Playoffs have intriguing possibilities
Published 6:59 am Wednesday, July 26, 2006
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
Class 4A Region 1, where both T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal will reside for the upcoming season, has been paired up against Region 2 in the opening round of this season's Alabama High School Athletic Association football playoffs.
Region 1 also contains Escambia County, Southside-Selma, Jackson, Hillcrest-Evergreen, Monroe County and Thomasville. Region 2 contains Andalusia, Alabama Christian, Ashford, Bullock County, Daleville, Opp, Saint James and Trinity Presbyterian.
If T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal qualify for the postseason, there could be come intriguing first-round matchups.
A potential T.R. Miller-Opp game would pit Tigers head coach Jamie Riggs against Opp skipper and former T.R. Miller offensive line coach Jack Whigham. Whigham had been with T.R. Miller since 1991 before taking the Opp head job this spring. Opp is also where Riggs began his head coaching career, as he spent three seasons there before his arrival at T.R. Miller as the head skipper in 1989.
While on the topic of prior coaching stops, a T.R. Miller-Daleville matchup would pit Tigers defensive coordinator Marc Edge against his former school.
T.R. Miller already plays Trinity Presbyterian in week 10. The Tigers and Wildcats could meet again in the first round of the playoffs.
Andalusia has been a good rival on the T.R. Miller schedule for several years, but the schools were unable to work out a date for this year after the AHSAA pulled Andalusia out of the original Region 1 alignment. The Tigers and Bulldogs could renew that rivalry in the opening round.
W.S. Neal already plays a pair of Region 2 members during the regular season and could have the possibility of playing those teams again during the first week of the playoffs. The Blue Eagles host Daleville in the season opener and travel to Opp in week five.
While it is not a regular season game, W.S. Neal plays Region 2 member Andalusia in a preseason game.
In other playoff matchups, Region 3 had been pitted against Region 4. Region 3 contains Beauregard, Central-Coosa, Childersburg, Cleburne County, Dadeville, Elmore County, Handley and Holtville. Region 4 contains Central-Tuscaloosa, Fayette County, Greene County, Holt, Jemison, Livingston, Northside and Oak Grove.
Region 5 drew Region 6 in the first round. Region 5 contains Corner, Dora, Fairview, Locust Fork, Midfield, Oneonta, St. Clair County and Tarrant. Region 6 contains Alexandria, Ashville, Boaz, Cherokee County, Douglas, Guntersville, Jacksonville and Saks.
The other playoff matchup in round one has Region 7 against Region 8. Region 7 contains Ardmore, Columbia, DAR, East Lawrence, East Limestone, Madison County, North Jackson and Priceville. Region 8 includes Brooks, Central-Florence, Deshler, Haleyville, Hamilton, Lawrence County, Rogers and Wilson.
The first round of the playoffs will be Nov. 10. The second quarter will be Nov. 17 followed by the quarterfinals on Nov. 24 and the semifinals on Dec. 1. The Class 4A state championship game will be December 7 at 7 p.m. at Birmingham's Legion Field. Class 2A also plays its title game Dec. 7 at 3 p.m.
December 8 title games are Class 3A at 3 p.m and Class 5A at 7 p.m. December 9 title games feature Class 1A at 11 a.m. and Class 6A at 3 p.m.