Bracket Buster

Opinion: GHS takes the two seed in the Class-A State Bracket


Drew Rhoades

The GHS football team.

Growing up involved in sports, I have always witnessed problems within them. But here in Gretna, I have witnessed a new problem. How does an undefeated, avenging state championship team, get the two seed to an 8-1 team? Stats behind the seeding may seem fine on the outside, but the more I look into it, this method doesn’t make sense.
Let’s start where it all began. On Nov. 23, 2021, Gretna won the state championship against the undefeated Westside Warriors. Everything was going great for Gretna until they were stripped of the title, and forced to forfeit all previous games. Now a new season begins, and the Dragons are rolling. Hungry for redemption. They finished the regular season undefeated, and the majority believed they’d be the one seed. After two wins against powerhouse schools, Bellevue West and Creighton Prep, the Dragons asserted themselves atop the podium. The only thing in the Dragon’s way from being the first seed? A system in which points rule over records.
The bracket for playoffs was released on Saturday, Oct. 22, and I think everyone including myself was confused. The undefeated Dragons had gotten the two seed, but Westside, a team with a loss, got the one slot. It all came down to an unrealistic point system. People around the community began to form opinions on whether they were pro-points or pro-record. This point system is built around the strength of the schedule and the number of wins the opposing team has. If we look at it, Gretna got fewer points for winning against a team such as Bellevue West, who had won six games. If there had been one more win on Bell West’s record, Gretna would have earned the max points for that win. On the other hand, Westside got the max points for beating teams such as Grand Island and Kearney, whose schedules included teams with zero wins. One of these teams has now been eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, further proving why they are not sufficient to be considered a “top team.”
Through this all, I believe Gretna was robbed of a chance at an easier path to Memorial Stadium. The bottom side of the bracket includes schools such as Gretna, Elkhorn South, Creighton Prep, and Bellevue West. The upper portion of the bracket is a less talented one, with Westside and Millard South being the most prominent teams.
The Dragons have been cheated out of an opportunity to have a better shot at another state title. Instead, a team with one loss will have the easiest route, leaving the number two seed with a path more difficult than they deserve. With a tough road ahead, I still believe Gretna will prevail with this being just another test for the team. The Dragons look forward to facing off against Creighton Prep on Friday, Nov. 11.