James Jones column: Schools reach postseason

Published 4:54 am Thursday, October 26, 2023

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The high school football playoff race is set in Dallas County.

With two weeks left in the regular season, Southside, Selma and Keith have already clinched state playoff berths in their respective classes. Playoff seeding is the only obstacle left for the first round on Nov. 10.

-Southside will start on the road as a third seed or fourth seed from Region 3, Class 3A.

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-Keith will finish third behind Sweet Water and Linden in Region 3, Class 1A race.

-Selma qualifies as the fourth seed in Region 3, Class 5A.

While we’re not surprised that half of our six schools made the postseason, only the lack of home games comes as a shock.

We’ve grown accustomed to having a team open the first round in Selma or Dallas County every year.

Selma and Morgan Academy each hosted home playoff games last year.

Two years ago, Southside and Keith each hosted first-round playoff contests.

It was the first time Southside hosted an opening-round game. The Panthers lost but gave their fans a home contest.

Keith enjoyed a historic playoff in 2021, reaching the 1A state quarterfinals for the first time. The Bears played the entire postseason at their homefield, J.V. Caldwell Memorial Stadium in Orrville. If Keith knocked off Brantley, the Bears would’ve hosted the state Semifinals.

Keith head coach Anthony Lumpkin said the Bears always enjoy playing at home.

The AHSAA gives a third seed a chance to host a playoff game if a school survives the first round.

The second-round pairings for the AHSAA, where the team on the bottom of the bracket pairings will be the home team unless the bottom team is playing a No. 3 seed. In that case, the No. 3 seed is the home team even if they’re playing a higher seed.

With that in mind, I believe that Southside and Keith both have a shot to get a home game and make a postseason run.  The Panthers are immensely talented, and the Bears battle tested.