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Battleline: Question Marks Spring Up

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Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 8:45 am

Is there such a thing as too much, too soon?

We’ve seen some interesting results in high school sports so far this spring season, including a number of key head-to-head matchups.

In baseball, I thought Washington had the Four Rivers Classic title sewn up Saturday afternoon. I believe a lot of people felt the same way. The Blue Jays were cruising 6-1 against Festus in the championship game at Borgia.

But somewhere along the line, the Festus Tigers started to make contact against Camron Shipley, who had been sharp all day. And the defense let down as well. I guess the Borgia field was too smooth because errors helped Festus turn that deficit into a lead and then held on in the top of the seventh to claim the title.

The Blue Jays shouldn’t hang their head over the finish. I think Scott Bray’s club can play with anyone in this area, especially with their top two pitchers, Aaron Meyer and Shipley. They throw hard and hit the strike zone. Meyer’s masterpiece against Borgia was the best pitching outing I saw.

The Blue Jays also have blazing speed with Brian Trigg, Seth Bollmann and Matt McGilvray.

If Meyer’s shutout against Borgia in the semifinals was the best game I saw, then Pacific’s Lucas Zurliene threw the next best game. He used a vast array of pitches to keep the Knights off balance throughout most of the game and that allowed Pacific to run away with the third-place plaque.

Pacific’s squad is a typical Jeff Reed team. The players are hard-nosed and know how to play the game. It’s nice to see a lot of familiar faces from the American Legion scene last summer. That experience has made them better players.

While the host school, Borgia, took fourth, the Knights have a lot to look forward to this year as well. Borgia has a lot of new faces, but a lot of young talent as well. Rob Struckhoff has a number of weapons, but needs to find the right spots to use them. Borgia could make some noise before the year’s out, but faces a huge challenge being in Westminster’s district.

Borgia’s turf infield drew nice reviews from teams which came to play this past week. The Knights ended up hosting the finals when Washington couldn’t reserve Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field, due to the fact Crosspoint already had it rented for two games Saturday afternoon. The fears of there not being enough time (Borgia doesn’t have lights) proved to be unfounded. Overall, it was a good tournament.

The good news is that there’s plenty of times for the teams which didn’t do so great in the tournament to turn things around. And for those who are doing well, the event proved to be good affirmation that things are going well so far.

The other sport which has seen a lot of early-season intra-area action is girls soccer.

I think the Class 2 District 9 field might have as many twists as a soap opera this season.

As of right now, Union has the top team in that district. The Lady ’Cats have the area’s best finisher in Bethany Coons and a good supporting cast of experience and youth. Union is the defending district and Four Rivers Conference champion.

As of right now, everything else is a toss-up.

Sullivan seems to have the second-best team in the area right now. The Lady Eagles seem to have a chip on their shoulders right now and are on a mission to prove they’re Union’s equal at the top.

Sullivan has found a finisher in Emma Randolph, who actually entered this week with as many goals as Coons, seven.

Sullivan made another statement Monday night, beating perennial Four Rivers Conference challenger Pacific in league action Monday, 3-1.

Catherine Hayden leads the Lady Indians with five goals.

Pacific does hold an edge over St. Clair, having beaten the Lady Bulldogs in league action last week.

St. Clair shocked many within the area girls soccer community with a shootout win over Borgia last week. The Lady Bulldogs are getting better and better all of the time and might challenge for a higher spot by the time the district tournament is seeded. And, St. Clair will be hosting the district tournament, which will make Ted Koenigsfeld’s team even more dangerous.

And that leaves Borgia. The perennial district challenger would be seeded fifth if the district were played today, and that’s quite a fall from grace for the Lady Knights.

Borgia has yet to win a match this season despite having some strong players on the roster. Once Grant Kang’s team gets SIU-Edwardsville recruit Emily Grahl back onto the field, things should change. Grahl’s quickness and speed make for matchup headaches from any other team. Borgia is a much different squad without her on the pitch.

Washington, in Class 3 District 5, could make some noise this year as well. The Lady Jays have started strong and are in a five-team district at Ft. Zumwalt West with the host school, Holt, Timberland and Troy.

Not much is known about the two Class 1 teams, St. James and Owensville. They’re in District 10 along with Belle, Dixon and Fatima. St. James has had the sport for a while, but Owensville is learning about soccer this spring and taking some lumps along the way. Knowing what the school has athletically, it should be an interesting spring.

Speaking of interesting, we’re starting to put together the ballot for the All-Area basketball teams.

