By Longhorn Putt
Well, I've had 10 weeks to assess the teams, so let me dare to name the contenders “most likely to have a chance at winning a title” in our four divisions.
If neither Shiner nor Refugio win this division, most everyone will be surprised. They’ve been the favorites since Shiner won it all almost a year ago.
But there are challengers, other teams vigorously competing for the top playoff spots and urgently wanting to humble the two front runners..
In Region I of this division four teams will decide in Week 11 which will have the #1 spot out of their districts: In District 2 New Deal (8-1) will be at Sundown (7-2). District 3, will see Hawley (8-0) at Forsan (9-0)
In Region II Cooper has already claimed the #1 seed for District 6 over Celeste, but Crawford stands boldly in the way.
Timpson has long been the favorite in Region III, but will be challenged by Beckville , Thrall and Centerville.
And, lastly, perennial contender Mason hopes to be the team to pop the Shiner and Refugio bubbles.
Mart is the super power out of Region III, of course, but as Windthorst showed in 2020, the Panthers can be beaten.
Stafford looks strong in Region I and Muenster very strong in Region II, challenged by Windthorst and Roscoe. Falls City and Christoval are the frontrunners in Region IV.
Jim Ned is in the Region I driver’s seat but Brock has the power to stop the Indians before they leave their tepees. Mount Vernon and West stand out in Region II; and late-comer Columbus in Region III. Region IV has two prime contestants for its place in the final four: Edna and Poteet.
Most experts see no way for the Franklin Lions of Region IV to be slowed in their quest for the division’s 2021 title. Unexpectedly, though, Childress has replaced Canadian as the Region I front-runner, while Holliday and Gunter are setting the playoff pace for Region II as are West Rusk and Newton in Region III
Of course, anything can happen. And the 2021 champion in any or all of the divisions just may be none of the above but one of the qualifiers just now beginning to show the strength of a serious contender.
Whatever, after Week 11 ends, then the real fun begins.