Post season-- the 2nd season raised the curtain this week. On Wed, Class 1-5 begin play while on Friday the Class 6 teams open up their "new" year. Some of the very interesting matchups this week. Of course, if your team is in the "hunt", that game always draws YOUR attention.
Class 5 - Wed games to follow--
The only district winner, Raytown South (7-3) , to play in this regional round game draws a tough Lee Summit West team (7-3). The Titans have already beaten Raytown South this year and have hopes to move much further down the bracket. We think that West will win this one despite coming in as a #2. The winner plays Ozark (5-4) in the sectional round.
Smarting after their loss to Camdenton, Rolla (9-1) will tangle with the Washington Bluejays (7-3) in a game involving two teams with glittering records. Under 1st year Coach, Zach Schneider, the Bluejays have won some thrilling games (over Holt 28-24, Duchesne 26-23, Warrenton 34-27) but we think the Rolla offensive diversity maybe too much. We hear the Bulldogs barking at the end of this one.
Class 4 games to watch on Wednesday--
Ft Zumwalt East (8-2) will try to establish themselves as a 2009 Surprise team of the year as they tangle with the Hannibal Pirates (8-2). In only their 2nd year of Varsity competition, the Lions who have only lost to two Playoff-bound teams-Ladue & Timberland, were just 1-9 last year! Talented QB Marvin Byrd will have his hands full with the extremely tough Hannibal defense. The Pirates have recorded 6 shutouts in their 8 wins. Losses this year were to state-powers- Harrisonville and Helias. Our crystal ball sees the Pirates making East walk the plank.
The Bolivar Liberators (9-1) will host the Union Wildcats (6-4). All indicators point to the Central Ozark Champions who are averaging over 40ppg. Coach Lance Roweton has won around 80% of his games. Meanwhile, heading west as usual, the Wildcats lost most of their games to larger or very talented schools. Coach Brent Eckley has tried elevating the level of his team's post season play with a schedule that included non league opponents like Helias, Poplar Bluff, Summit-- all post season teams. Crazy hunch here -- I'm going with the Wildcats.
Holding a 13-0 halftime lead, the Normandy Vikings were hoping to get a rematch with MICDS. The U City Lions would have none of it! They rallied for 19 unanswered points to win the district title. So, no rematch for the Vikes in the opening round. Schedule will look like this-- Westminster vs Normandy and U City vs MICDS. Hear each game on www.prepcasts.com
Class 3 games--Wednesday night games
One of the surprise district championship teams has a rematch of an earlier game this year as the Trinity Titans (7-3) draw a tough #2 foe-St Francis Borgia Knights (7-3). The Knights trimmed the Titans 10-7 in the regular season. Each team brings something to the table-- Trinity has Marquise Hill with his break-away speed and the momentum of a district championship while the Knights have loads of playoff experience under Coach Dale Gildehaus (183-63). We're leaning to the experience in this case but are very impressed by Trinity's great run through districts. Listen to the game on www.prepcasts.com
Springfield Catholic and Seneca each bring 7-3 records into this first round game. Seneca lost their district game to perennial power- Cassville and earlier games to class 4 team (Carthage & Neosho). The Fighting Irish had a bit of an easier time reaching this point. We'll go with the Indians in a high scoring event.
O'Hara (9-1) and Chillicothe (8-2) bring the best records of this round to this field. The Celtics, who finished 2nd in West Central Conference, suffered their only loss to Smith-Cotton. The Hornets possess their usual ground crunching offense as they compete in the Midland Empire League. While O'Hara's record is better, they haven't yet beaten any team over .500 so we're going with the Hornets.
Class 6 games on Friday--
Lindbergh Flyers (10-0) have found a way to win all year long. QB Keith Portell is a multi-talented athlete who runs and throws very well. The Flyer defense, while giving up 21 points to SLUH on Friday, has been extremely stingy in 09. The Fox Warriors, coming out of the Mississippi Red Division, are 3-2 against class 6 teams. As Fox will be moves to a large school conference next year which should benefit the program, we'll lean to the 10-0 team this week. This game will be video streamed on www.prepcasts.com
Oakville(7-3) , who won District 1 with their win over Fox 19-13, faces the Jr Bills of SLUH (5-5). Each team showcases very talented quarterbacks. For the Tigers it's SR. Joe Plassmeyer while the Jr Bills have Soph. Trevor McDonagh. While these two signal callers are very good, I think the team that runs the ball well will win. We're picking an upset here as we choose SLUH. www.prepcasts.com will carry this game on an audio basis.
Out west two games have teams that will lay their 8-2 records on the line. In one game, Rockhurst faces Liberty. The Hawklets have really been terrific against all Missouri teams. Coach Joel Wells has a powerful run game at Liberty but Rockhurst's defense will require a mix of run - pass to be beaten. We choose the Hawklets.
The Howell Vikings and Jeff City Jays are also each 8-2. The Jays coasted through District and are piling up nearly 40ppg. The Jays have only tasted defeat at the hands of Rockhurst who they faced twice this year. Meanwhile, the Vikings program has been rejuvenated by Coach Brian Koch. In his 3rd year, Coach Koch has gone from 1-9, 3-7 to 8-2! Getting rough treatment last week at DeSmet, the trip to Jefferson City may not be much more pleasant for this up and coming program. Jays win.
DeSmet (10-0) handled Ft Zumwalt West in the regular season. The Spartans threw a shutout in district play -- outscoring their opponents 175-0! We're looking for a Spartan-Jay quarterfinal. Hear this game on www.prepcasts.com