Coal City may not have first round opponent in football playoffs

Wilmington to host Lisle

Unless the Chicago teacher strike is settled before Wednesday, the Coal City football team won't actually have to play to win in the first round of the Class 4A football playoffs.

The game has tentatively be set for 2 p.m. Saturday when the Coalers, the #1 seed, host Chicago Phoenix Military Academy (#16). But Coal City could win by forfeit if the strike is not settled by Wednesday as all Chicago teams must have three days of practice prior to the game. Chicago Phoenix is a 3-4 team, with a week 5 by forfeit, that did not play a full nine-game schedule due to the strike.

The top half of the Class 4A bracket has five of 16 schools involved in the strike meaning 11 teams would advance automatically if it is not resolved.

The Coalers (9-0) are the top seed in the northern tier and would likely host Kewanee (6-3), the #8 seed, in the second round. A round two victory would likely pair them up against either Wheaton St. Francis (8-1) or Genoa-Kingston 8-1 in the quarterfinals.


In Class 3A, Wilmington (8-1), the #3 seed, will play Lisle (5-4) the #14 seed, at 7 p.m. Friday. The Wildcats beat Lisle 27-6 in a rare Sunday night game during week 5. A victory on Friday would advance the Wildcats to round 2 against Eureka (7-2), the #6 seed, in the second round. It's possible the Wildcats could face Byron (8-1), the # 2 seed, on the road in the quarterfinals.

For more analysis and game coverage from this week's final victories for both teams, including photos, pick up Wednesday's papers.