Jim Ellis

Special to the Grove Sun

Afton, Fairland and Welch — teams trying to shake a first-round playoff jinx — join Commerce as area schools which have qualified for the playoffs.

The Eagles and Commerce qualified as district champs while the Owls and Welch go as third-place finishers.

Afton, which hosts Barnsdall, has made it to the post-season six straight years, but has made it out of the first round just once.

In 2006, the Eagles topped Gore 29-19 but lost to Crescent the following week, 58-16.

Fairland is in the playoffs for the sixth time since 1998, but has made an early exit in 2007, 2002, 2001, 1998 and 1995.

The Owls squeezed out narrow wins over Fairfax (now Woodland) and Mounds before losing to Maud 21-0 in the quarterfinals.

This will be Welch’s 18th time to get into the playoffs since the Wildcats’ state championship year of 1987.

During that span, the Cats have been ousted in the first round 11 times, have made it to the second round four times and reached the semifinals once: 1995, losing to Marlow Central 43-0 in the semifinals.

Commerce also is a grizzled playoff veteran, qualifying 15 times in the last 16 years. It made it to the second round last year, losing at Talihina 38-7.

Between 1998 and 2006, CHS reached the third round eight times in nine seasons.