As the high school sports world continues to digest the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cancellation of the athletic seasons put quite a few impressive streaks on hold.
Sports is obsessed with numbers of all kinds, from batting averages and free throw shooting percentages to final scores and wins and losses.
One interesting footnote will be how streaks of consecutive playoff appearances are viewed.
For the next few years, with the pandemic fresh in the public’s minds, it will be remembered why the numbers might not add up.
But as time goes on, some might look back on a program’s history with a puzzled look as to why an established sustained streak has a missing playoff berth in 2020.
For the record, it would be-hard pressed to believe anybody would argue against the fact that softball and baseball teams will not have the early ends to their seasons held against them in terms of streaks.
Some area soccer teams were already able to extend their notable runs in terms of qualifying for the playoffs.
The Poteet girls soccer team boasts the longest current postseason run of any Mesquite ISD program and had already secured its 24th consecutive trip to the postseason, while district mate West Mesquite was in the hunt for its third appearance in program history and first since 2013.
Over in 10-6A, Rowlett had punched its 18th consecutive ticket and was in position to earn a share of the district title for the second time in three years. Sachse, meanwhile, was on its way to the playoffs for the 12th straight season and was eyeing a share of the district championship for the 10th consecutive year.
A handful of boys soccer teams in MISD and GISD had also secured their playoff berths.
Poteet was well-positioned to make it 13 trips in a row, while West Mesquite had not only clinched its third straight spot but was in the driver’s seat for its second 13-5A title in three years.
Mesquite has not missed since 2014 and was also looking to make it two out of three in 11-6A crowns.
Rowlett was leading the way in 10-6A and had already clinched for the 18th straight season, while Sachse was also headed back for the sixth year in a row.
The Frisco schools have traded turns in the spotlight during the last decade, but the one constant has been the Wakeland boys and girls.
Though extended playoff brackets only go back to 2010-2011 on the University Interscholastic League website, the Wolverines are the only FISD boys team to make the playoffs every year since then and they were in position to make it 10 in a row.
Wakeland has not been merely content making an appearance at the postseason dance.
The Wolverines have shined when it matters most, making a remarkable four straight trips to the Class 5A state championship match and winning in 2017 and 2018, the latter of which they did after starting the run as the fourth seed.
Wakeland, who also advanced to the state title game in 2014, had advanced three rounds deep in seven straight seasons.
As a testament to the depth and talent in the district, at least one other FISD team has joined Wakeland in the third round in each of the last seven seasons, including all four in 2014.
It is a similar story on the girls side, where a majority of the programs have had some success, including a nine-year run by Centennial, but it is Wakeland that has carried the banner.
The Wolverines were in position to finish off a decade-long streak of playoff appearances and they have also made the most noise when they have gotten there, winning Class 5A championships in 2016 and 2018.
The depth has been evident for the FISD girls, as well, with at least two programs advancing to the third round in eight of the last nine years.
As for the area teams on the diamond, they are left with a series of ‘what if’s’, as many districts had not even started while others were still in their infancies.
That means groups like the Rowlett baseball team will have to put things on hold and a possible 21st straight trip to the playoffs—which would extend its GISD record--has to wait another year.
The same is true for the 10-year runs of Wakeland and Sunnyvale, which includes a state championship in 2014, as well as Sachse’s bid at five in a row.
The wait is the same for softball, where Rowlett (15) and Sachse (13) have double-digit streaks, Poteet had seven straight and Wakeland was hoping to start a new one after having its run of four consecutive and nine out of 10 ended last year.