MO Soccer Blog

MO Soccer Blog

'22 Boys Postseason #5 (11-3)

by Admin on 11/03/22

Vol 2. Edition 5 (11-3–22)

Wednesday action saw three Class 2 champions crowned, continued lopsided Class 1 games and some late drama in Nixa in Class 4.

Starting with the champions…the School of the Osage (5) punched its ticket into the final 8 with a wild win at host Logan-Rogersville (3) in C2D5. Osage led until the final minute of regulation before LR knotted the score and sending it into OT where 2x15 wasn’t enough. Osage wins it in penalties and gives the school its first ever district title and a likely matchup with Marshall if the Owls hold up tonight. In Mexico for the C2 D4 final, four seed Helias Catholic rolled over two seed Southern Boone 6-2 for its first playoff appearance since 2019. Helias earned another point and automatically jumps into Class 3 next year, but will enjoy the present and await Westminster Christian (1) or Orchard Farm (4) at home in quarter play. SBC is now 0-2 in finals since winning a then-best 11 in a row and the 2020 C1 title. D7 Excelsior Springs (7) had an easy night with a 5-1 win over St. Pius (KC) and another trip to the quarters. The Tigers await the winner of D7, which is still in semi play tonight.

In C4 action last night, Chaminade eliminated John Burroughs 3-1 to advance to a final against SLUH. So far all five MCC schools have stayed alive, with two guaranteed to make state play and possibly a third if Vianney can win D1. The high drama of the night in C4 was the late game in Nixa where the host school and Ozark battled into OT before a corner kick goal advanced Ozark into the final against top seed Kickapoo, 6-2 winners over Waynesville.

Class 1 has either been close games or blowouts. D2 top seeds Metro and Brentwood advanced with 2-0 wins, while in D6 overall #1 Laquey blasted Dixon 9-1 and 3 seed New Covenant upset College Heights 5-0. College Heights had won the earlier match 4-3, so this was quite the turnaround.

Thursday games are almost all finals (23), with four other semis thrown in. A lot to cover so for tonight we will provide seeding info and MPR favorites. Remember, anything within .30 is right for an “upset” based on MPR. The average number of MPR upset has been just under .30 at .25. Only three games where the MPR has favored a team over .50 and lost so far with Raytown South’s (-.99) win over Grain Valley the biggest upset of the tourney.

So far, district seeding is 132-27 (83%) and MPR is 126-33 (79%).

Class 1 - More blowouts and a few close ones? Seems to be the trend…look at D4 and D8 as the intriguing ones tonight. St. Mary’s is in its final year of soccer…can it keep going and uphold its long soccer tradition one last time?

D1 Semis
#1 Dubourg (+.12) vs. #4 Valley Park
#2 St. Mary’s vs. #3 Gateway Science (+.28)

D3 Final
#1 Duchesne vs. #2 Winfield (+.31)

D4 Final
#1 Father Tolton (+.37) vs. #2 Borgia

D5 Final
#1 Smithton (+.77) vs. #2 Stover

D7 Final
#1 Summit Christian (+.89) vs. #2 Lone Jack

D8 Final
#1 Maryville vs. #2 Lutheran (KC) (+.07)

Class 2 - Marshall has a big advantage going in, but everywhere else is likely going to be very close. D7 semis could be anyone’s and the D1 and D3 finals have some championship contenders going toe to toe.

D1 Final
#1 Affton (+.16) vs. #2 Saxony Lutheran

D2 Final
#1 Med-Bio (+.20) vs. #2 Principia

D3 Final
#1 Westminster Christian (+.26) vs. #2 Orchard Farm

D6 Final
#1 Marshall (+.82) vs. #2 Odessa

D7 Semis
#1 Harrisonville vs. #4 Oak Grove (+.15)
#2 Barstow (+.18) vs. #3 Center

Class 3 - All 8 finals tonight! Local rivals (throw out the records!) all over the state except in 6-7 where unfamiliar teams from different geographic regions battle it out.

