Last year there were five. This year there were three and really should have been four.
When it comes to football, the end of October means the end of the high school season for so many of our area schools.
But thanks to three area schools, high school football is still alive and well, at least for one more week.
Columbian, Calvert and Upper Sandusky are all blessing the area with some extra football.
For Carey, sitting on the outside instead of in came down to a pair of 2-7 teams playing each other, with Margaretta beating Sandusky St. Mary, pushing Collins Western Reserve past the Blue Devils into the postseason.
But a ticket to the postseason doesn't mean instant success. You never know when the season is going to end. Just ask last year's Hopewell-Loudon team, who came into the postseason the No. 2 seed in their region and were ousted by the No. 7 Hicksville Aces. So just because Columbian is No. 1 in its region doesn't mean it has an automatic ticket the regional final. Come playoff time, it's anyone's game.
So Upper Sandusky can look at Hicksville when it faces Bishop Hartley Friday night in Columbus. If you haven't seen the Rams play, you're missing out on some exceptional athletes like Tylor Pritchard, Will Adelsperger and Ian Baker.
Calvert comes into the postseason at 6-4 and plays a St. Paul team they've already beaten, albeit back in Week 2. The Senecas have an aggressive, opportunistic defense, a bruising running back in Dan Kwiat and an electric wideout and defensive back in Nick Warnement, who has shown this year that basketball is not his only good sport.
Columbian brings Brian Colatruglio's exhilarating offense and along with it, Jack Jacoby. But lost in the shuffle is the play of Mike Rohrbach, who is often asked to come in the middle of some series and complete a big pass to convert a first down. The result has been the Tornadoes first 10-0 season in a quarter of a century.
The point is, we have some exceptional athletes and fun teams to watch in the area, and if your team is moving on to winter sports, head off to Tiffin (for Columbian), Norwalk (for Calvert) and Columbus (for Upper Sandusky) and savor last morsels of high school football before its gone.
This week's playoff entry for the Rams has had me thinking of the last time Upper Sandusky made the playoffs in 2004. That year was a special year for Upper Sandusky, as Greg Micheli led the Rams to its fourth straight playoff appearance. Later that year, he co-captained the Rams to a state basketball title.
And when I think about Micheli, I'm reminded of the success he later had at Mount Union, winning three national championships as part of the Purple Raiders, and throwing to Pierre Garcon.
Which then brought me to one of Pierre Garcon's replacements at Mount Union: Cecil Shorts.
And he could maybe duplicate the success of his predecessor if this season is any indication.
In the last two weeks, Shorts has elevated himself to the No. 1 receiver for Jacksonville and came away with 12 catches for 195 yards and a touchdown. He had 24 targets as well. On the year, he's averaging 20 yards a catch for 400 yards. He has three scores among 41 targets.
But he still has Blaine Gabbert throwing to him. Gabbert came into the league the same year as Shorts, in 2011, but has not had the same success as some of his draft counterparts. This year through seven games, he's eclipsed 200 yards just twice: Week 1 and Week 8.
But what does aid Shorts' cause is that Mike Thomas was traded to the Lions, leaving Shorts and rookie Justin Blackmon as the primary targets for Gabbert. Shorts is certainly worth a spot on your roster, despite his quarterback.
Which brings us to the Lions. Two weeks ago, Nate Burleson broke his leg and is out for the year.
In his stead, Titus Young, has had 181 yards on 15 catches and 17 targets. He's been in the end zone two times as well.
Young, like Shorts, was drafted last season but didn't have the huge impact one would have thought in his first year. He's on pace to break past last year's 607 yards, six touchdown season and in the last two weeks has shown a comfort level with Matthew Stafford. While I don't think the Thomas trade will affect Young's playing time, it could cut into the time of Ryan Broyles, who has seen regular time the last two weeks since Burleson went down. The rookie has six catches for 88 yards and two scores in the two weeks. Thomas could affect his playing time but my feeling he was acquired more for his punt return abilities since the Lions have had three fumbles on returns this year.
So Young is worth a spot on the roster and a good flex spot start, but I'd only pick up Broyles in a league 12 teams or deeper.
Speaking of guys out for the year, Fred Davis was knocked out for the year two weeks ago and the Redskins promptly signed for star tight end Chris Cooley. But it hasn't been Cooley who has excelled but rather Logan Paulsen, who has eight catches for 119 yards among 12 targets.
What's notable is that Paulsen is on nearly the same production level as Davis, who averaged around four catches and 52 yards a game. So if you are need of a Davis replacement or you've been wallowing in the horribleness that's been Jermichael Finley or Antonio Gates, take a flyer on Paulsen.
And while you're at it, take a flyer on one of our area teams and catch some exciting athletes and football teams while they're still around.
Aaron Korte is the A-T's fantasy writer. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org