The Nebraska Schools Athletic Association playoff bracket has scheduled the Swedes to a second meeting Nov. 1 with Ord.
The winner will play the winner of the Ogallala-Aurora game. Teams are selected on a point system with adjustments determined by the strength of the opposing team.
A demonstration of how close the two teams are, Swedes came in with 41.1111 points, and Ord was slotted No. 12 seed with 41.000.
Before the playoffs, there was no “official” state winner. Early on, each team with a good record could claim the title. Gregg McBride of the Omaha World-Herald began to rate the teams as did the Lincoln Journal-Star. Eventually, their top 10 rankings became accepted as the official titleholder.
Strength of schedule was considered, and, for example, the 1948 Gothenburg team finished second in Class B with a 5-4 record after playing Class A Lincoln Central, North Platte, Curtis, Boys Town and Kearney. The 1949 team was ranked 8th with a 4-5 record after an equally tough schedule.
The NSAA started planning a playoff system in 1973, and it was approved beginning in the 1975 season.
Teams were placed in districts and selected by a point system, much like today. Initially, four teams from six classifications were involved in the playoffs. Eight teams were included in 1977.
In 1995 the NSAA allowed that all teams would be eligible for the playoffs. In 1997 only the top 32 teams in each class were placed into four, eight-team brackets.
In 1999 the NSAA took over scheduling all football games for all teams, thus ending football standings for the Southwest Conference, a league started in 1931.
Gothenburg Playoff history
Royce Corder coached the first Swede team to participate in the playoffs in 1979, losing to Plattsmouth. The system was tough for teams to qualify, and they didn’t make another appearance until Pat Novacek’s 1984, 1985 (that won three of four games) and 1986 teams qualified. He also guided the 1988 team that qualified. He finished with a 5-5 win-loss mark.
Craig Haake has made 19 appearances and has recorded a 19-16 mark against the top teams in C-1. He will record his 20th appearance, including six straight from 2003-2008, Nov. 1, when they again meet the Ord Chanticleers on the Gothenburg field.
“Chanticleers” comes from Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Nuns-Priest Tale” in the “Canterbury Tales.”
Pronounced “SHON-ticleer,” it means a proud and fierce rooster that dominates the barnyard. In their recent series with Ord, the Swedes proved they certainly exemplified the “proud and fierce” part as demonstrated by the most recent battles that have seen them win 34-31 in 2016, 21-20 in 2017, and 10-7 in 2018 before the 17-14 Gothenburg squeaker Oct. 24.