The final week of the regular season has Teche Area schools in St. Mary Parish angling for some finals points to boost their power rankings as the Louisiana High School Athletic Association releases the playoff brackets for all classes and divisions Sunday.
The biggest battle will take place in Centerville as the Bulldogs play host to Hanson in a District 7-A contest that will determine the playoff future for both teams.
In Class A, Centerville (5-4 overall, 1-4 district) is guaranteed a playoff spot as the Bulldogs are 17th in the latest LHSAA unofficial power rankings released Tuesday.
CHS has a power ranking of 10.10 and is .05 behind No. 16 Sicily Island (10.15). The top 16 teams play host to first-round games and a win over rival Hanson could be enough to boost Centerville into the top16 and home playoff date next week.
A loss to the Tigers would mean the Bulldogs finish 17th ot 18th in the power rankings and will be on the road in the first round.
On the other sideline Friday night, Hanson (2-7, 1-4) is battling for its playoff life.
The Tigers (8.60) are 17th in the Division IV power rankings, 0.18 behind No. 16 St. John (8.78). The good news for Hanson is the the 15th seed, Ascension Christian, is not playing for district honors and will not participate in the playoffs, so Hanson is currently the 16th seed, 0.05 points ahead of 18th seed St. Mary’s (8.55).
A win over Centerville coupled with a St. John loss could be enough to jump HMS into the 15th seed. Only the top 16 seeds make the playoffs in Division IV.
“We know what we’re playing for,” Hanson coach Chris Sanders said. “If we win, we’re in. If we lose, there’s still a chance that we get in since St. John plays Ascension Catholic (the current No. 2 seed), which was the state runner-up last season and are just as good if not better than last year.”
What also plays into the Centerville-Hanson game is the natural rivalry between the two schools separated by six miles.
“They know our kids, our kids know them and hang out with them,” Sanders said. “It’s just natural that there is going to be some competition between the two.”
Finally, there is this — Centerville has never beaten Hanson in football, losing 50-12 in 2015, 41-27 in 2016 and 48-14 last year.
Elsewhere, Franklin (4-4, 4-1 District 7-2A) closes the regular season at Catholic High. The Hornets are 22nd in the LHSAA power rankings and are going to be in the playoffs.
If FSH beat Catholic High, then Franklin, CHS and Ascension Episcopal would have a three-way tie for the district title.
Franklin will be on the road in the first round of the playoffs most likely against the 10th seed (currently Kinder) 11th seed (Lake Arthur) or 12th seed (General Trass).
West St. Mary (3-5, 3-2) plays host to Ascension Episcopal Friday in its regular season finale. The Wolfpack (9.13) are 29th in the power rankings, ahead of Delhi Charter (9.11), Port Allen (8.94) and Ville Platte (8.52). A win over the Blue Gators would guarantee a spot in the playoffs. A loss shouldn’t drop WSM out of the playoffs but most likely puts them as a lower seed for the playoffs and a first round game against a top-five seed.