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Traxler: The festive football season has arrived

Pep rallies. Festive fans. And great football. One of the best sports seasons of the year is late fall, simply because of playoff football. The next four weeks are about as good as it gets for high school football. Starting Thursday, teams will b...

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Lyman's Tate Wagner (20) rolls out of the pocket on a pass play during a game Oct. 13 in Presho. (Matt Gade / Republic)

Pep rallies. Festive fans. And great football.

One of the best sports seasons of the year is late fall, simply because of playoff football.

The next four weeks are about as good as it gets for high school football. Starting Thursday, teams will be whittled down, eventually left with seven crowned champions during Nov. 9-11 at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.

This is an exciting time for a number of area communities, and that led to the inaugural edition of The Daily Republic's prep football playoff guide. We've put together 16 pages of content on the postseason prospects of all of the area's teams, which we hope will be a useful guide to following all the action over the next four weeks.

Just like the professional and college sports, the postseason takes everything involved with the high school games and practices to another level. On the football field, the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, but the energy continues to build throughout the community, as every play carries more importance. Soon, decorated school buses criss-crossing South Dakota will be followed by convoys of fans.

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One of the great parts of high school sports is the feverish support they receive from the members of the community, parents, fellow students and passionate fans. The Daily Republic has always prioritized local high school sports and in the sports department, we enjoy following and documenting the amazing moments and performances on the high school sports scene. That's led to a couple of new ventures for The Daily Republic this year, which includes Game of the Week coverage in the newspaper and at mitchellrepublic.com, along with our "Prep Focus" series, which runs weekly on Thursdays and documents great high school athletes across south-central South Dakota.

The businesses that support this special section make both high school sports and the coverage of it possible and we are grateful for that.

There is one notable, obvious omission from this special section, and that's coverage of Mitchell High School. The Kernels will be one of the teams to watch in the Class 11AA playoffs and will start the postseason on Oct. 26. So while some of the playoff action is getting underway before the Kernels begin their postseason, look for extensive coverage of MHS football in The Daily Republic's regular print edition and at mitchellrepublic.com.

We're excited to see another football postseason get started. And we're looking forward to documenting every moment of it, all the way on the road to Vermillion.

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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