#1 Cape Notre Dame vs. #2 Cape Central (+.07)

#1 Webster Groves (+.44) vs. #2 Rockwood Summit

#1 Whitfield (+.13) vs. #2 Ladue

#1 Ft. Zumwalt East (+.61) vs. #2 Ft. Zumwalt South

#1 Glendale (+.50) vs. #2 Springfield Catholic

#1 Webb City (+.16) vs. #3 Belton

#2 Jefferson City vs. #4 Van Horn (+.24)

#1 East (KC) (+.68) vs. #6 Pembroke Hill

Class 4 All finals. Big time clash in D2 tonight. Can FZN be this year’s Cinderella? Four #3 seeds trying to make the playoffs…pre-season favorites Rockhurst and Rock Bridge have challenges tonight on the road. Third 100+ mile trip (one way) for RB this week.

#1 Lindbergh vs. #3 Vianney (+.34)

#1 DeSmet (+.59) vs. #2 CBC

#5 Ft. Zumwalt North vs. #3 St. Dominic (+.15)

#1 Rockhurst (+.40) vs. #2 Lee’s Summit

#1 Rock Bridge (+.25) vs. #3 Blue Springs

#1 Liberty North (+.08) vs. #3 Park Hill South

Note: a few days of travel may slow Blog reports...will do our best to keep you updated!

'22 Boys Postseason #4 (11-2)

by Admin on 11/02/22

Vol 2. Edition 4 (11-2–22)

A relatively quiet Wednesday night on tap with only 10 matches, but we will crown our first playoff qualifiers as a trio of Class 2 districts finish up play. D4 will have 2 seed Southern Boone (+.23) and 4 seed Helias battling it out (remember, anything under .30 separation means to expect a close one) while D5 has arguably the highest profile teams in Logan-Rogersville (3) +.21 and Osage (5). D8 in Excelsior Springs (+.72) has the host school taking on upstart St. Pius (KC). The C4 D6 tourney resumes in Nixa with semis between Kickapoo-Waynesville and Nixa-Ozark. Kickapoo and Ozark are the favorites in those, but host Nixa could make things interesting. C4 D3 finishes up semifinal play between heavyweights Chaminade (2) and John Burroughs (20) - Chaminade has a +.86 MPR and should be favored, but the same was said last year and JB advanced, while the other four games are all in C1. D6 semis between top ranked Laquey and Dixon (27) and College Heights Christian (4) vs. New Covenant (7) with College Heights a slight favorite (+.21).

On to the Tuesday night recap…

Very few teams that ever win a state title don’t experience “that moment” when things look to be slipping away or the match isn’t going your way. Champions find a way and last night there were plenty of “moments” that teams may look back on as the one where they escaped to survive another day. Along with the talent, skill, coaching and everything else, top teams generally have to take the best shots from the underdogs who have nothing to lose.

Thus was almost the case in C4 D7 last night where final four favorites Rock Bridge escaped a gutty effort by 5 seed Blue Springs South in a 2-1 penalties (4-1) win in Blue Springs. The Bruins inability to score in the flow of play lately nearly caught them before marksmanship from the mark pushed them through. In the other semi, 3 seed Blue Springs used its home field advantage to knock off 2 seed Hickman 2-0, setting up another RB-BS final tomorrow. The winner of that district will get the winner between D8 top seed Liberty North who held serve in a 2-0 win over Staley and 3 seed Park Hill South, who slipped past rival Park Hill 2-1. South had the lower seed, but the higher MPR. In the other KC area district, Rockhurst rolled to a 4-1 win over Ray-Pec and will face 2 seed Lee’s Summit, 2-1 winners over Lee’s Summit West. The D1 tourney didn’t disappoint last night as both games were decided by a goal. Top seed Lindbergh survived 4 seed Oakville in OT, while Vianney eliminated Jackson. Not at all surprised by Jackson in a 1-0 game, but this time the magic ran out and the Griffins play on. The other STL districts remained competitive as expected. C2 #1 overall DeSmet pulled away from a 1-1 tie to eventually oust Eureka 4-1, while 2 seed CBC fended off a pesky Kirkwood squad, 3-2, setting up a battle of soccer royalties Thursday in the D2 final. The teams split games this season already. Only one semi played last night in D3 as SLUH eliminated Howell North 2-0. The Jr. Bills await the Chaminade-Burroughs winner Saturday. The biggest upset of the night in C4 came in D4 where 5 seed Ft. Zumwalt North kept its stellar season rolling with a convincing 3-1 win over top seed Liberty (Wentzville), which sets up a final against St. Dominic, 4-2 winners over upset-minded (and lowest remaining seed) Timberland.

