Random musings as there is no shortage of compelling games for the Knights and Lady Knights this weekend.
• The final day of the regular season will be an important one for the Harker Heights boys and girls soccer teams tonight.
The boys are locked into an air-tight race with Ellison for the final playoff spot in 8-5A while the girls need a win to hold on to the No. 3 seed.
On one hand, the girls have already accomplished plenty in clinching a playoff berth before the final game of the regular season.
Many seniors have played all four years and will be playing in the postseason for the first time, a testament to the job first-year head coach Jared Cruddas has done and to the players for buying in to his changes to the program.
Before district play began, Cruddas said that the seniors might not have the chance to reap the benefits of his new program.
But the turnaround has been swift, and now they’re not only in the playoff race but fighting for seeding.
The boys, meanwhile, are looking to reach the postseason for the fourth consecutive year but for the first time under new head coach Ryan Flanigan.
It doesn’t get any closer as the Knights lead fifth-place Ellison by just a point in the standings.
The Knights have already overcome a host of injuries this season to get in this position.
Now, they have the chance to control their own destiny at home tonight against Waco Midway.
• After Harker Heights’ baseball team edged Ellison 3-1 on Tuesday, Eagle head coach Ty Opperman had a telling statement when asked how he’d have his team react to an 0-3 hole.
Opperman said he felt comfortable despite the winless district record because the losses came against three of the best teams in District 8-5A.
Heights has fancied itself as a district title contender this season, but to be lumped in with defending district champion Belton and a perennial playoff team in Waco Midway by an opposing coach is a sign that the rest of the district views the Knights this way as well.
Heights played Belton close in the teams’ district opener, and will have many chances to prove itself again as the season progresses.
But early in league play, it appears the Knights have already made a lasting impression on their district mates.
• And finally, be on the lookout for a special piece by the Killeen Daily Herald sports staff March 30 on whether or not college athletes deserve to be paid.
My two cents: no — at least not in terms of a salary.
I do believe, however, that players ought to be able to profit off their images as Johnny Manziel allegedly did last summer when he may or may not have been paid for autographs.
If someone is willing to pay a player for an autograph then more power to him. No reason the NCAA can profit off an athlete, but the athlete can’t profit, too.