So far, this year’s church league season has certainly lived up to the hype. With exciting upsets like Congo Jr. beating SFX Expansion, intriguing matchups and top-notch players, it’s been a fun ride. But, now’s the time when the men come to play: playoff time. Team records and standings mean nothing anymore; it’s win or go home.
For seniors, it’s one last chance to etch their names in church league history and add the most coveted title to their church league resumé. On the other hand, juniors have the opportunity to prove everyone wrong and make some noise in a senior-driven league.
In all my years playing church league, I can’t recall a season with this many good teams at the top. Realistically, there are about five teams that have a legitimate chance of winning the championship, and that’s not always the case. In fact, it’s rarely the case. There’s usually one or two teams that you can point out and expect to win it all by the time playoffs roll around, but not this year. It’s not due to a lack of loaded talent at the top, but the exact opposite. SJC Purple, St. Mary’s McDonough, SFX Expansion, FPCLG and SFX Dunn are all teams that have the ability to win it all.
And teams like St. Cletus Senior, SJC Red and SFX Stenner have the potential to make deep playoff runs of their own and maybe even win it all. With talent in church league at an all-time high, there are so many possible scenarios in this year’s playoff bracket.
Aside from a few first round games, there really won’t be many pushover matchups for even the top-seeded teams. One or more of these top teams may be making early exits and that’s not entirely their fault. Numerous sleeper teams, such as Congo Jr., could emerge late and knock off some league powerhouses.
Regardless of what happens, I expect the finish to the 2017-18 church league season to be as epic as it always is. With so many well-rounded teams from top to bottom, this year’s playoffs certainly won’t fail to entertain.