Rhea County has clinched the District 6-AAA championship and will be in the Class 5A playoffs.
In 5-AAA, Bradley Central has five wins and is likely to get into Class 6A field. If the Bears beat East Hamilton tonight, they're in for sure. If they lose, there's a chance. McMinn County also has a shot at the 6A bracket, but a win over Ooltewah would greatly enhance the Cherokees' chances. Ooltewah, meanwhile, needs to beat McMinn County to clinch a share of the district title. The Owls are a win behind idle Cleveland and tied with East Hamilton. Those three Class 5A teams will be in the postseason, but tonight's games will decide the champ. If East Hamilton and Ooltewah win, then Ooltewah would win the district championship based on overall victories and East Hamilton would be second because of its win over Cleveland. If McMinn County and East Hamilton win, East Hamilton gets the championship based on a better district record than the Owls and a 21-20 win over Cleveland.
Polk County has won 5-AA and Sequoyah will finish second. McMinn Central will join Polk in the Class 3A bracket if it beats Chattanooga Central but will need help elsewhere if it loses. Sequoyah will be in the Class 4A field.
Hixson has won 6-AA and will host at least one Class 4A playoff game. Tyner can clinch the district's No. 2 spot and a berth in the 3A playoffs with a win against Red Bank. Central and East Ridge are bubble teams for the 4A bracket and need wins at McMinn Central and Howard, respectively.
A win at Sequatchie County would give Signal Mountain the 7-AA championship. A Sequatchie win coupled with a Notre Dame loss at Grundy County would give the Indians the championship. If Sequatchie and Notre Dame win, then Notre Dame would win the championship. Grundy County is another bubble team. The Yellow Jackets would make the field with a win and might make it regardless.
Both District 5 and District 6 championship and runner-up spots will be decided tonight -- unbeaten Silverdale Baptist playing at defending champ Boyd-Buchanan in District 5 and defending champ South Pittsburg going to Marion County to decide District 6. All four already are guaranteed playoff spots, South Pittsburg in Class 1A and Boyd-Buchanan, Marion and Silverdale in Class 2A. Having completed its season last week, Whitwell seems a likely Class 1A addition.
There is a 50-50 chance that Baylor will host McCallie next Friday. Baylor's Red Raiders are playing at Father Ryan tonight. A loss to the Irish would pit Baylor against McCallie. A Baylor win over the Irish likely would send Pope John Paul II to Baylor and McCallie on the road to Father Ryan. Ensworth is No. 1, Montgomery Bell Academy No. 2.
With a win Father Ryan would be third and secure a first-week bye along with Ensworth and MBA. A Baylor win would give Brentwood Academy the No. 3 spot.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...