Boys 2022 #1 - Districts beginby Admin on 10/29/22
Thoughts from the Touchline Vol. 2, Edition 1 Saturday marks the official opening of the 2022 boys districts and if weather holds, will also be the busiest day for the rest of the year with 77 scheduled games - all in Classes 2, 3 and 4. Class 1, with fewer teams, doesn't have to play as many quarterfinal matches, so many of them will kick off Monday (30 total games) and Tuesday (70 games - many of them semi finals). Wednesday has a light load of 10 games before a big Thursday night of 27 matches - mostly all finals. The remaining six finals will be spread out over Friday (2) and Saturday (4). Quarterfinals in all classes will then take place Saturday, Nov. 12 and the Final Four the following weekend.
Preview Class 1 - Laquey reclaims the #1 spot after a short-handed Father Tolton team dropped its final match on the road to defending state champs (and now class 2) Lutheran St. Charles. Laquey has been #1 most of the year with only two 1-0 losses (Class 2 #3 Logan-Rogersville and Class 1 #9 Smithton) on its record. Laquey and Smithton could meet up again in a quarterfinal if both advance. Tolton has a tough road ahead in what is one of the more competitive districts. Fast-charging #5 Borgia, fresh off a big 4-1 win over Class 4 #12 Northwest this week, looks to claim back-to-back titles in that group. Borgia and Tolton went to penalties earlier in the year, with Tolton coming out on top. MMA is also a solid squad in that district, while host Fatima has had plenty of historical success. District 1 has DuBourg and St. Mary's as favorites, while #7 Metro and #11 Brentwood look to be the teams to beat in district 2. More on Class 1 next week.
Class 2 - The top 10 teams in class 2 all have a good shot at reaching the final four, but #1 Westminster Christian stands out as the team to beat and will likely see #4 Orchard Farm in the D3 championship. #2 Marshall spent time at #1 throughout the year but fell to Tolton and Hannibal in the past ten days. Still, the Owls have had a dominant season within district 6. #3 Logan-Rogersville and #5 Osage seem to be on a crash course to the D5 final, although Monett and Greenwood could pose an upset or two. Two of the most entertaining districts should be D1 where #6 Affton is the 1 seed, but plenty of capable teams there (#8 Bayless, #10 Perryville, #12 Saxony Lutheran) are going to make that a highly competitive week. The same can be said in D4 where there are no real dominant teams, but a lot of parity. #1 seed Fulton has lost 8 of its last 11, including a tight one to #2 seed Southern Boone. Five teams in that district are from 21-33 in the latest MPR. In D7 Harrisonville looks to repeat in a competitive district with #9 Barstow the higher MPR team, but lower seed, while #7 Excelsior Springs is the favorite in D8. D2 should also be anyone's district to win. #13 Med-Bio is the #1 seed.
Class 3 - The top 4 teams in Class 3 shouldn't be much of a surprise. #1 Webster Groves and #2 Rockwood Summit have combined for four of the past eight class 3 titles. The two are on a collision course to the D2 finals so only one will advance (if at all). Get ready for the "state championship being played in the district finals - this isn't right!" calls on social media, but the reality is when all eight of the past class 3 champs have come from an approximately 35 mile triangle in the STL area, this is what happens. #3 Whitfield is trying to make history in its first year in the class. The Warriors won the class 2 title in 2021 and finished second in Class 1 in 2020. Three years, three different finals would be a first, we believe, but last year's state runner-up #6 Ladue is looking forward to ending that as the 2 seed. #4 Glendale is always in the mix and will have to get by local rival #15 Springfield Catholic. #12 Cape ND got the 1 seed in D1 over #9 Cape Central via an in-season win, so expect a fun local battle down there which also includes a tough #14 Farmington squad. Two-time defending Class 3 champ Ft. Zumwalt South is in an odd position for them - not #1 after a few years of heavy graduation losses. Local rival #8 Ft. Zumwalt East is the 1 seed but South hosts and playoff experience could come into play. Meanwhile, 3 seed Hannibal is actually ranked higher in MPR than South (16 to 22) and hopes to finally break through in that district. Districts 6-8 will likely be full of surprises, with only D8 #1 seed KC East (#7) and 2 seed Platte Co. (#5) in the top 10. Otherwise, there are 22 teams ranked 13-60 in those three districts. Expect some upsets as several of these schools are mixed in from other regions and are likely unfamiliar with each other. Should make for a fun week!
Class 4 - News hit today that #1 Rock Bridge had to forfeit 12 games this year for the use of an ineligible player. While that knocks the Bruins out of #1 in the MPR, it will also be interesting to see how RB responds in a district that involves travel (to Blue Springs) and a few local rivals (2 seed Hickman and 5 seed Battle). As always, district play in Class 4 will be competitive and high-class. D1 1 seed (#17) Lindbergh, #12 Northwest and #9 Vianney should vie for that title. DeSmet is the new #1, but has to play rival #8 CBC if both reach the D2 finals. Throw out numbers when members of the Metro Catholic Conference hook up. Over in D3 #4 SLUH and #3 Chaminade look to avoid 3 seed (#21) John Burroughs' magic from last year when the Bombers knocked them both off en route to a surprise final four. Expect another MCC district final there. Liberty (Wentzville) is the 1 seed in a very even D4 that also features 2 seed Francis Howell and #20 3 seed St. Dominic. In D5 #6 Kickapoo and #7 Ozark look to be the class there with #15 Nixa lurking. In D6 the road to a district title almost always goes through #5 and defending state champ Rockhurst, although #11 Lee's Summit may have something to say about that. #10 Liberty North leads the pack of contenders in D8.