Football playoff system to change for Franklin

Published 10:54 am Monday, June 13, 2011

FRANKLIN—The Virginia High School League will change the way it conducts football playoffs next season to better balance competition.

Lora Bickley of the VHSL said member schools in Group A, the state’s smallest classification including Franklin High School, would be split into two sections for the playoffs rather than four regions. Assuming the Broncos get into the playoffs, they could end up playing a team anywhere in the eastern half of Virginia.

“It makes it a little more fair,” Bickley said. “It’s more consistent with the size of the schools.”

In previous years, teams in the four regions played for a regional title. The winner of each region qualified for the state semifinals.

Starting this fall, playoff teams will be separated into an Eastern Section and a Western Section.

The move will not affect district play in the regular season, Bickley said.

Franklin Football Coach Darren Parker said the change would not affect the way his team will prepare for next season.

“We’re going to concentrate on winning week to week,” Parker said. “Our goal is to finish what we didn’t finish last season and win a state title.”

The Broncos lost 35-8 to eventual state champs Riverheads High School in the state semifinals will lose 18 seniors, but Parker said the coaching staff has prepared for the loss of experience.

“As a coaching staff we prepared ourselves for next season by getting the younger guys in critical games last season,” Parker said. “The younger guys were getting the playing time then so it’s not a shock this year. We’re looking forward to the season coming up.”