High school coaches react to regions

On the field, this year's high school football season will look the same as any other.

In the standings, coaches in classes 1A through 4A don't know what to expect...

"There's just a lot of uncertainty," Blountstown coach Greg Jordan said.

"It's definitely brought a lot of mystery to it," Bozeman coach Lyle Messer adds.

Most coaches still don't know how to feel.

"It's a good and a bad, but it's a necessary evil," Freeport coach Shaun Arntz replied.

"Whether you like it or not, you need to learn how to live with it right now. Give it a chance and let's see how it works out," Sneads coach Bill Thomas said.

The new format arranges schools into regions. Instead of district wins getting you to the playoffs, teams are awarded points for each result based on strength of schedule. The teams with the most points get to the postseason.

Regional playoffs will likely produce new match ups. That can be a good thing...

"There needed to be some kind of breakup of who played who each year for the first and second round of the playoffs. It was becoming a little bit repetitive," Arntz said.

Or it could be a bad thing, depending on who you ask.

"I like the districts," Rutherford coach Loren Tillman said. "I like the fact that you have those rivalires within your district. You know these games are special and you need to really play great in these games. What is strange in our region is half the region's over here in the panhandle and the other half is over in Jacksonville."

District standings were straightforward. Even though there's questions about how the regions will play out, the drama will carry into the last night of the regular season, drama which has been largely absent in recent years.

"After week ten, unless you had a playoff on Monday night, you pretty much knew who you were playing in the first round of the playoffs," Jordan added.

"You can't say, 'well, i need to sit somebody out cause they're a little banged up this week and next week is a district game.' You've got to win all of them. You've got to try to win every week and then see how it works out," Thomas agreed.

We'll find out how it works out together.

"Change is not always bad, so we'll see how it goes," Jordan said.