All high school football games played for the remainder of the season will have playoff implications. It is just about as exciting as anything in life to advance to the playoffs. High school football coaches who have teams with the potential to advance will be lucky to sleep four or five hours a day and will be thriving on adrenaline for the remainder of the season. Man, I miss that. At this point it looks like just about anyone in every class could make a run to the championship. In Class 6 locally, there are many teams still in contention to play for a state championship. The Blue Springs Wildcats seem to be the favorite for the time being (obviously a team close to my heart). It is a tremendously difficult feat to win back-to-back championships, and they still have a difficult road ahead of them with great teams like Lee’s Summit, Liberty, Rockhurst, Blue Springs South, Ray-Pec, Columbia Rock Bridge and an improved Lee’s Summit North team. Any of these teams are capable of defeating anyone on any given day. The Wildcats have a huge target on their back. I also feel that whoever wins this district will be the favorite to win the Class 6 championship. To play in this district prepares every team for state competition. Local Class 5 teams are also among the best in the state. If I had to pick one I would most likely pick the Lee’s Summit West Titans, but they have some stiff competition. Fort Osage is one of the most physical teams at any level. They play hard with a lot to prove right now. They will be a very tough out during playoff time. Staley and Winnetonka can also beat anyone at any given time. In the smaller school class, Oak Grove, Harrisonville and Pleasant Hill all have a chance to advance to the big show. It has been a long journey for Oak Grove to advance to the state championship, and every game in their district will be a tough one. They have been very successful in the past years but have stubbed their toe at the end of the year. There is no doubt – every game will be a hard-fought battle. F. Scott Fitzgerald once stated, “I never blame failure – there are too many complicated situations in life – but I am absolutely merciless toward lack of effort.” My advice to every player and coach is best said by Hall of Fame NFL defensive tackle Merlin Olsen: “Putting all of it together, making it happen, requires all of us to compete and to be able to accept a certain amount of risk – even the risk of failing. It’s essential that we learn to critique and evaluate our own performances in competition by examining positive elements that we wish to sustain, and seeking ways to grow and improve as we learn from our mistakes.” Lifetime memories are created with every single play in postseason. Players only have four years to experience high school athletic competition. Work hard and savor every situation. If you are lucky enough to win the ultimate prize of a state championship, it will be a positive for the rest of your life. So, high school players and coaches, enjoy the ride and enjoy the moment. • Andy Reid has proven to everyone in the NFL that coaching at all levels is a crucial factor to winning. His staff is outstanding. He has guys on his staff that probably should be head coaches themselves. Todd Haley has shown even the great Pittsburgh franchise how important it is to have great coaches on the staff. I do not understand how guys like Haley continue to be able get good job after good job. Amazing! • The victory of Missouri over Vanderbilt last Saturday has quieted many gurus who love to take issue with coach Gary Pinkel. I am becoming a believer myself. • Without question the MIAA Division II Conference is the best football conference in the country. Five teams have a chance to be in the top 25 this week. Those guys may be a little slower, shorter and lighter than Division I guys but they can play the game. Great football! • My quote of the week comes from a great boxing champion Joe Louis: “Oh, I thought about getting beat, especially when I was just starting out scared. After I won the title, I didn’t worry about it no more. Oh, I knew that if I kept on fighting, some guy would come along and take the title away from me, but not this guy, not tonight.”

Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 5-6 p.m. every Thursday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at