It's fall break — meaning playoff picture is taking shape

We're enjoying fall break, and it's going to feel good to not have a late night tonight for once — especially since fellow photojournalist Craig Hall and I are leaving at 6 a.m. Saturday for the Texas Christian-Oklahoma State football game, which will kick off at 11 a.m. at Boone Pickens Stadium. I can get my beauty sleep tonight!However, fall break also normally means something else to me as far as being a sports writer is concerned. It normally means that the playoff picture is starting to take shape.Four of our county teams — Poteau (Class 4A), Spiro (Class 3A), Talihina (Class A) and Arkoma (Class C) — look in pretty good shape to see postseason action. They are either atop, tied or in second place in their respective district standings.A fifth team, Panama, should the Razorbacks win out, will do no worse than be the District 2A-6 runner-up — and get a home playoff game at George Ollie Stadium. If the right scenario happens, they may even find themselves being the No. 1 seed from the district.The other three teams of the county, Heavener (Class 3A), Pocola (Class 2A) and Bokoshe (Class C), are still alive at the moment for playoff berths, but they can't afford to stumble much more the rest of the way if they wish to get in on the postseason parade.No matter what, it would appear that we're in for quite a finish in our local district races down the stretch. Poteau had its crucial District 4A-4 game Thursday night with Tulsa Cascia Hall. Arkoma has a District C-4 contest next Friday night at No. 4 Thackerville. Savanna visits Talihina on Nov. 1 at Doc Robinson Stadium in what will likely be the game to decide the winner of District A-6. The regular-season finale sees the Spiro Bulldogs visit the Checotah Wildcats in what could be a battle of the district's only unbeaten teams come Nov. 8. Panama still has its rivalry game left at Pocola on Nov. 1, then a big road game the following week at Vian. Let the playoff watch begin.