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Update: Spring Valley's football playoff pairing changed

SPRING VALLEY - Instead of playing a home game against Shell Lake Saturday, the Spring Valley High School football team will be on the road in its Leve1 1 playoff match-up and probably playing Friday evening.

When the playoff pairings were released for Divisions 3-7 yesterday evening between 7-7:30 p.m. after a Milwaukee judge's granted a temporary injunction to release them in a lawsuit case the WIAA is involved, Spring Valley was initially given a No. 4 seed and set to host Shell Lake Saturday.

However, a protest by Minong Northwood/Solon Springs football co-op caused the WIAA to change the bracket. Instead of playing Shell Lake, the Cardinals will travel to Minong for their first round game as the Evergreens were given the No. 4 seed instead.

MNW/SS's argument was they should be given a seed instead of Spring Valley because they also finished runner-up in their league and have a better overall record. The Evergreens are 8-1 overall while the Redbird are 7-2. The original bracket had them playing at undefeated and No. 1 seeded Hurley. The change was made in the bracket at 11:28 p.m.

"When we saw it were were completely surprised," SV head coach Matt Ducklow said. "Not that we minded having a home game for Level 1 but we had planned on playing Northwood and in fact had exchanged film with them a week ago. So when the pairings came out last night it threw us for a loop. And to be honest, I'm not surprised they changed it because what they did went completely against their own criteria."

Even with all the brouhaha over the playoff pairings Ducklow feels SV will have a enough time to prepare, especially with the playoffs over the weekend.

"We've already seen film on them and will at least three days to get ready."

The games are supposed to be on Saturday unless both schools agree to play them Friday which Spring Valley says they would like to do. In fact their may be a lot of Friday games as Saturday is shaping up to be the mother of all busy days preps-wise with cross country sectionals in the morning, the ACT test also in the morning and volleyball regional finals that evening.

"For us I think it's in our best interest to play on Friday," Ducklow said. "There's a lot going on Saturday and for our fans and students it would be better if we don't try to cram everything in on one day."

Division 6 wasn't the only playoff bracket adjusted last evening after the initial pairings were released. In Ellsworth's Division 3 bracket, Rice Lake was to play a Level 1 game at undefeated and No. 1 seeded Mosinee. But after an appeal, the Warriors will instead play at Medford while Seymour will play at Mosinee. Ellsworth will still be at West Salem and the winner of that game will play the winner of Rice Lake-Medford.