The only good thing about seeding districts with no regard to regular-season merit is that some good teams will be playing competitive games the next two days.
That’s also one of the bad things — those teams shouldn’t have to meet this early in the postseason.
I’ll focus my complaint on the 12 Class B and C tournaments on Thursday and Friday across the state.
A few years ago the Nebraska School Activities Association began seeding Class A districts in many sports based on season results. It’s had the desired effect of creating stronger state tournament fields.
I’ve never been much for what-if’s, but this situation allows for a little dreaming and speculation. The day the Class A pairings were announced, I seeded Class B using the same method applied to Class A with one change — using six districts instead of seven to allow for two wild cards, since there are more teams.
Here would be the district assignments:
B-1: York (host), Elkhorn, McCook, Omaha Duchesne, Omaha Gross, Aurora, Norfolk Lutheran.
B-2: Elkhorn South (host), Fairbury/Thayer Central, Ralston, Lexington, Wisner-Pilger, Schuyler, Platteview.
B-3: Beatrice (host), Adams Central, Gretna, Cozad, Hastings, Scottsbluff, Nebraska City.
B-4: Omaha Skutt (host), Lincoln Pius X, Waverly, Holdrege, Bennington, David City, Alliance.
B-5: Grand Island Northwest (host), North Platte, Seward, Gering, Plattsmouth, Douglas County West/Omaha Concordia.
B-6: Blair (host), Norris, Grand Island Central Catholic, Crete, Auburn/HTRS, Omaha Mercy.
Much more equitable. Nothing like the B-2 district that will take place at Ralston’s Wager and Crown fields with No. 1 Omaha Skutt, No. 2 Elkhorn South, No. 7 Ralston and No. 10 Elkhorn all shoehorned into the same district for the sake of geographical equity instead of on-field performance.
A couple of arguments tossed out by those who don’t want to travel continue to be baseless.
Loss of school time? We’ve been through this before — more school time is missed for non-athletic activities than for athletic activities.
Travel expenses? Money can be found, and trips like that can be memory makers. Back in the late 1940s, my father’s Lincoln High football team would get on the bus for regular-season games in North Platte and other western destinations, and no one was the worse for missing a little class time.
A couple of years ago Ralston’s football team went to Scottsbluff for a first-round Class B playoff game. Coach Tyler Zahn and the Rams stopped in North Platte to practice, then got back on the bus to spend the night in Sidney.
The next morning they boarded the buses and headed to Scottsbluff for a walkthrough on the Bearcats’ field, played the game and headed home with a victory. Zahn said it couldn’t have happened that way without the cooperation of North Platte and Sidney officials, and the trip was a memorable one — win or lose.
Time for those with the votes — member schools in those districts blocking the path to progress — to get out of the way and let schools in all corners of Nebraska start making these kinds of memories.