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Prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner chats at 12:30 p.m. Thursdays. Submit questions of any kind at any time.
Happy Halloween. Welcome to another of our weekly prep chats. I hope there are no "trick" questions!
How far do you see the local 3a football teams doing in the playoffs ?
Hi Brian. Based on the brackets, I think it's very realistic that one of the three -- maybe Monticello -- will make it to the quarterfinals. That could set up an extremely interesting struggle. The 3A playoff teams with the best defensive averages, Williamsville and the Sages, could meet in that round. Points would be at a premium on that Saturday. But don't overlook Unity. The Rockets seem to hit their peak annually in November. I believe the Monticello-St. Thomas More game will be closer than most suspect. I also think Unity is in a good position against St. Teresa, even though the Rockets lost to the Bulldogs earlier. That would certainly give the team a huge boost heading into the second round, likely against Williamsville. SJ-O has had players out at different points of the season and will be at less than full strength for the playoffs. I think the Spartans can get past Porta, but not so sure beyond that though their ability to move the ball both by running and passing is a great asset. The bracket as a whole is one that doesn't appear to have a team that's head-and-shoulders above all others. That should be an encouraging point for our area entries.
Fred, who has the best chance from the area in 3-A and how far can they make it? 1-A looks like Maroa in the Finals again. Can Cerro -Gordo get to the final Game in 2-A? In 4-A Mahomet will probably have a rough time. No Local teams in 5-A or 6-A Again. Bloomington-Normal Controls that again. Can Normal compete with the North Teams if they get a chance?
Hi Tom. Looks like this is the question jackpot! I gave my thoughts on 3A in answer to the previous question. I think you're right in 1A. Someone told me they think Maroa-Forsyth might be able to win every 1A game by a running clock, including in the finals. Not sure about that, but the Trojans will clearly be the favorite in every postseason game. My thoughts on the Cerro Gordo/DeLand-Weldon/Bement coop have changed in the past week, primarily since Maroa-Forsyth was shifted from 2A to 1A. The Broncos are in a terrific position. They are the only unbeaten team in the entire lower portion of the bracket. That in itself won't get them to the finals because some teams are able to it together at playoff time and will provide challenges. There are some potential roadblocks, but CG/D-W/B has a nice assortment of runners on offense. They don't pass a lot, but can be effective. The big thing is they're not in the upper bracket were four 9-0 teams must battle through one another just to get to the finals. As for M-S, I believe the Bulldogs are in good position to advance through a couple rounds in 4A, assuming of course they minimize mistakes and play well. As for 5A, I don't think the Big 12 schools wound up with a good draw. Obviously, one will win Saturday when Bloomington plays a rematch at Normal Community, but I see East St. Louis eliminating Big 12 teams two weeks in a row, which means they won't wind up facing a Northern team. What can you say about the quality of footbal in Bloomington-Normal? For the third successive year, all five of the high school football teams in those communities are in the playoffs. Champaign-Urbana was shut out of the playoffs, but if you check, Peoria, Springfield and Decatur's combined schools had sub-.500 seasons overall for their various football teams even though Sacred Heart-Griffin wound up 9-0. It's not just team from C-U which are in a struggle at this time.
That's a wrap for this week. We'll be back next week. Until then, enjoy the IHSA postseason competition in your favorite sport.