On the girls side, it could be a real mess. We’ve got five coaches who earned coach of the year honors at the conference or district levels (Hermann’s Todd Anderson, Owensville’s Dwayne Clingman, Washington’s Adam Fischer, Sullivan’s Jason Merkel and Borgia’s Stacia Parsell). And that doesn’t count New Haven’s Doug Peirick, who led the Lady Shamrocks to fourth place in the state tournament.

We’ve got four who earned player of the year awards (Borgia’s Janie Arand, Owensville’s Hailey Diestelkamp, Washington’s Kyra Hardesty and Hermann’s Karinne Lane). That should make for some very interesting voting.

On the boys side, discounting a longshot candidate, it likely comes down to Ronnie Suggs of Washington and Cullen VanLeer of Pacific for the player of the year award.

Borgia’s Dave Neier and Pacific’s John VanLeer could come down to the wire for the coach of the year award, just like in their three games this season. Or, could the retiring Ray Steinhoff, a district champion, garner the better percentage of the vote?

I find it very interesting to see that despite having outstanding players in this area, the few Franklin County schools eligible for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch All-Metro teams were snubbed this year.

Yes, these are very interesting times.

/

Area Scoreboard

Football

Friday, Sept. 12

*Ft. Zumwalt North 49, Washington 0

*Borgia 35, St. Dominic 0

*Union 27, Pacific 19

*Sullivan 47, St. Clair 21

Hermann 65, Wentzville Liberty 7

*Owensville 29, St. James 28 (OT)

Cuba 22, Windsor 6

*Warrenton 14, St. Charles 6

*Bowling Green 55, Wright City 0

Friday, Sept. 5

Warrenton 14, Washington 6

Borgia 13, Maplewood-Richmond Heights 0 (forfeit)

*Union 32, Sullivan 19

*Pacific 20, St. Clair 18

*Hermann 52, St. James 20

Owensville 35, Cuba 8

*Wright City 36, Montgomery Co. 0

Friday, Aug. 29

Sullivan 30, Washington 8

Borgia 56, Union 13

Ozark 41, St. Clair 0

Potosi 34, Pacific 13

Hermann 54, Cuba 12

Blair Oaks 42, Owensville 0

St. James 36, Houston 18

Warrenton 28, Troy 0

Orchard Farm 36, Wright City 18

Friday, Aug. 22

Washington 26, St. Clair 21

Borgia 48, Owensville 12

Parkway West 49, Union 39

Pacific 28, De Soto 20

Park Hills Central 34, Sullivan 27

St. James 12, Cuba 6

Hermann 61, Montgomery Co 12

Warrenton 26, St. Dominic 23

Trinity 28, Wright City 24

Softball

Monday, Sept. 8

O’Fallon Christian at Borgia    4:30 p.m.

St. Clair at Windsor    4:30 p.m.

Hermann at Van-Far    4:30 p.m.

*Union at New Haven, 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 9

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at Union    4:30 p.m.

*St. Clair at Hermann    4:30 p.m.

*Pacific at Owensville    4:30 p.m.

*New Haven at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

Borgia at Trinity    4:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 11

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt S    4:30 p.m.

*Union at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Sullivan at Pacific    4:30 p.m.

*New Haven at St. James    4:30 p.m.

*Owensville at Hermann    4:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 12

Washington at Howell C Tny    TBA

Saturday, Sept. 13

Cuba Tournament    TBA

Washington at Howell C Tny    TBA

Pacific at Seckman Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 15

Silex at Union    4:30 p.m.

Potosi at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

Wellsville at Hermann    4:30 p.m.

Newburg at Owensville    5 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 16

*Borgia at Notre Dame    4:30 p.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt N    4:30 p.m.

*Union at Owensville    4:30 p.m.

*Pacific at New Haven    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Hermann at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Volleyball

Saturday, Sept. 6

Borgia Tournament

Blue Pool

Parkway West def. Hickman, 25-8, 25-12

Borgia def. Washington, 25-6, 25-15

Parkway West def. Washington, 25-19, 25-16

Borgia def. Hickman, 25-21, 25-10

Washington def. Hickman, 25-19, 25-11

Parkway West tied Borgia, 25-15, 22-25

Gold Pool

St. Dominic def. Francis Howell North, 25-14, 25-16

Lutheran South tied Jefferson City, 25-9, 22-25

St. Dominic def. Jefferson City, 25-7, 26-24

Lutheran South tied Francis Howell North, 24-26, 25-18

Jefferson City def. Francis Howell North, 25-9, 25-17

St. Dominic tied Lutheran South, 25-20, 22-25

Seventh Place - Francis Howell North def. Hickman, 25-15, 25-23

Fifth Place - Jefferson City def. Washington, 25-12, 25-20

Semifinal 1 - Lutheran South def. Parkway West, 25-22, 25-20

Semifinal 2 - Borgia def. St. Dominic, 26-24, 23-25, 25-22

Third Place - Parkway West def. St. Dominic, 25-17, 25-9

Championship - Borgia def. Lutheran South, 25-20, 23-25, 25-15

Owensville at Fulton Tny    8:30 a.m.

