By Lynn Saternow
Herald Sports Editor
WHEN IT comes to District 10 football, Mercer County area rules in the Class A and Class AA divisions. No brag, just fact!
In Class AA, teams from this area have won the D-10 crown for the last 12 years straight. In Class A, our local clubs have won the last 9 in a row.
That’s why its understandable if fans of the Mercer Mustangs, the fifth place team out of our area, are somewhat irritated that they weren’t invited to the dance this season.
At the start of the year, the District 10 Committee set a standard that only the region (league) champions were guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, but the others would be selected on merit. On merit, Mercer should be in.
However, a couple of weeks ago, the committee changed course and said they would take four teams from the northern region and four teams from our region. Probably because they realized the northern teams would be very upset about too many of our teams being entered.
This is the way it should have been in the first place. That would have removed any controversy. But when our area had five or six teams that are better than everyone except maybe the top representative out of the north, Mercyhurst Prep, that creates controversy.
Admittedly, this is a rare year that we have five teams that are so strong. It would be a shock if they don’t dominate in the first round. Even the region’s No. 4 rep Lakeview has a solid shot of beating Mercyhurst Prep.
But if you are looking at the A bracketing, in the first round look for Sharpsville to advance to meet the winner of the Prep-Lakeview game, while unbeaten West Middlesex and Kennedy Catholic will move on to clash in the other semifinal.
Wilmington is the class of AA this season. The Greyhounds should roll over Corry to advance to a semis meeting with either Sharon or Harbor Creek. On the other side of the bracket, Grove City is coming on strong and should rip Seneca to move on to a semis meeting with either Greenville or Fairview. Fairview is a solid team, moving up from Class A after losing in the D-10 A semis last year to Sharpsville, 38-26.
Regardless, I will be surprised — make that stunned — if its not all-Mercer County matchups in both the A and AA championship games.
ä Note to the D-10 committee: Get rid of the term “region” for our leagues. You can’t have regions, then districts, then regions as you advance in the playoffs in various sports. It gets awfully confusing. Call them leagues or conferences or whatever like everybody else does. I prefer “Section.” Or give them names like the WPIAL. But that term “region” has got to go!
Don’t get me wrong. The District 10 Committee has a tough job and does very well on most things. But that “region” thing messes everybody up.
By Lynn Saternow