Some high school division races far from settled

By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal

With two games to go in its regular-season schedule, Bruce has a solid hold on the division title in 1-2A.
The Journal’s top-ranked Trojans beat visiting Baldwyn 48-17 Friday to sit alone atop the division. Things aren’t totally settled though. While Baldwyn has two games remaining on its schedule it should win, Bruce has Okolona at home on Friday and goes to Calhoun City to close the regular season with the unpredictable Skuna River Rivalry.
“I’m proud of our win, proud of our guys. It’s just another step,” Bruce coach James Ray said. “It doesn’t mean anything for us. We’ve got two more to get there.”
There’s another dynamic that has fans thinking, not coaches though. Brackets are out for the postseason and anyone can see what the future holds for playoff seeds.
Finishing in certain spots – often not first – in some divisions may seem to present a lighter playoff load.
It’s not the case with unsettled 1-2A. Both favored 4-2A contenders West Bolivar and South Delta await on the top and bottom of that bracket.
Staying focused
Immediately after Friday’s victory – as big a win as it was for Bruce – Ray talked about the task still at hand and a focus on Okolona, not potential playoff teams.
For divisions that have more than one capable contender though, playoff alignment could become more key.
Looking ahead has long been coached against. Vardaman coach Justin Hollis figures looking ahead is common, but team’s goals are as common.
“If coaches tell you they don’t look, I would say they do. I look at brackets,” Hollis said. “But our No. 1 goal is to win the region, no matter what side of the bracket you’re on.
“If both of you are good enough, you’re going to play each other and if you’re good enough, you’re going to win, whether that’s in the third round or fourth round.”
brandon.speck@journalinc.com

DAILY JOURNAL RANKINGS
(Updated each Monday)

Class 6A/5A LW
1. West Point (6-2) . . . . . . . . . . . 1
This week: vs. Center Hill
2. Oxford (8-0) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
This week: vs. Saltillo
3. Saltillo (5-3) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
This week: at Oxford

Class 3A/4A LW
1. Itawamba AHS (8-0) . . . . . . . . 1
This week: at Amory
2. Aberdeen (7-2) . . . . . . . . . . . 3
This week: vs. Water Valley
3. Amory (8-1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
This week: vs. Itawamba AHS
4. Lafayette (7-2) . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
This week: vs. Senatobia
5. New Albany (5-4) . . . . . . . . NR
This week: at Rosa Fort

Class 2A/1A LW
1. Bruce (7-2) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
This week: vs. Okolona
2. Smithville (6-1) . . . . . . . . . . . 2
This week: vs. TCPS (Thurs.)
3. Vardaman (5-3) . . . . . . . . . . . 3
This week: vs. Houlka
4. Falkner (7-1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
This week: vs. Thrasher (Thurs.)
5. Potts Camp (7-1) . . . . . . . . . NR
This week: vs. Ashland