We know for sure that we will have at least two new champions crowned in Class 5 (Lee’s Summit West moved up to Class 6 this year) and Class 6 (with Rockhurst defeating Blue Springs in the district championship over the weekend).
My quick thoughts per each class:
Class 1: Still Valle Catholic’s to lose, though I think Midway is physical enough to give them a great ballgame. I thought that last year prior to Osceola upsetting Midway and eventually falling on the road at Valle. Valle has to be the favorite, as they attempt to five peat; they last did NOT play for the title in 2008. The other half of the bracket appears to be fodder for the Valle/Midway winner as Penney has great offense and does not play defense, and South Shelby and Westran are competitive, but not in the same league (Valle already hammering Westran this year).
Class 2: Lamar playing Maryville (class 3) is a more interesting side note. I do think Strafford and the Tigers this weekend might be interesting for awhile, but the Tigers are deep and play up in competition all season long. They only play one sub-class 3 school during the year before the playoffs. Until anybody even plays close to Lamar (only loss is a tight one to Class 4 Carl Junction), there is no discussion for class 2.
Class 3: Read above and plug in Maryville in this scenario. They have not lost since Matt Webb took over head coaching duties and the train looks strong again. They also have the best nickname in high school (Spoofhounds).
Class 4: Read above and plug in Webb City, though Helias Catholic and/or Kearney could give them a great game in the semis. Like Class 1, that appears to be where the title will be served, and the other half of the bracket only offers a game to be played in the dome.
Class 5: Fort Osage has looked, at times, like the best team in the state in any class, and got all they wanted versus Winnetonka over the weekend trailing early and big at the half. Skylar Thompson would lead the charge back as Fort would take the win and set up an awesome match-up with a powerhouse running attack in Park Hill. That winner should be title favorite, especially with Webster Groves falling last weekend.
Class 6: Curveballs abounded in games last week, at least in margins of outcomes. Hazelwood Central got crushed by CBC, in what many thought would be a closer game, and a back-and-forth matchup between Rockhurst and Blue Springs favored the Hawklets in the end ending the Wildcat hope for a three-peat. Some fans think this is Francis Howell’s year, but the Hawklets are clicking on all cylinders and I won’t go against Coach Severino this deep in a playoff run.
My top three from each class heading into the playoffs (now three weeks old):
C1: Valle Catholic, Cass-Midway, Penney
C2: Lamar, Strafford, Lutheran North
C3: Maryville, California, John Burroughs
C4: Webb City, Helias, Kearney
C5: Fort Osage, Park Hill, Webster Groves
C6: Hazelwood Central, Rockhurst, CBC/Blue Springs
I’ll comment on the title match-ups leading up to Thanksgiving weekend from the dome.