The field contending for postseason, as usual, narrowed considerably in week nine play in the area conferences.
As far as league titles go, both Ottawa-Glandorf in the WBL and Coldwater in the MAC clinched outright titles. In the NWCC, it appears Fairbanks and Fort Loramie will share the league title, considering their match ups in the final week.
However, several other teams are formidable in making a bid for the playoffs, and several have already clinched spots.
Teams that have clinched: Coldwater, O-G, Delphos St. John’s, Fort Loramie, Marion Local, Minster, St. Henry.
The rest of the teams?
Celina took a big loss to Elida last week, seriously reducing its chances.
It was the first game Celina was not competitive in this season. Their playoff chances are now hanging by a thread.
A loss to Bath eliminates them outright. If they win, they are still out if Trenton Edgewood, Vandalia-Butler, or Mount Orab Western Brown are able to win. If all three of those teams lose, it is still unlikely they get a postseason berth.
Had the Bulldogs been able to pull of wins in close games with O-G and Kenton, they would be sitting in fifth place in the region.
Playoff prognosis: Very little chance
Elida came out on the upper end in a game between two teams fighting for their playoff lives with a resounding win over Celina last week. They now control their own destiny and will secure a postseason berth with a win over Defiance this week.
Should Defiance somehow pull of a stunning upset over Elida, Columbus St. Francis DeSales and Columbus Independence can mathematically catapult themselves past Elida, even though those chances are remote.
Playoff prognosis: 90 percent chance they are in
Kenton cannot clinch with a win, but they aren’t necessarily out with a loss either.
A win improves their chances immensely, though it is not a given as they play Wapakoneta.
Ten teams are fighting for the final three playoff spots, but Kenton holding the eighth spot now and chances are good with a win.
As the state runner up last year, expectations were high for the Wildcats.
While they graduated arguably the best football player in Ohio last year, they have done well to replace their potent offensive attack.
Playoff prognosis: A little better than 50-50
Versailles took a big hit with a narrow loss to Minster last week. A loss to St. Henry in week 10 eliminates them. However, they have played well enough this season to have a shot at this game.
The highest they can finish is in the eighth spot.
The best thing going for them is that six of the seven teams all fighting for the last couple spots have a realistic chance at losing.
The chances aren’t good, but they aren’t astronomical either.
Wins by Marion Pleasant or Miami Eastview automatically eliminate them regardless.
Playoff prognosis: Less than 10 percent
Waynesfield-Goshen has the inside track for the final playoff spot in Region 24.
The first seven spots are all clinched, and *W-G. Jefferson Township, Southeastern Local, and New Miami are all still alive. W-G clinches the spot with a win.
However, a win will take a strong performance as they play undefeated Dayton Christian. If they lose, wins by Jefferson Township or New Miami would eliminate them.
If all four lose, a distinct possibility, it is a free-for-all on how the points shake out for the final spot.
Playoff prognosis: 50 percent chance