Random musings as the playoffs and district races begin to heat up.
• Well, it didn’t take long for the District 8-5A baseball playoff race to follow suit of the football and boys basketball races before it.
This past football season, a Temple blowout of Belton followed by a Shoemaker romp against Harker Heights turned the district race on its head as the Wildcats and Grey Wolves announced themselves as contenders for the district crown.
This past boys basketball season, it was a Copperas Cove upset of then district-unbeaten Ellison that turned the race upside down as the defending district champion Eagles never found a rhythm the rest of the way and, ultimately missed the playoffs.
Cove, meanwhile, eked into the playoffs on a last-second shot against Shoemaker and actually went on to win the No. 3 seed in a playoff against Killeen.
On Tuesday, at unassuming Harker Heights High School, District 8-5A may have seen its version of these season-defining upsets when Temple stunned Harker Heights 9-0 on the road.
Heights is still every bit the contender it was before it managed just five hits against Wildcat pitcher Chase Stone.
The Knights, in fact, played defending district champion Belton closer than Temple did earlier this season.
But Temple announced itself as a contender as well Tuesday despite its 0-10 start.
Since going winless in non-district action, Temple has just two losses — against Belton and against Waco Midway, who are currently tied for first place.
With Midway on tap for tonight, Heights was hoping to keep pace with the two perennial powers and eventually challenge for a district title.
That goal is still in front of the Knights.
But now it is clear that it isn’t just Belton and Midway standing between the Knights and that goal.
Temple will likely have something to say as well.
• When the Heights girls soccer team played Midlothian earlier this season the final score was 5-0 in favor of Midlothian.
Now, the teams will meet again, but this time Midlothian is the District 7-5A champion and Heights is the No. 4 seed out of District 8-5A.
The fourth-place over the district champion upset in the bi-district round of the playoffs is certainly rare in any sport.
But the Lady Knights have a chance to be special.
Heights has already shown how improved it is this season in two meetings against Temple, losing the first game, 4-2, then winning the second, 1-0, in one of its most impressive wins.
The Lady Knights’ defense has only gotten better as the season has progressed and, if they are able to slow down Midlothian the way they did Temple in the second meeting, anything can happen.
Heights head coach Jared Cruddas said this team has already set the bar higher by reaching the playoffs. Now, they have a chance to set it higher.