BERLIN- Stephen Decatur’s varsity football team fell to visiting Parkside, 28-24, last Friday on Homecoming, putting the Seahawks’ record to 4-2 on the season and complicating their road to the state playoffs.
Decatur moved to Class 3A this year based on revised enrollment figures, making it more difficult for the Seahawks to advance to the state playoffs. Decatur is the only school on the Eastern Shore in Class 3A and as such plays a schedule littered with Class 2A and 1A teams in the Bayside Conference.
In any other year, a 4-2 record with four games to play would put the Seahawks in a comfortable place in terms of reaching the state playoffs. This year, however, with the move to 3A, Decatur could find itself on the outside looking in. The top four teams in each division of each class reach the state playoffs, and the Seahawks are currently in fifth place in the newly reconfigured 3A-East.
Decatur has accumulated 32 total points under the state’s point system, which assigns a point total for each win based on the class of each opponent. The Seahawks trail Atholton, from the western shore, by five points for the fourth and final playoff spot in Class 3A-East.
The picture is not entirely gloomy for Decatur, however. The Seahawks have four games left including three against Class 2A opponents and one against a Class 1A opponent in Snow Hill. If Decatur wins out, they will accumulate 23 more points to finish with 55, which would probably be more than enough to reach the state playoffs.
However, one of the remaining games for Decatur is against Wicomico High, which is 6-0 on the season. If Decatur falls to WiHi, which is likely given the Indians’ dominance this year, but wins its other three remaining games, the Seahawks would still likely find its way into the playoffs.
The team in front of them in the standings, Atholton, also has four games left, all against Class 2A schools. Atholton still has to play River Hill, which is 6-0 and sits atop the Class 2A standings, but Atholton also has three teams with losing records on its schedule including Oakland Mills (2-4), Mount Hebron (0-6), and Hammond (1-5).
The end result of Decatur’s move to Class 3A means more scoreboard watching of games played on the western shore. While the Seahawks try to take care on business the rest of the way on the Lower Shore, their post-season fate will be tied to games taking place on the other side of the Chesapeake Bay.
The Seahawks hit the road tonight for an all-important conference game with Bennett and will face Wicomico at home next Friday. Decatur finishes its regular season with a home game against North Caroline and a road game against county rival Snow Hill in the season finale.