Free State High football players have been hoping for an opportunity to avenge their only two defeats.
“We’d love to play Olathe East and Olathe North again,” senior wide receiver Connor Stremel said last week.
For certain, the Firebirds will meet Olathe East again and, if they knock off the Hawks, they probably would earn a rematch with Olathe North.
In Class 6A playoffs pairings announced Saturday, Free State is the No. 4 seed in the eastern bracket and will entertain No. 5 seed O-East at 7 p.m. Friday. O-East toppled the Firebirds, 29-20, in the season opener.
Free State is in the same bracket with Olathe North and, assuming the unbeaten Eagles knock off Shawnee Mission East (4-5) on Friday, the Firebirds would have another crack at O-North in the next round if they can avoid a second loss to O-East (6-3).
Three weeks ago, O-North, one of only two unbeaten 6A teams — Manhattan is the other — thumped the Firebirds, 38-20.
SM West (8-1) is the No. 2 seed in the east bracket and will entertain Blue Valley (3-6) on Friday.
The other east game will send O-Northwest (4-5) to No. 3 seed Blue Valley Northwest (8-1).