Class 3 saw the biggest upset of the night and the second biggest of the entire tournament out in KC D8, where host Pembroke Hill got a 2-1 OT win over 2 seed Platte Co. Pem Hill was .80 underdogs entering that one, but will move on to play East (KC), 7-1 winners over Kearney. East looks to a formidable team going forward if it can continue to play at this level. Something to watch out there. In D7 also had a big shock seed wise when #4 Van Horn, playing with 10-men, held on for a 1-0 win over 1 seed St. Michael’s. The two teams weren’t separated by much MPR (.29), so this one had the potential all along. Van Horn gets 2 seed Jefferson City, who held on to a 1-0 win over 6 seed Raytown South. No surprise that evenly matched district has had its share of upsets and close matches. In D6, top seed Webb City rolled on with a 2-0 win over Grandview and will match up next with Belton. The 3 seed eliminated 2 seed Willard by a comfortable 5-2 margin. As expected, Glendale and Springfield Catholic will meet up in the D5 finals. Camdenton kept it close with the Falcons before bowing 2-0, while Catholic pulled away for a 4-1 victory over 3 seed Rolla. No big shockers in the other four districts, either. Ft. Zumwalt East and two-time defending state champ Ft. Zumwalt South will renew their rivalry in the D4 finals Thursday after East held off Holt 3-2 and South outlasted Hannibal 1-0. Top seed Whitfield eliminated MICDS and 2 seed Ladue stopped Clayton 2-0 to move to that final, which should be a good one between two very experienced playoff squads. The match everyone is waiting for, Webster Groves and Rockwood Summit, is also on as both advanced. WG routed Lutheran South 7-0, while Summit pulled away from a game Parkway West squad 4-2. The D1 final is also as anticipated - the Battle of Cape Girardeau. Notre Dame hummed along to a 4-0 win over Desoto and Cape Central handled a good Farmington squad 4-1. All eight C3 finals will take place on Thursday - what a night that promises to be throughout the state!

In Class 2 action, not one seed upset of the 11 matches played, but plenty of close games showed how competitive C2 will be in the weeks ahead. D1 didn’t disappoint with two intense games between four final four worthy teams. We thought OT may be in the books and it was when Saxony Lutheran used a golden goal to outlast 3 seed Perryville 2-1. The other semi had top seed Affton slipping past 5 seed Bayless also by a 2-1 score. One goal games stayed the norm in D2 where top seed Collegiate School ended University City’s season and 2 seed Principia ousted Soldan. Top overall seed Westminster Christian and Orchard Farm (4) took care of business in D3, ousting St. Charles West and St. Charles, respectively. Three seed Sacred Heart battled gamely, but couldn’t take out 2 seed Odessa, losing 3-2. #2 overall Marshall handled Boonville 4-0 to reach the final in D6 as well. In D7 2 seed Barstow, 3 seed Center and 4 seed Oak Grove joined top seed Harrisonville (bye) in the semifinals with comfortable wins last night.

