The dilemma local teams face for playoffs
With the Sac-Joaquin Section’s changes concerning the 2018 football playoffs, the door is closing on most Rocklin teams, although Rocklin High is not yet out of the picture.
The only teams that get an automatic bid to the playoffs this year are those that win or tie for first in their respective leagues. After that, the teams are taken from Calpreps.com’s rankings to fill out the 12-team brackets. Only Division VII is limited to six teams.
However, the section changes also indicate that any team selected at large must have at least four victories to be eligible.
Right now, the Thunder has two victories, Western Sierra Collegiate Academy is 1-6 and Whitney is 0-7 with three games remaining.
To get four wins, the Thunder would have to beat Del Oro (7-0) and Granite Bay (3-4). Obviously, the Grizzlies, playing Folsom this week, could use another victory as well.
According to Calpreps, Rocklin ranks in the No. 10 spot; largely due to strength of schedule.
This was perhaps not the best year to enter the Sierra Foothill League, where football is concerned, but the Wildcats now know what they will be up against in the future.
The Wildcats have been rebuilding, pretty much since Mike Gimenez stepped down in 2014, and they were 1-9 that year. But new head coach Zac McNally is no stranger to tough competition.
With some potential talent willing to face the consequences of transferring to a school with a more established football program, McNally and the ‘Cats will be building from the ground up.
With three games remaining for the Wolves (0-2, 1-6), there is a glimmer of hope. Unfortunately, two of their final three games are against Sacramento Metro Athletic League-leaders Encina Prep (2-0) and Woodland Christian (2-0).
Like Whitney, WSCA had to start from ground zero after only three years of having a football program. But head coach Greg “Roz” Roeszler is no stranger to uphill climbs.
Departed coach JP Dolliver, a friend of Roeszler’s, took the fledgling program into the playoffs in just three years. Don’t be surprised to see the Wolves back in the playoffs – just not this year.