The 4A-2 District 1 finales on Friday, Nov. 8 find Pecos (3-2, 5-4) at Snyder (3-2, 3-6) in a game that will determine the district's second-place team behind champion Greenwood; winless Lamesa (0-5, 0-9) at Fort Stockton (2-3, 6-3); and Sweetwater (2-3, 3-6) at Monahans (2-3, 2-7) in a matchup that will immediately eliminate the loser.
If Fort Stockton beats Lamesa – and remember Snyder came to Panther Stadium winless and Sweetwater had just one district win before upending the Panthers – it will be thrust into a three-way tie with some combination of Monahans, Pecos, Snyder or Sweetwater.
Barring a tie game Friday, there are four possible options for a three-way tie. Two of those put the Panthers in third place and one puts them in fourth – and in the playoffs. One, however – a tie with both Snyder and Sweetwater – would bump the Panthers out of the playoffs with a fifth-place finish.
The Panthers are in if they beat Lamesa AND one of the following combinations happens:
• Snyder defeats Pecos and Sweetwater defeats Monahans. Fort Stockton finishes in fourth.
• Pecos defeats Snyder and Monahans defeats Sweetwater. Fort Stockton finishes in third.
• Snyder defeats Pecos and Monahans defeats Sweetwater. Fort Stockton finishes in third.
The Panthers are out of the playoffs if either:
• They lose to Lamesa.
• Pecos beats Snyder and Sweetwater beats Monahans.
Fort Stockton head coach Mike Peters has been through a lot of Senior Nights as a player and coach.
This one, however, will have extra emotion as this group of seniors were freshman when Peters took over as head coach.
They've been in his program only for four years.
“They're an outstanding group of young men,” Peters said. “I couldn't be more proud of them. They've worked hard and done everything we've asked them to do. They've been committed the whole way through.
“Whatever it is how we finish up our season, it will be a tough night for me.”
Peters noted that the team is 6-3 – which normally would be a good season, especially with consecutive years' wins over Monahans and Pecos. A 3-3 mark in a seven-team district would normally have a team in a playoff spot.
But with upset losses to Snyder (14-12) and Sweetwater (35-21), District 1 finds itself with six teams battling for four layoff spots.
“We let a couple of teams sneak up on us and beat us,” Peters said. “And that's very frustrating.”