This year’s district play will be one to remember

Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 21, 2017

The warm ups are over, the smell of hot dogs and nacho cheese fill the air and the late night celebrations are about to begin. Hold on to your britches because the best part of the football season has arrived.

District play will begin this week for the local teams within Pearl River County and both teams in Region 4-5A will face off against foes who might be new to the district, but are certainly no strangers on the gridiron.

Picayune will take on Wayne County, a team the Maroon Tide normally sees in the postseason.

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Last year, it took a field goal with time expiring for the Maroon Tide to beat

the War Eagles. Now, it might take a little more than that.

I don’t know what it is about division games, but I’ve experienced a completely different atmosphere

in stadiums during these heated battles. Every team can now put the first half of the season behind them, as the only part of the season that truly matters is district play because it’s the only way teams advance to the playoffs.

It seems like every year the teams in Pearl River County make it look easy, but this year’s journey to the playoffs could be more difficult that any year in recent history.

The Region 4-5A district saw a couple of teams reclassified into the division this year, all of which could potentially take the district championship from Picayune. Those reclassified teams are Long Beach and Wayne County.

Other teams outside the county that could possibly win the district crown that were in the district last year include Hattiesburg, who’s ranked as the fifth best team in all classes within Mississippi, and Stone County.

The battle for the district championship and a first week bye in the playoffs starts Friday as Picayune visits Wayne County and Pearl River Central hosts Long Beach. Poplarville has a bye week this week, but enters district play on Sept. 29 against Greene County. Good luck to all teams this year. Good luck to all teams this year.