OPINION: Prep football playoff fever
Tweet, chat, phone rings, score update, "really?"
Type, call, text, more caffeine ... ugh.
Back to the live stream, the radio and even MaxPreps — this is how I spend my Friday nights during football season, and believe it or not, I'm going to miss it.
The way social media has altered coverage of every event, even beyond sports, is truly amazing, and it's also exhausting.
Cramped, sometimes even on the end of my desk chair in anticipation of a 2-minute drill or a Hail Mary pass or an upset brewing caused more stress than meeting deadline.
However, following our 14 local Mid-Valley area teams this season has been a blast, and now I'm only anticipating a stint of winter blues, a void — that is, until basketball rolls around.
Week 1 of the playoffs didn't exactly treat us well.
Nine of our teams reached the postseason and three are left — think US boxing at the London Olympics.
With that said, even in defeat, a few accolades and comments need to be shared.
First off, regardless of your thoughts on how Yuba City High ended up playing in Division II of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, that's how the cookie crumbled, folks.
The section takes the 64 qualifying playoff teams and breaks them down into four divisions based on enrollment numbers. There are a few wrenches thrown into the system — private schools' numbers are weighed differently and the section avoids league opponents facing each other in the first round.
Unfortunately, for the Honkers, their enrollment number is 1,771, which is near the bottom of D-II — just above Del Oro (1,699) and Laguna Creek (1,672), and 1,771 would be the largest in D-III by 80 students. Depending on who qualifies, the Honkers could be thrown into D-II or D-III in any given year because of their teetering enrollment number.
Where the gripe comes in, if you're looking to gripe about something, is the matchup.
Yuba City probably should have hosted Rocklin last week, not Del Oro.
Del Oro and Rocklin both finished with 5-5 records, yet Del Oro beat Rocklin head-to-head and finished better in league play, which means Rocklin should have received the No. 15 seed, not No. 13. So I'm not exactly sure who muffed that punt.
It was a great season for the Honkers, and at the end of the day, as coach John Ithurburn would and will tell you, "It's just a game, and life goes on."
• I'm still blown away by what Live Oak managed to do against Central Valley.
It was the first year the Lions had been thrown into D-II. They are by far the smallest school with 520 students, and on Friday, they held their own against a very good Central Valley team — a school with 320 more students — and lost 40-26, though the score didn't reflect the tightness of that game. The task just to make the postseason is an accomplishment enough for Live Oak, however, competing in D-II is something the team must get accustomed to.
• Neil Stinson turned in a nice first season as head coach at Wheatland (7-4), and things are looking up for the Pirates.
• Coach John Dolenga and East Nicolaus will be happy to have QB Zach "Tex" Schuler back next year. It could be the Spartans' season in 2013.
• The Falcons probably could have kept things within reach against American Canyon if their No. 1 playmaker TJ Dove didn't break his leg a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately for River Valley, he'll be back next season.
• Colusa coach Paul Theriault took a team that finished at the bottom last season all the way to the postseason this year. RedHawks should be pleased.
• Of the three playoff teams remaining, Pierce likely has the best chance at winning a section title. The only team that stands as a threat at this point is Willows, a team the Bears narrowly defeated in the regular season.
• The four teams remaining in D-II of the Northern Section, are all very good, and Sutter's semifinal game against No. 4 Orland Friday could be potentially tougher than the title game. The Huskies are also watching the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV bracket, where they would need Placer to lose in order to receive any consideration for a state bowl bid.
• If No. 3 Maxwell beats No. 1 Portola on Friday, the Panthers would be a favorite to win a section title.