District competition in soccer and field hockey begin this week, and three district cross country runs that include regional athletes will be run.
Mifflin County's only playoff team - so far - has its second annual showdown with State College for the District 6 Class AAA championship. That will be played at 4 p.m. Thursday at State High; the winner plays the WPIAL (District 7) champion for a spot in the state bracket. The WPIAL final is Oct. 30.
For one area team, the road to states got a little shorter before the first game was played. Three teams that compete in District 4 - the East Juniata and Midd-West girls soccer teams, and the Midd-West boys - saw changes to their postseason schedule after an error was discovered Sunday night in the brackets for that district's tournaments.
The problem, according to a district official, was a clerical error in one school's entry form that placed it in the wrong classification. The original girls brackets had Troy as a Class AA team, but the Trojans - in that gender - are in Class A. That created a play-in game with nine teams in what was intended to be an eight-team bracket, meaning Midd-West and Lewisburg were forced to play early for a slot in the quarterfinals, when both should have started there.
Because of the revision, issued Monday, the Mustang girls are idle until Saturday, when they will play Athens, Pa., at a site and time to be determined. The winner of that game gets either No. 3 Warrior Run or No. 6 Danville; Midd-West would have faced top seed Central Columbia with a play-in victory had the original bracket remained in effect.
The Midd-West boys team also sees a slight change as a result of the mixup. Rather than being part of a first-round doubleheader with the girls Wednesday at Millville, the Mustang boys will play at Hughesville Wednesday, and with an earlier start - 5 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. Shamokin is the opponent.
And the East Juniata girls, No. 2 in the District 4 Class A event, will have a different opponent because of the change. The Tigers were to play Wyalusing, but instead will square off against Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech, in their opener today. Troy entered the correct bracket at No. 5, pushing everyone else down.
East Juniata's boys and girls will be part of a doubleheader at Loyalsock, near Williamsport, today. The girls game is at 3 p.m., followed by the third-seeded boys, who play Galeton at 5.
Three soccer teams enter the fray from District 6. Belleville Mennonite doesn't see its Class A playoff opener until Oct. 30, when the Trojans play Bishop McCort in the semifinals. That game is at 7:30 p.m. at Johnstown's Point Stadium.
Juniata boys and girls entered the Class AA event, and both will play Thursday at Bellefonte, against the Red Raiders. The girls get under way at 5:30 p.m. and the boys at 7:30.
In District 3, Greenwood's boys are No. 3 in the Class A bracket, which gives them a bye until Saturday's quarterfinals. The Wildcats will play either High Point Baptist or Bible Baptist; those two play today.
Greenwood is the No. 2 seed in its field hockey tournament, District 3 Class AA. The Wildcats play Lancaster Mennonite today at 4 p.m. at Hershey High School.
In District 4 field hockey, Midd-West hosts Shikellamy today at 4 p.m. in a play-in game; East Juniata moved straight to the quarterfinals, where the Tigers will host Selinsgrove Thursday at 4 p.m. With a win today, the Mustangs would draw No. 1 Bloomsburg on the road in that round.
The District 6 cross country championships will be held Saturday at Indian Valley Elementary School. For the first time, the event is broken into three classifications, with host Mifflin County in the largest. Races will begin at 10 a.m. with the Class A girls varsity and will continue with girls, then boys races until approximately 3 p.m.
Greenwood, which does not have a team but has several unattached individuals entered in the District 3 Class A race, will run on Hershey's Parkview Course, site of the state meet, Wednesday. Midd-West is in District 4, which has its meet at Bloomsburg University Thursday.
That leaves only football and volleyball, which have later starts. Mount Union is playoff eligible for the latter if it chooses to enter; games played through Wednesday count for playoff seedings.
After eight weeks of play on the gridiron, two local teams remain in contention for District 6 football postseason play.
Mifflin County (4-4) is in third place in the four-team Class AAAA field. If the Huskies win at State College Friday, they clinch a .500 record and a playoff berth in their first season in the Mid-Penn Conference. Juniata is in eighth place in Class AA - eight teams qualify - but Penn Cambria and Penns Valley are only 30 points behind with matching 4-4 records.