By Travis M. Smith | KBEC Sports
WAXAHACHIE — The upcoming Texas high school football season has already seen several hundred scheduling changes and twice as many headaches. That trend has undoubtedly now hit home, as the Waxahachie Indians and District 11-6A have a schedule that features several contingencies, two pools of four and a mid-season playoff to potentially determine postseason seeding.
All of which depends on how long the season is allowed to continue — if it is even stopped at all. Here’s to hoping for a full, uninterrupted 2020 football season.
But, in case a situation does arise, it’d be best to be abreast of the potential scheduling adjustments.
The season is still set to begin — though 28 days later than initially planned — with a home scrimmage against Red Oak (Class 5A) at 7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 18.
For those who missed the news, the UIL announced a delayed start to the 2020 fall sports season for Class 5A and 6A schools on July 21. The decision was made in hopes that the delayed start would allow for COVID-19 hotspots — primarily in metropolitan areas with 5A and 6A schools like Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and El Paso — to calm and limit the potential community spread of COVID.
Waxahachie will then officially kick off its 2020 season with a road tilt against Copperas Cove at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25. The two programs last met in the bi-district round of the 2006 and ’07 playoffs — with both games going to former Heisman winner Robert Griffin III and the Bulldogs in heartbreaking fashion.
The Indians will then host Arlington Lamar on Friday, Oct. 2 and follow-up with a short trip to Ennis for the 99th meeting in the storied Battle of 287 (48-48-2 all-time).
Both games are slated for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff and will wrap-up the Indians’ non-district slate. Waxahachie will take week four (Oct. 16) off.
And that brings us to the potential quandary.
District 11-6A, also known as the “District of Doom 2.0,” has been broken up into two zones — A and B.
Zone A consists of Mansfield High, Waco High, Waco Midway and Duncanville. Zone B features Waxahachie, DeSoto, Cedar Hill and Mansfield Lake Ridge.
Each team will play against the other three teams in its zone in order to determine the seeding for the first-of-its-kind 11-6A mid-season zone playoffs.
Waxahachie will travel to DeSoto (Oct. 23) and Lake Ridge (Nov. 6) and host Cedar Hill (Oct. 30) during its Zone B schedule and ahead of the 11-6A Zone Playoffs.
Third-year Waxahachie head football coach Todd Alexander explained the Zone Playoffs will be a “way to determine the four district playoffs berths if we were to get shut down after the fourth game of the district schedule.”
To do so, 11-6A will pit the top team from each zone against each other on Friday, Nov. 13. The second seed from Zone A will also play the third seed from Zone B and vise-versa, while the two fourth-seeds will square off the same week.
The winners of the top three games would then fill in as the 1-3 seeds, with the winner of the two best records tentatively holding the title as the 11-6A champion.
“The only reason we would revert to [those outcomes] for the playoffs is if someone is shutdown in week eight, nine or 10. If we are still rolling, the seedings will be determined like they always have been, and this pool play will be out of the window.”
The final three games of the regular season are currently all listed as to-be-determined but will feature the Zone A teams playing the Zone B teams not faced during the Zone Playoffs.
For example, should Waxahachie face Duncanville in the Zone Playoffs, the Indians would then wrap up the 11-6A season against Mansfield, Waco High and Waco Midway.
Alexander noted the final decision on the schedule for the last three weeks of the regular season would likely come down to mutual agreements between the scheduling head coaches. He also confirmed the original game sites would be used as previously planned — meaning Waxahachie will still host Waco High, the Indians just won’t know when until Nov. 7 at the earliest.
The final three regular-season games will be played Nov. 20, Nov. 27 and Dec. 3 or 4.
“Once we know our week four opponent, we will sit down and make our schedule for those last three games,” Alexander added.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith