If St. Edward has its way, history will not be in the making this weekend.
The Suburban Christian Blue is on the brink of having all six teams in the division finish the regular season eligible for postseason play. St. Francis (4-4) is the only holdout that hasn’t reached five victories, meaning it must win at home Friday against the Green Wave in order for the league to accomplish the feat.
It is believed that no conference with six teams has ever had every member become playoff eligible since the state series was introduced in 1974, and doing so would be a fitting way to close the books on the highly regarded SCC Blue, which is disbanding after this year.
Of course, St. Edward (5-3) would prefer to get in a parting shot on one of its longtime conference foes before leaving for the Metro Suburban next season. The other five teams in the SCC Blue — Montini (8-0), Marian Central (6-2), Marmion (6-2), Aurora Christian (5-3) and St. Francis — are bound for the Chicago Catholic League in 2014.
“It’s an interesting piece of trivia that all six teams could make the playoffs, and it does speak to the competitive nature of our league,” St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. “More than that, I think we’ve had one or two state champions every year for the last 13 years. I don’t think any conference can boast anything close to that.”
Regardless of this week’s outcome, the Green Wave looks like a lock to reach the playoffs for only the fifth time in program history. It would be the third playoff trip in the past five years under Rolando, who has tried to build a program that can hang with the bigger and more seasoned programs in the conference.
“For us, it’s kind of a bittersweet ending,” Rolando said. “I think we’ve got a pretty good football team and I think we can compete with St. Francis. They’ve got as many seniors as we have players, but I think we have a good group of kids and the right mix of talent and size. Hopefully we can go out, play tough and try to improve our own standing by getting that sixth win.”
Warriors still riding high
The thrill of claiming the first varsity win in program history likely won’t wear off any time soon for Westminster Christian following its 33-28 triumph against Christian Liberty last Saturday.
The Warriors fell behind 9-0 to start the contest, but they righted the ship and took a big step forward as a program. Westminster will now try to start its first-ever winning streak when it visits North Shore Country Day on Saturday in a meeting of 1-7 teams.
“There wasn’t a dry eye on the field,” Westminster coach John Davis said of last week’s postgame celebration. “We came out a little shaky, but we never really felt our backs were against the wall. We’re so used to being down 30-0 or 40-0 that only being down 9-0 may as well have been a tie game.”
Bartlett (3-5) will miss the playoffs for only the second time in the past 14 years after last week’s 46-6 loss to South Elgin ended any chance of a late postseason push. The Hawks will try to put a better foot forward in their finale, but it won’t be easy as state-ranked Neuqua Valley pays a visit Friday with a chance to lock up the outright Upstate Eight Valley title.
“We feel bad for the boys,” Bartlett coach Tom Meaney said. “They worked hard all year, and we weren’t able to get them to the playoffs. It wasn’t from a lack of effort or desire.”
End of the road for Scianna
Mike Scianna will coach his final game at Larkin when the Royals host St. Charles East on Friday at Memorial Field. Scianna, who owns an 11-24 record in four years at the helm, announced earlier this month he will resign after the season.
“Our kids want to go out with a bang and protect their home field for the last time,” Scianna said. “I’m sure it’s going to be emotional for all of us. It’s bittersweet in some ways, but we just want to have some fun.”
CSN to air playoff show
The IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show will air on Comcast SportsNet Chicago from 8-10 p.m. Saturday.
The show, which will reveal the brackets and first-round matchups of all 256 playoff qualifiers across eight classes, can also be viewed via live interactive stream on the internet at IHSA.tv and CSNChicago.com.