On The Dotte: District Previews

by David Brox, davidbrox@shukc.com

The regular season is over as we move into district play and I wanted to offer some insights into each
of our teams chances of making the playoffs.  I will go deeper into some more than others for different reasons and will stay off my soap box.

(St. James Academy, Mill Valley, Bonner Springs, Turner)

This district is loaded with talent and solid teams.  I will speak openly that I don’t believe Turner will be a player in this district.  The 3 other teams are bigger, faster and just have more depth.  So no disrespect they are working to play spoiler and the rest of these teams have not shown any signs of slipping.

St. James Academy is the key for whether or not the SHUKC teams get 2 playoff spots or just 1.  They come into the game Friday against Mill Valley with a bit of optimism.  It took late game dramatics for Mill Valley to get by them last year 17-14.  They are 6-0 and sport one of the top returning senior players in the area.  Trey Keith has been a handful over the course of his career and is putting up strong numbers this year.  44 of 72 689 yards 7 TD’s and 2 INT’s, 61 carries for 543 and 5 TD’s leads this team and will be the player of focus for the Jaguars.  They has several players making a contribution on the ground.

They are 6-0 but I will be honest that the 6-0 is very weak and give me a bit of hope that Bonner Springs and Mill Valley will be able to get past them.  2 of the 6 wins are against winless teams, Pleasant Hill is a small school, 2 small Missouri schools and Desoto who is 4-2.  Desoto would be their signature win.  I won’t go over Mill Valley’s resume but I have expectations that they handle St. James Academy Friday especially being at home.  In fact I expect Mill Valley to roll through this district.

That leaves a matchup between Bonner Springs and St. James Academy which was won by Bonner Springs 13-0 last year.  Connor Byers is playing fantastic football right now and still obviously has weapons along side him to get it done.

Brox’s Prediction: (Mill Valley (3-0) and Bonner Springs (2-1): OUT St. James Academy, Turner)

(Lansing, Schlagle, Washington, Leavenworth)

This district, every year I get on my soap box and hold out hope that a KCK team makes it to the playoffs.  We are in the 5 season drought and once again I have a world of optimism that we will get one this year.  Schlagle has turned into my Chris Berman’s Buffalo Bills.

I will start with Lansing who seems to go to the playoffs every year due to the benefit of playing Schlagle and Washington.  No matter how down the Lions are they still get into the playoffs.  Even when they finally lost to Schlagle a few years ago they got into the playoffs having lost to Mill Valley 68-8 due to point differential.  They are a better team this year.  A lot more physical and certainly have enough to beat Washington and a winless Leavenworth team.  The key game in this district should be Schlagle vs Lansing.

Leavenworth is 0-6 which I have learned means little to nothing when it comes to the KCK teams.  Schlagle will have to be crisp in their play calls and execution if they want to win this key game and go to the playoffs.

Brox’s Prediction: (Lansing (3-0), Schlagle (2-1), OUT: Leavenworth (1-2), Washington (0-3))

(Atchison, Piper, Basehor-Linwood, Tonganoxie)

Please forgive me now because I am about to sin.  To count Piper out of the playoffs for as long as I have been covering the area has been blasphemy.  Coach Brindle and his staff even in lean times at Piper has been able to turn it on during districts and the playoffs.  This year however is different and mainly because of two players that they don’t have.  Tanner Eikenbary and Colton Beebe literally carried Piper in situations like this.  Time will tell but go ahead and quote me now that I don’t think Piper makes it to the playoffs.

That opens the door for the Atchison Redmen and it is very dangerous conversation to say a KCAL team is prepared to play these 3 KVL teams.  They start off with Tonganoxie in what I will call a must win for the Redmen.  If they come in thinking that Tonganoxie is the KCAL teams they steamrolled then they are in for a rude awakening.  I think however that Atchison is a solid squad and did exactly what you would expect.  Demolish everyone in route to a 6-0 record and second straight league title.  Wykeen Gill is on my watch list for player of the year nominees but if he doesn’t perform and get his team into the playoffs then optimism will be abound.

That leaves us with Basehor-Linwood as the my second expected playoff spot but the Bobcats have been far from dominant the last 3 weeks.  Blasting Bishop Ward may provide a bit of momemtum going into the match up with Piper.  Jahron McPherson looks to put his stamp on this Bobcat program by helping them get to the playoffs in back to back season.

Brox’s Prediction: (Basehor-Linwood (2-1), Atchison (2-1), OUT: Tonganoxie (1-2), Piper (1-2))

(Sumner Academy, Bishop Miege, Louisburg, Spring Hill)

This district will be tough as 3 teams battle for 2nd.   I have little expectations that Sumner Academy will come out of this with a playoff spot.  Leonard Green has 3 games to set a Sumner Academy rushing record and lead the area in rushing.  4A-I is a mockery of competition and that is all I will say about this district.

(Shawnee Mission East, Shawnee Mission North, Wyandotte, Harmon)

Harmon why not?  Why not beat Wyandotte who is 0-6?  Why not beat SMN who is 1-5 on the season and cap off an impressive season with a playoff birth? 

Brox’s Prediction: (SME (3-0), HARMON (2-1), SMN (1-2), Wyandotte (0-3))

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