The competitive disparity in Class 1 was evident last night with a slew of blowouts smattered in with a few close games. The lede of last night’s action probably should be the D4 semis in Westphalia, but when you have 7-6 overtime final (!), the spotlight must go there. D8 Lutheran KC’s 7th goal of the night in OT eliminated 6-goal scoring Cristo Rey in what has to be one of the most entertaining stories of the tourney (unless it wasn’t reported correctly and went to penalties, then disregard all of this)… Top seed Maryville scored 10 in the opening half to take out Cameron, so no shortage of offense in NW MO. It’s been said defense wins championships, but for one night offense takes the prize. Back to the uber-competitve D4 where Father Tolton got an early goal and a late goal to pull away from host Fatima 2-0. Borgia and MMA also went toe-to-toe before a Borgia goal under 10 minutes to play proved to be the difference. Tolton and Borgia meet up again Thursday for that championship, won last year by Borgia, although Tolton won this year’s match in penalties. Not much drama in the rest of C1, though, besides Stover slipping past Crocker 1-0 in D5. Stover gets top seed and Kaysinger Conference rival Smithton in the finals. Summit Christian and Lone Jack cruised to wins in D7, while Dixon eliminated last year’s final four squad, Fair Grove in a D6 quarterfinal. Duchesne and Winfield won semis in D3, while blowouts were the norm in the D2 quarters.

'22 Boys Postseason #3 (11-1)

by Admin on 11/01/22

Vol 2. Edition 3 (11-1–22)

The calendar has turned to November and in just a few short weeks the season will crown four champions. The month starts with one of the busiest nights of them all - Tuesday of District week is always full on the schedule, which means 70 games spread across all four classes and all parts of the state. This is also a taxing night on referees with already thin crews spread thinner throughout. Be mindful of that when it comes to your support tonight from the bleachers - the games don’t go on without them!

A beautiful Halloween night saw the Class 1 tournament officially kick off with all five #4 seeds (Fatima, Canton, Knob Noster, Cameron and Cole Camp) winning handily. Those five advance to take on #1 seeds - all on short rest as all play again tonight - with Fatima likely having the best shot at taking out a #1 in a difficult D4 that the Comets host. Father Tolton (2nd overall in C1) and Fatima locked up in an OT match last year in this very game that Tolton escaped. The other semi has last year’s D4 winner Borgia (5) vs. a very capable, if not unpredictable, MMA (18) team. Borgia enters as one of the hotter C1 teams, so a competitive evening will be on tap in Westphalia tonight. Actually, all eight districts in C1 have action tonight with D1, D2 and D6 opening play with the 4/5 game and 3/6 games in the bigger districts. All the others will be semifinals so in just two short days C1 will be whittled down quickly. The closest semi pairing tonight is D7 with Lone Jack (20) and Green Ridge (21) only separated by .02 in the MPR. The D3 semis should also be tight battles with 1 seed Duchesne (22) and 4 seed Canton (25) only separated by .30, while 2 seed Winfield (12) and 3 seed STEAM (14) are only .08 apart. This district is one of the ones where the seeds went against MPR, so we will see how Duchesne’s strength of schedule plays out.

Class 2 -Arguably the best game of the night was the C2 D4 semi between top seed Fulton (21) and 4 seed Helias (31). We thought this might be a good one and it didn’t disappoint. Helias jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half before Fulton stormed back to tie early in the second. The two teams raced back and forth for the next 40+ minutes before a Helias goal with just minutes left in the first OT secured the upset and sent the Crusaders into the finals against Southern Boone (24) tomorrow night. SBC got an early goal and cruised to a 4-0 win over host Mexico. In D8 3 seed St. Pius (KC) (32) knocked out 2 seed Bishop LeBlond (15) 1-0, setting up a championship against heavily-favored Excelsior Springs (7) who cruised by 4 seed Chillicothe 5-1. In D5 top seeds Logan Rogersville and Osage had no problems in their semis, setting up the expected title bout there. Boonville snuck past St. Paul Lutheran 1-0 in an OT thriller to advance, while 3 seed Sacred Heart also moved on. Both teams have a quick turnaround with semis tonight. Marshall (2) awaits Boonville, while Sacred Heart is actually favored in MPR over 2 seed Odessa. The small-school Gremlins depth will be on display tonight.

