Region championships are pretty special in high school football.

It checks off one box on every team’s list of goals. It also guarantees opening the playoffs at home with a fourth-place team from another region. That’s usually a big advantage for the home team.

Decatur Heritage (6-2, 5-0), Hartselle (8-0, 5-0), Tanner (6-2, 5-0), East Limestone (5-3, 5-0) and Priceville (6-1, 4-1) are the only area teams still in the hunt for region championships. All five had big wins last Friday.

Each team, except for Priceville, controls its own destiny. That means finish the region schedule with wins and they are region champions.

Priceville needs to win its final two region games and also hope for some help from Central and Wilson vs. Class 4A, Region 8 leader Brooks.

Region championships are rare. Five area schools were region champions last season. They were Austin in Class 7A, Region 4, Athens in Class 6A, Region 8, West Limestone in Class 4A, Region 8, East Lawrence in Class 3A, Region 8 and Decatur Heritage in Class 1A, Region 8.

Celebrating region championships are rare even for the most successful programs. Despite being so successful the last seven years, Decatur Heritage has just three region championships.

Hartselle is a big favorite to wrap up the Class 6A, Region 8 championship. It will be just the second for the Tigers in the last 10 years.

Tanner has a legacy of region championships, but winning the Class 2A, Region 7 championship this year would be the program’s first since 2016.

Region rundown

If the playoffs started today, here are the teams that would be in from each region in the Daily’s coverage area:

7A, Region 4: James Clemens (8-0, 5-0), Bob Jones (4-3, 4-1), Florence (3-4, 3-2), Sparkman (3-4, 3-2). Austin (2-5, 1-4) is in a three-way tie for fifth.

• 6A, Region 8: Hartselle (8-0, 5-0), Muscle Shoals (6-1, 4-1), Cullman (6-2, 4-1), Athens (4-4, 3-2). Decatur (2-5, 2-3) is in fifth place thanks to having the tiebreaker over Buckhorn. The Red Raiders play Columbia on Friday and travel to Athens on Oct. 22.

• 5A, Region 8: East Limestone (5-3, 5-0), Russellville (6-1, 4-0), Ardmore (5-2, 2-2), Lee (3-4, 2-2).

• 4A, Region 8: Brooks (7-0, 5-0), Priceville (6-1, 4-1), Central (6-2, 3-2), West Limestone (5-2, 3-2). Either West Morgan (4-4, 2-3) or Deshler (2-5, 2-3) could find a way into the top four in the next two weeks.

• 3A, Region 8: Lauderdale County (8-0, 5-0), Phil Campbell (4-3, 3-1), Danville (4-3, 2-2), Colbert Heights (3-4, 2-2), East Lawrence (2-5, 2-2). The last three teams are tied for the final two spots.

• 2A, Region 7: Tanner (6-2, 5-0), Pisgah (4-3, 3-1), Ider (5-3, 2-2), Falkville (4-3, 2-2). The Rattlers just need a win over Pisgah next week to be region champions.

• 2A, Region 8: Mars Hill (5-2, 4-0), Lexington (6-2, 4-1), Colbert County (5-2, 3-1), Red Bay (2-4, 2-2). Hatton (3-4, 1-3) is one game behind Red Bay, which the Hornets beat last Friday. Red Bay plays Mars Hill on Friday. Hatton plays Tharptown (3-4, 0-4).

• 1A, Region 8: Decatur Heritage (6-2, 5-0), R.A. Hubbard (4-3, 4-1), Hackleburg (5-2, 4-1), and a three-way tie for fourth with Shoals Christian (3-5, 2-3), Waterloo (2-5, 2-3), Phillips (2-6, 2-3). R.A. Hubbard has the tiebreaker over Hackleburg for second place. Hackleburg hosts Decatur Heritage next week.

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