By DAVE DEVLIN
After eight weeks of play the district playoff picture is becoming clearer.
As it stands now the Pioneer Athletic Conference has four teams positioned for a birth in the District I playoffs.
In AAAA Spring-Ford (6-0, 7-1) is currently in 8th place in a field that will have 16 teams participate. After the Rams Homecoming victory over Owen J. Roberts this past weekend Spring-Ford has 870 points which is 60 ahead of ninth place West Chester Henderson.
If Spring-Ford holds that position or moves up it would be guaranteed a first round home game.
The Rams travel to Pottstown this weekend then host Perkiomen Valley in Week 10.
In AAA Phoenixville, Pottsgrove and Pope John Paul II are currently in the eight team tournament.
Phoenixville (4-2, 6-2) has 860 points good for 2nd place behind Springfield-Delco (970 pts) with Pottsgrove (6-1, 6-2) right behind the Phantoms in 3rd place with 840 points.
The Phantoms host Upper Perkiomen this weekend and Pottsgrove travels down to Perkiomen Valley in the Game of the Week.
Phoenixville and Pottsgrove meet November 4th at Pottsgrove.
Pope John Paul II (3-4, 4-4) held onto 8th place despite a loss to Phoenixville this past weekend. The Golden Panthers (570 pts) have two games remaining on their regular season schedule including a match up with AAAA Boyertown this Saturday. A victory over the Bears would be a point’s bonanza.
Pope John Paul finishes up its regular season with Upper Perkiomen in Week 10.
Pottstown (2-4, 3-5) and Upper Perkiomen (2-4, 3-5) are both currently on the outside looking in at the playoffs in 12th and 13th place currently.
Two weeks remain for playoff positioning or putting in a claim on a remaining spot.
JUST MY OPINION - I found myself looking at the remainder of the Pioneer Athletic Conference regular season schedule wondering what team could possibly knock Spring-Ford off its first place perch.
Instead I am about to disappoint area Thanksgiving Day High School Football fans by calling for its discontinuation.
Before I go any further I want to point out that I am a fan of high school football on Turkey Day. I watched my brother play in two St. Pius X vs Pottsgrove games long before the Winged Lions even entered the Ches-Mont League, played in three games against the Falcons in my playing days, covered my fair share of games as a member of the media an took a few in as a paying customer.
And I will be somewhere November 24th calling a game on the radio.
I can honestly report that I came away from each of those contests happier and richer due simply to the experience of being there.
However, the rich traditions of those days are dwindling, more than a few of those traditional games are now defunct throughout District I, attendance is down for the few that remain and because of district playoffs the luster or intensity is sometimes diminished greatly.
Need I remind everyone of the Pottsgrove junior varsity vs St. Pius X clash of 2009?
The Falcons had already taken care of their second straight PAC-10 title and had a district playoff game the very same week. Therefore head coach Rick Pennypacker, correctly I might add, made the decision to hold out his varsity players on Thanksgiving.
Had that contest not have been the last football game ever played by St. Pius X, I find it hard to believe 100 people who did not have a child playing on either team would have bothered to show up.
District playoffs are here to stay, and we could see similar “What’s the Point?” contests moving forward.
Looking at this year’s crop of Turkey Day clashes, Spring-Ford traveling to Phoenixville may very well have the biggest impact in helping decide the PAC-10 title, even if the Rams lose a league game before hand.
Or, if Pottsgrove loses one of its two remaining games and Spring-Ford wins its next two, the November 24th game will be played for nothing more than pride.
And in either case let’s not forget the possibility that both or one of Spring-Ford and Phoenixville could still be alive in the district playoffs bringing up the real possibility of a repeat of that less than interesting game in 2009.
So I say again that this once wonderful tradition should be laid to rest.
Dave Devlin is the News/Sports & Information director at . He can be reached at HYPERLINK "mailto:email@example.com" firstname.lastname@example.org.