Razor thin margins separate tonights C2 D1 action in Perryville, which should make for a great night in arguably the most competitive C2 district statewide. 1 seed Affton (6) takes on 5 seed Bayless (8) and only a slight edge in MPR (.07) to Affton. The other semi has 2 seed Saxony Lutheran (13) and 3 seed Perryville (10), with the teams virtually dead even in MPR (.01 edge to Perryville). Saxony got the 2 seed by virtue of a 1-0 win in penalties earlier. Don’t be surprised if OT is played at some point in Perryville tonight. In other action, C2D2 semis are tonight in sort of an unknown district. Collegiate School (11) and Principia (19) are the top seeds. D7 also opens play with only top seed Harrisonville (18) off this evening due to a bye. Barstow (9), Oak Grove (12) and Center (14) all have higher MPR scores than Harrisonville and should advance to determine if that seeding was correct.

Class 3 took Monday off, but is back in full force this evening with all 8 districts seeing semifinal play. After tonight, we will be down to the final 16 in C3, so a lot on the line this evening. In D1, the two Cape teams eye a rematch with Notre Dame (12) the top seed over Central (9) due to a regular season win, but will have to get by DeSoto (44) and Farmington (14), respectively. D2 has the two of the state’s top teams in the class in opposing semis tonight. Webster Groves (1) (+1.45) and Rockwood Summit (3) (+.90) are heavy favorites over Lutheran South and Parkway West. The D3 semis are intriguing, as well. The last two Class 2 champions (Whitfield (2) and MICDS (34)) square off in one, while familiar foes Ladue (6) and Clayton (11) are in the other. Ladue has topped all three of those teams in the regular season, but one was Pk’s (Clayton) and Whitfield was only 2-1 in the regular season finale. Signs point to a Whitfield/Ladue final but Clayton is only .25 behind in MPR and that penalties loss is still fresh. D4 has two Zumwalt schools (East - 1 seed and South - 2-time defending champ) hoping for a rematch in the final, but Holt and Hannibal look to break through. East is a .49 MPR leader over Holt, while Hannibal is actually ahead of South by .26. The Pirates don’t get to play much in that area and are looking for a signature win over one of the state’s best programs as of late. D5 poses long-time rivals Glendale (4) and Springfield Catholic (15) as the favorites in those semis. Rolla (22) could give Catholic (+.26) some issues as the Irish struggled down the stretch. Camdenton is the Glendale challenger tonight and heavy underdogs (-1.09). D6 has, by the numbers, the weakest group, but that also makes it a highly-competitive district. Top seed Webb City (38) plays Grandview (45), while Belton (29) and Willard (33) are nearly even in the other semi. In D7 play, Raytown South’s big upset of 2 seed Grain Valley leads them to a match with favored Jeff City (+.52). Top seeded St. Michael’s (10) plays last year’s semifinalist Van Horn (18) in the other in what looks to be the closer semi. D8 has heavy favorites KC East (7) and Platte Co. (5) against upstarts Kearney (27) and Pembroke Hill (24), respectively. Both of those teams earned upset wins in a wild Saturday at Pembroke Hill.

C4 D5 had a busy night in Nixa, where all four top seeds advanced. Waynesville was the 4 seed and slightly behind (.11) 5 seed Neosho, but the Tigers live on after a 3-1 win. This district takes the night off, but all the others see action this evening.

