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Plano ISD missed the playoffs for the first time in 30 years in 2019. Plano West is a win shy starting a new streak.



PLANO, TX – The three Plano ISD schools missed the playoffs in 2019 for the first time in 30 years. Plano, Plano East and Plano West fell short of the postseason after a stretch that included quality runs by all three.

Plano West (5-3) is a Friday win over Hebron (2-1) shy of snapping that streak, and it may be the team that was least likely to accomplish that based on the recent trend.

Plano (1-4) last made the playoffs in 2017. Plano East (0-7) had the most recent run, an 8-3 season that led to a second-place finish in 6-6A in 2018

It’s been a drought for Plano West and second-year head coach Tyler Soukup. The Wolves last taste of the high school football postseason was in 2014. Plano West finished 9-3 and fourth in the district. That was the most wins it would see for a while — by a decent margin, too.

The Wolves won five games in five years, including two winless seasons in 2017 and 2018. But at 5-3 this season, and an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth on Friday, the Wolves are primed as the unlikely candidate to end a one-year playoff hiatus for Plano ISD.

“I’m sure the community may look at us collectively, but we are worried about us,” Soukup said. “I know we were disappointed and we didn’t have the season we wanted to a year ago. We played some close football games that we had the chance to win and really didn’t execute down the stretch.

“Now we have a chance to get in.”

Hebron will be no pushover. It is also fighting for its playoff life with two district wins and two remaining for 6-6A play, which will be decided by total district wins instead of percentage.

Hebron had to cancel its two previous games because of a COVID-19 outbreak within the staff.

Hebron’s season may not be finished if it loses to Plano West, but it’s path would drastically shrink.

“If we were to win against Hebron it would put them in a tough spot where they’d have to win their final game against Lewisville to have a chance,” Soukup said. “If they were to win that game, assuming they lost to us, they’d still have a chance to get in.”

He added that his Wolves know that while they are capable of beating any team in the district, they are also beatable in the same fashion.

Still, Plano West is in a better spot than it’s been in for over half a decade.