Compared to the largest three divisions, Classes 2A, 1A, 8man and 6man are one game farther into their conference schedule and each team will have just two games remaining after this weekend.Â That means the games carry even more importance as clubs work to a league crown and playoff berth.
Below is a quick list and breakdown of our picks for the most important games on Friday.Â The number of games selected for each class is limited to five and we make selections based on importance to the conference races and playoff brackets.
A recap of these games including interviews with coaches around the state can be found during the Scoreboard Show.Â It airs on over 20 stations statewide each Friday night from 9:30-11:00pm on the Colorado Preps Radio Network.Â It’s presented by Colorado Farm Bureau Insurance.
Pagosa Springs (4-2) at Bayfield (6-0)
Platte Valley (6-0) at Valley (4-2)
Brush (2-4) at Weld Central (4-2)
Academy (4-2) at Eaton (4-2)
Coal Ridge (3-3) at Basalt (5-1)
Other than Saturday’s meeting between Faith Christian — D’Evelyn, tonight’s battle between Pagosa Springs and Bayfield is the only matchup on the 2A schedule featuring league leaders.Â Both clubs are 2-0 in league play and the winner will stand alone atop the Intermountain division.Â Platte Valley needs a win over Valley to keep sole possession of the Patriot East lead.Â Valley is 18th in RPI points and a win will greatly boost their playoff chances.Â Likewise, for Weld Central as they sit 19th in the RPI.Â Brush though is coming off a nice win over Valley last week. Â Â Eaton is another bubble team as the Reds are 16th in RPI this week.Â A win also gives them no worse than a share of the Patriot West lead.Â They begin the contest tied with Resurrection in first.Â Coal Ridge has lost two straight but remains in the playoff chase (20th in RPI).Â Basalt needs to avoid a letdown after an impressive win over Aspen last week.Â They’re tied with Moffat County in first out west.
Paonia (5-1) at Olathe (4-2)
Crowley County (5-1) at Ellicott (2-4)
Wray (3-3) at Burlington (4-2)
Ignacio (2-4) at Centauri (6-0)
Paonia and Olathe are both 2-0 in the Western Slope and the winner will stay in first place either alone or tied with Meeker if the Cowboys get by Cedaredge as expected.Â Paonia is 8th in RPI and Olathe 13th.Â Crowley County has already beaten Rocky Ford so a win over Ellicott this evening should virtually lock up the Santa Fe crown.Â Their remaining two games are against Trinidad and Dolores Huerta who are a combined 2-11.Â Wray is tied for third with Yuma in the North Central and both are one game back behind Burlington and Limon.Â The Eagles are also 19th in RPI so they need a win on two fronts.Â Burlington is 10th in RPI.Â Ignacio may be the last three to Centauri and the Falcons chase to the Southern Peaks crown.Â They’ve already beaten Monte Vista.Â Centauri is also battling Bennett for the top overall playoff seed.
Merino (6-0) at Sedgwick County (5-0)
Caliche (3-3) at Haxtun (5-1)
South Park (3-3) at Pikes Peak Christian (3-3)
Del Norte (4-2) at Sargent (3-3)
Merino and Sedgwick County are both unbeaten and the team that stays there takes over the outright lead in the rugged Plains conference.Â Both are 2-0 in conference play.Â They’re also 1-2 in the RPI chase with Merino .053 points ahead of the two-time defending state champions.Â Caliche and Haxtun are 1-1 in the same conference so the winner will move into the second place with the loser between Merino and Sedgwick County.Â Haxtun is 6th in RPI and Caliche 12th.Â South Park and Pikes Peak Christian have both lost to Central league leading Rocky Mountain Lutheran so they’re playing for a wildcard berth.Â The Burros are 18th in RPI and Pikes Peak Christian 22nd so likely only the winner stays in contention.Â Del Norte is in the same boat.Â The Tigers already have two Southwest conference losses but remain in the post-season chase as they’re 20th in RPI.Â A win by Sargent sets up a winner take all game for the conference title with Mancos in week nine.
Otis (6-0) at Stratton/Liberty (6-0)
Peetz (4-1) at Fleming (3-3)
Eads (4-2) at Kit Carson (5-1)
Arickaree/Woodlin (2-4) at Idalia (1-5)
There’s quite a bit riding on the unbeaten battle between Otis and Stratton/Liberty.Â The Knighted Eagles are number one in RPI points this week with Otis fourth.Â The winner is also the East Central champion and earns the first round home playoff game that comes with it.Â Peetz and Fleming are tied with North Park in second place in the North.Â All three teams are chasing Prairie.Â Prairie visits North Park on Saturday so it’s a very important week in that conference.Â Prairie is 2nd in RPI, Peetz 3rd, North Park 5th and Fleming 13th.Â Eads needs a win over Kit Carson to keep pace with Cheyenne Wells atop the Southeast.Â Both teams are 3-0 in league play and the Tigers should get a win over Cheraw this weekend.Â Kit Carson is 10th in RPI and Eads 12th.Â Idalia is 15th and Arickaree/Woodlin 18th in RPI this week so the outcome will factor into one of the last playoff berths.Â They’re also tied for third in the East Central.