By TONY EIERDAM
Despite it being the District 6-3A opener today for the Mineral Wells Rams and the Castleberry Lions the importance of the contest in relation to a playoff berth is not lost on any of the coaches, players or fans of the two teams.
The Rams will host the Lions at 7:30 p.m. today at Ram Stadium. In other 6-3A games, Kennedale will travel to Springtown and Lake Worth will host Diamond Hill.
Beginning this year in Class 3A, the top four teams from each district qualify for the state playoffs. Mathematically, it will take at least two wins to qualify for the playoffs, meaning today’s Rams/Lions game is critical for both squads concerning a playoff berth.
“It’s the first district game, and you always want to win the district opener which we were able to do last year,” Rams head coach Chuck Lawrence said. “With four teams going to the playoffs (beginning this year) every district game has added importance.
“If you win enough you will be in, and you can win just two games and get in depending on what everybody else does. If there are three teams tied for third and fourth place a tiebreaker can still put you out.
“But the bottom line is it is a big game for us and Castleberry. It is also one we need to win, especially being at home.”
The Rams and the Lions have had two weeks to prepare for the key contest as both enjoyed open dates last week. The good news for the Rams will be getting safety/running back Kolby Parks and cornerback/receiver Grant Peters back on the field. The Rams, who have had 5-6 starters out in every game this year, now have three back as cornerback/receiver Colby Kissinger played two weeks ago in the Burkburnett game.