D1: Top seed Lindbergh (16) vs. 4 seed Oakville (23) and 3 seed Vianney (6) vs. 7 seed Jackson (44) in the other. No doubt the Griffins aren’t looking past Jackson - or at least they shouldn’t based on Jackson’s postseason magic over the past few years. Jackson squads are known for grinding and keeping it close until a break happens, but Vianney is a huge (+.98) favorite. Lindbergh also holds a slight edge (+.11).
D2: The state’s top team resides here. DeSmet is a big favorite to reach the finals over Eureka (28) and meet up with fellow MCC member CBC (7), who faces 6 seed Kirkwood (39), a big winner from Saturday.
D3: Almost the same setup here as MCC’s SLUH (3) and Chaminade (2) are heavy favorites to advance over Francis Howell North(31) and last year’s surprise John Burroughs (20). There’s always the danger in looking ahead and just about everyone has players who can make a difference in C4, but expect a SLUH-Chaminade rematch later this week.
D4: A couple of upsets Saturday have opened the door for potentially smoother paths for Liberty (Wentzville)(11) and traditional power St. Dominic (18) to meet again, but Ft. Zumwalt North and Timberland are fresh off big wins and no team has been consistently dominant in the area this year.
D6: Rockhurst (4) is a big favorite (+.74) to make another district final in tonight’s semi against Ray-Pec (26). Local rivals Lee’s Summit (10) and Lee’s Summit West (22) pair off in the other with LS having a slight advantage that won’t take into account two teams with players who know each other well.
D7: When you combine a Columbia heavy district and a Blues Spring heavy district, one could expect tonight’s semis to have been the forecast. Rock Bridge (24) is the 1 seed despite having to forfeit 12 games right before the tourney started. The Bruins were a top team all year and didn’t miss a beat in Saturday’s 8-0 drubbing of Truman. RB plays Blue Springs South in a semi, with South (37) also rolling to an opening 8-0 win over Battle. RB is only favored by .32, but that is with the forfeits included, so this one may not be as close as it seems. In the other semi, 2 seed Hickman (19) has a slight edge (+.31) over host Blue Springs (35). This game could be one to watch tonight. Hickman would love nothing but another chance at RB after getting knocked off in last year’s semis as the top seed, while Blue Springs eyes a second surprise trip to the final four after topping RB 3-0 in the finals.
D8: Status quo so far in D8, but tonight could change that. Top seeded Liberty North (9) has Staley (40), while the two Park Hill schools meet up in the other one. Park Hill (21) has the 2 seed, but Park Hill South (12) the MPR advantage (+.23). Another local game played on a neutral field (Oak Park) that should provide some tense moments.

'22 Boys Postseason #2 (10-31)

by Admin on 10/31/22

Vol 2. Edition 2 (10-31-22).

Happy Halloween everyone!

The opening weekend of the state playoffs is in the books - a full day of 77 games played throughout the state - all in Classes 2, 3 and 4 Saturday. Another round of 30 matches are on tap for tonight (Class 3 is off tonight), while Tuesday’s slate is loaded with 70 games - mostly semifinals. Hopefully the wet weather of Sunday is gone and this week’s warm forecast will make for some great competition and worthy championship experiences.

The soccer postseason always provides a wild ride of emotions, classic games and a chance for all 224 teams to reach St. Louis for the final weekend Nov. 18-19. We will do our best to stay on top of all the action over the next few weeks, so here we go…

Note: Most of what we will be looking at going forward, especially in match analysis, will be based on our Missouri Power Rankings (MPR) and district seedings. Most of the time, these numbers line up fairly well. Sometimes they don’t and that allows for a lot of the tension and upsets that go into a great night on the pitch. Our MPR is relatively new (this is year four) and we are still tweaking it to make it as authentic as we can. That being said, the MPR has been fairly accurate over those years in determining advancement. Our final regular season MPR is likely our most accurate because this is the one that has almost all of the season’s results added for the first time. (Coaches must update prior to the postseason.) However, this is a snapshot of the whole season and most teams have changed (some drastically) throughout the season based on injuries, growth, etc. Also, one of the beauties of the playoffs is the constant study of who can get hot at the right time. Matchups also come into play - some teams just match up better against others even though those same teams could easily drop a decision to a lower-ranked squad on any given night, which is what drives the tension. The numbers we provide are designed to help promote the weeks ahead and all the pageantry that goes with it. For example, teams within .50 of each other have traditionally been the most prime for an upset with the average upset being at a .30 difference. Anything over .50 can truly be considered a “shocker” of the tournament. A team's MPR is in parentheses throughout.