#ECC vs. Independence    9 a.m.

#ECC vs. Southeast    1 p.m.

St. Clair, Pacific, Sullivan at North County Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 8

Warrenton at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

Fox at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

Hillsboro at Sullivan    5:30 p.m.

Tolton at New Haven    6 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 9

Pacific at Rockwood Summit    4:15 p.m.

Crosspoint at Rivers of Life    5 p.m.

Washington at Owensville    5:30 p.m.

Montgomery Co at Union    5:30 p.m.

Rock Bridge at Hermann    5:30 p.m.

Sullivan at Belle    5:30 p.m.

St. Clair at Kingston    6 p.m.

Crosspoint vs. Community Christian    6 p.m.

*Duchesne at Borgia    6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

*ECC at Mineral Area    6:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 11

Cuba at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Holt at Washington    5 p.m.

New Haven at Centralia    5 p.m.

Park Hills Central at Sullivan    5:30 p.m.

Owensville at Fatima    5:30 p.m.

*Rosati-Kain at Borgia    6:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 12

Liberty Christian at Crosspoint    5 p.m.

Rivers of Life at Crosspoint    7 p.m.

Hermann at Crossroads Inv    TBA

New Haven at SEMO Classic    TBA

Saturday, Sept. 13

Missouri Baptist JV at ECC    10 a.m.

Indian Hills at ECC    2 p.m.

Borgia at Springfield Classic    TBA

Union at Rockwood Summit Tny    TBA

Hermann at Crossroads Inv    TBA

New Haven at SEMO Classic    TBA

St. James at Cuba Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 15

Union at Cuba    5:30 p.m.

Hickman at Hermann    5:30 p.m.

Sullivan at Potosi    5:30 p.m.

Montgomery Co at Owensville    5:30 p.m.

St. James at Licking    6 p.m.

ECC at Missouri Baptist JV    6 p.m.

New Haven at Borgia    6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 16

*Sullivan at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E    5 p.m.

*New Haven at Union    5:30 p.m.

*Pacific at Hermann    5:30 p.m.

*Owensville at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Boys Soccer

Saturday, Sept. 6

St. Charles at Washington    11 a.m.

Borgia at St. Dominic Tny    TBA

Pacific Tournament    TBA

Sunday, Sept. 7

Blue River 3, East Central 1

Monday, Sept. 8

Christian Academy at Fulton SA    4:30 p.m.

Pacific at Washington    5 p.m.

*Sullivan at St. James    5 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 9

Sullivan at Valley Park    4 p.m.

*ECC at St. Charles    4 p.m.

Crosspoint at St. Louis United A    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at Union    5 p.m.

St. Clair at Belle    5 p.m.

Mehlville at Pacific    5 p.m.

*Borgia at Duchesne    6:15 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

Washington at Warrenton    5 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 11

*Washington at Holt    4 p.m.

Windsor at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

Sullivan at Festus    4:30 p.m.

St. James at Calvery Lutheran    5 p.m.

Borgia at Pacific    6:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 12

ECC at Oakton    4 p.m.

*Fulton SA at Eagle Ridge    4:30 p.m.

Dixon at St. James    5 p.m.

Crosspoint at Jefferson City Lightning    5 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 13

Washington at Helias    11 a.m.

Cape Central at Union    11 a.m.

ECC at Lake Co    3 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 15

*Sullivan at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

Affton at Pacific    5 p.m.

St. James at Richland    5 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 16

Crosspoint at Fulton St. Albans    4:30 p.m.

Tolton Catholic at Borgia    5:30 p.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E    6 p.m.

Cross Country

Tuesday, Sept. 9

Sullivan Invitational    4 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 11

Pacific, Sullivan at Steelville Inv    4 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 13

Forest Park Inv    9 a.m.

New Haven, Hermann, Owensville at Linn Inv    9 a.m.

Monday, Sept. 15

St. James at Bourbon    4 p.m.

Girls Golf

Monday, Sept. 8

Washington at Timberland    3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 9

*O’Fallon Christian at Borgia    3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

Washington at Troy    3:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 16

*Borgia at St. Dominic    3:30 p.m.

Boys Swimming

Friday, Sept. 5

Washington at Oakville/CBC    4:15 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 10

Washington at Kennedy    5:30 p.m.

*Conference Games

Racing News