all been merged into a subregional and will play the winner of District 7 in the quarterfinal round. Whoever wins the 6/8/9/10 subregional might have to contend with powerful Gateway or Central Catholic squads. That match-up would be 99.9% likely to go the way of District 7.

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