Saturday’s numbers…
MPR 61-77 correct (79%)
District seeding 63-77 correct (82%)
District Upsets by seeding were mostly at the 4/5 game (8) and 3/6 games (4), while only two were at the 2/7 games (more on those in a bit). A fun point to look at…all of the 4/5 games that the 5 seed won were by one goal and 12 of the 16 district upsets were by one goal. Class 4 District 2 #6 Kirkwood’s 4-0 win over #3 Lafayette was the biggest outlier.

As for MPR, the two shockers both involved the 13th ranked teams in Class 3-4. C3 D7 Raytown South (47 MPR) knocked out 2 seed Grain Valley (13) 1-0, while C4 D1 7 seed Jackson (44 MPR) was up to its annual 1-0 postseason magic when it ousted 2 seed Northwest. Jackson has made a living of being a tough out the past few years - no matter the record or the MPR, which just goes to show how important matchups become.

Class 1 - As mentioned, Class 1 gets started in full tonight with five first-round matchups between 4-5 seeds. Class 1 only has 42 schools participating so most of the action there will be get going in full Tuesday.

Class 2 - Four districts are in action tonight with semis in Districts 4, 5 and 8. In D4 two schools who surprised Saturday in wins go in as underdogs tonight, although 4 seed Helias has a real solid shot at knocking off 1 seed Fulton. Helias (31) rolled over Kirksville 6-1 Saturday and is on a bit of a roll lately while Fulton (21) has scuffled a bit over the final few weeks. In the other semi, #6 Mexico (39) toppled Wright City (33) for the second time in two weeks to reach the semis, but comes in as a decided underdog to 2 seed Southern Boone (24).  Fulton and Helias meet for the first time this year while SBC already thumped Mexico 5-0 earlier. In D5 1 seed Logan Rogersville (3) and 2 seed Osage (5) are heavy favorites to advance to this week’s finals against Cassville (25) and Monett (22), respectively. Monett’s strong tradition could be a factor and Cassville’s first winning season since 2019 may help, but both teams have big hills to climb. D6 has two quarterfinals tonight. In D8 1 seed Excelsior Springs (7) shouldn’t have much problem with Chillicothe (36), but the other semi between Bishop LeBlond (15) and St. Pius (KC) (32) could be interesting. LeBlond beat Pius 3-0 earlier, but Pius always seems to find a way to be in these games over the years.

Class 3 - No games tonight in C3, but Saturday made for a highly competitive start to the week with 31 games. D7 Raytown South’s win over Grain Valley was the biggest shocker but most seeds held true. Even 6 seed Pembroke Hill’s 3-2 win over #3 Lincoln Prep in D8 didn’t seem far-fetched in a district loaded from 1-7 that will provide fireworks this week. Only top seed KC East had an easy day. The semis this week should be quite competitive at Pembroke Hill’s new complex. Kearney’s (27) 3-2 overtime win over Smithville (20) being the epitome of the closeness of the teams in that district. The two teams ended the regular season with a 2-1 Kearney penalties win and the follow up a week later just showed how close those two teams are. Elsewhere, most of the top seeds cruised. Tuesday’s slate of semifinals will be a big day for those who have survived so far.

Class 4 - Three top top 20 teams had their seasons end Saturday as Northwest (13), Carthage (15) and Marquette (17) all bowed out. Jackson’s win was the biggest by MPR difference (.99), while Ray-Pec’s (28) 3-2 victory over Carthage and Eureka’s (26) 1-0 win over Marquette were actually in games between teams only .15 apart in the final MPR. By seed, 7 seed Timberland’s (47) 3-1 win over 2 seed Howell (38) was Saturday’s other Class 4 bracket breaker, but MPR would say that game had the potential for being a surprise as only .33 separated the two. Tonight’s action is only in D5 where that tourney kicks off as Kickapoo (5) and Ozark (8) as prohibitive favorites. The best game of the night should be the 4/5 between #4 Waynesville (32) and #5 Neosho (27) who are separated only by .11 in the MPR.

A recap of tonight’s action on tap for tomorrow…plus a look at how the new Championship Factor has affected all sports so far in MO later this week.

Boys 2022 #1 - Districts begin

by 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.