The Mitchell ReportIn three short weeks it will once again be playoff time in Yazoo City.
It is already coming to be that time we’re we look at the playoff brackets, look at our favorite team and see what needs to happen for them to make the playoffs. That is, pretty much, what this column is about.
Both Yazoo City and Yazoo County high schools have gotten off to slow starts, while Benton has kept at a steady pace and Manchester has exploded out of the starting gates. All four have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs, too.
Let’s look at each school individually, starting with the team who I think has the best (or easiest) shot at making the playoffs.
The Raiders don’t have an astonishing player, nor do they boast anything close to a perfect record. What they do have going for them is a district that is ripe for the taking.
In the MAIS A playoffs, the top two teams from each district will advance to the post season. Benton’s district includes Tri-County, Central Holmes, Humphreys Academy and Sharkey-Issaquena. The Raiders have yet to play Tri-County or Humphreys Academy.
Tri-County is ranked as one of the best private school teams in the state. So, let’s go ahead and give them a ticket to the playoffs. That leaves one spot and it will come down to what happens on April 2 and April 5 when Benton and Humphreys play one another. If one side sweeps, they’ll be in and the other team will be out. If they split, though, there will be a series of tie breakers to determine who goes.
The Mavs lasted nearly a month without losing a game. Most of the time that is a signal of future success. But when you lose arguably your best player for the year, nothing is a sure thing.
Manchester must be one of the top two teams from their district to make the playoffs and that isn’t such an easy task anymore. Fortunately, the Mavs still have games on the schedule against Leake and Canton.
While the Mavs aren’t sitting there now, they could very well be on top of their district at the end of the season. This week’s games against Leake, combined with a pair of victories against Canton in early March, will go a long way in deciding Manchester’s fate. Win and we’ll see them in playoffs. Lose and, well, we’ll just have to wait and see.
The Panthers, despite having nearly three weeks off, are in a position to make the playoffs if the season ended today.
Yazoo County has just one district opponent that is considered a “powerhouse” and that’s Cleveland. Greenwood has talent and athletes. Gentry, Amanda Elzy and Humphreys Academy aren’t known for the baseball skills.
In the MHSAA playoffs, the top three teams from each district advance to the playoffs with the champions earning a first round bye. The Panthers can easily lock up that third-seed, although I predict them to be the No.2 seed from district 4A-3.
At first glance, it would seem as if Yazoo City is the furthest from the playoffs. Actually, they aren’t that far.
The Indians sit below Starkville, Neshoba Central and Canton. But that’s it. There are only four teams in the district with three moving on to May.
All Yazoo City needs to do is sweep Canton this week and the playoffs are there for the Indians.
It all seems so simple here on paper, but on the field is an entirely different story.