The ins and outs of prep football

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Start filling out the brackets.

With one week remaining in the high school football schedule, the postseason fate of every prep team in Shelby County but one has been determined.

A total of five AHSAA teams will represent Shelby County in the race for the Super Six at Birmingham’s Legion Field.

At least two teams from Shelby County will battle for the AISA crown with a third, Coosa Valley Academy, hanging in the balance. The Rebels’ game with Cornerstone Friday night will determine whether CVA makes the playoffs.

Here’s the breakdown.

In: Spain Park Jaguars, Briarwood Christian Lions, Chelsea Hornets, Shelby County Wildcats, Calera Eagles, Cornerstone Christian Chargers and Shelby Academy Raiders.

Out: Oak Mountain Eagles, Pelham Panthers, Thompson Warriors, Montevallo Bulldogs, Vincent Yellow Jackets and Kingwood Christian Lions.

On the bubble: Coosa Valley Academy.

A grand total of seven (or eight) of Shelby County’s 14 high school football teams will compete for state championships.

That is a pretty good showing.

I was 10-2 with my picks last week bringing me to a 49-12 record with one week remaining in regular season play.

Oak Mountain fell from playoff contention last Friday night, after a second-half comeback attempt against Spain Park fell short.

Thompson thumped Brookwood 41-16. Although the Warriors are outclassed by the Eagles (Oak Mountain is 6A and Thompson 5A), they just might have the advantage because of the timing of Oak Mountain’s ill fortune. THS 35, OMHS 31.

Pelham was another team that watched its playoff chances crushed before a home crowd with the loss to Vestavia Hills.

The Mountain Brook Spartans are one of the better teams in Class 6A and even if they get caught looking ahead to the playoffs, they’ll prove too powerful for the Panthers. MB 35, PHS 10.

Spain Park takes on a tough 5A team in Gardendale. The Jaguars seem to keep getting better as the season progresses and will have a healthy little challenge on the road before their first-ever playoff appearance. SP 35, GARD 21.

Briarwood will look to iron out the kinks after dropping to No. 1-ranked Homewood last week.

The Lions will likely rebound strong, returning to old form just before the playoffs. The unfortunate opponent &045; 3-6 Athens. BCS 41, ATH 14.

The Chelsea Hornets have been running wild of late, winning their last four games behind a grueling rushing attack. They host a Central-Coosa team that has won only one game all season.

The Chelsea backs will again eat up the yardage in the lopsided win. CHEL 42, CC 14.

Montevallo looks to close out a tough season on the road. Midfield, at 7-2, won’t provide much relief, they knocked off Northside 49-8 last week. This one should be a good ballgame. MID 21, MHS 14.

Shelby County tore through the regular season after losing the opener to Tarrant.

The Wildcats will finish the schedule on the road against Saks, a 2-7 team with little to play for. Shelby County should come out strong. SCHS 31, SAKS 10.

Calera had its hopes for a region title dashed by Mike DuBose’s Luverne Tigers last week and look to rebound against Isabella. The Class 1A opponent could be just what the Eagles need to get back on track before the playoffs. CAL 34, ISA 14.

Vincent hit the field in new uniforms and picked up its first win of the season last week. Two-in-a-row may be a little too much to ask for at this point, especially with the Yellow Jackets playing up a class and on the road at West Blocton. So we’re not asking. WB 35, VHS 21.

Halloween night. Playoff implications. The touch, the feel, the fabric of a rivalry. The battle for the Cotton Cup is this week’s game of the week. If Coosa Valley Academy wins, they go to the playoffs, if they lose, the don’t. It’s as simple as that. Cornerstone has already clinched a playoff spot, but will play for position. And yes, the trophy swapped back-and-forth between the two teams is actually filled with cotton. With their backs to the wall and a little more to play for CVA gets the edge. CVA 28, CCS 24.

Shelby Academy has looked stellar all season, falling only to AISA power Bessemer Academy. The Raiders will finish the regular season at Kingwood and gear up for what looks to be a promising run in the playoffs.

Kingwood’s tough season will come to an end as the refuse-to-quit Lions finish their second straight season without a win. But on the bright side for Kingwood, the team won’t lose any seniors from this year’s squad &045; their roster is filled entirely by freshman, sophomores and juniors. SA 42, KCS 7.

Ashley Vansant is the sports editor at the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at