Can Stewart continuing its winning to claim the middle school title, or will someone be a spoiler?
The middle school football championships start on Tuesday with the semifinal rounds.
Stewart comes into the playoffs with a 7-0 record and the top seed in the two-round playoff format. The Eagles will host Fairplay, the No. 4 seed at Douglas County High’s Jimmy Johnson Stadium.
The Jaguars are 3-3 on the season, having lost to the top three seeds during the regular season.
Stewart lost to Mason Creek in last year’s semifinals while Fairplay was eliminated by eventual champion Factory Shoals in the first round.
Chapel Hill comes into the semifinals at 6-1 with its only loss to Stewart.
The Wildcats missed the postseason last season.
“Our goals never change from year-to-year in terms of playing for a championship,” Chapel Hill coach Wynne Lougher said. “Yes, we do have a larger motivation after not making the playoffs. I think these guys realize what is at stake.”
It will be the second time in a week at Chapel Hill and Mason Creek (5-2) will meet. Last week, the Wildcats defeated Mason Creek 6-0 in a game that determined home field for Tuesday’s playoff game.
“I think we both held something back because we knew we were playing each other again,” Lougher said. “I’m sure we will both come up with some new tricks up our sleeves for this game. There is a lot riding on this game, and we both want to get back to the championship.”
Mason Creek lost to Factory Shoals in the championship game last season. The two-time defending champion Factory Shoals did not qualify for this year’s playoffs.
Mason Creek coach Brad Jackson is excited about his team’s rematch with Chapel Hill. Last week, the Wildcats stopped Mason Creek twice inside the 10-yard line on drives, including one late in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve had a good season,” Jackson said. “Our goal is to win it all. Right now, both teams are zero and zero. This week win is the one that counts.”
“It was a very physical game,” he said of last week’s win. “They showed us a lot about ourselves. They are a scrappy and physical team. We are looking forward to another physical game.”