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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

Area Sports Schedule

American Legion Baseball

Ninth District Senior Legion Tournament

Thursday, July 17

At Westhoff Park

G1 (1) West 11, (8) Pacific 1

G2 (4) St. Charles 17, (5) Elsberry 2

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G3 (3) Washington 4, (6) Wentzville 0

G4 (2) Daniel Boone 8, (7) St. Peters 2

Friday, July 18

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G5 Elsberry 8, Pacific 3

G6 St. Peters 9, Wentzville 1

At Westhoff Park

G7 St. Charles 4, West 1

G8 Daniel Boone 7, Washington 4

Saturday, July 19

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G9 Washington 9, Elsberry 4

G10 West 9, St. Peters 6

G12 West 14, Washington 1

At Westhoff Park

G11 St. Charles def. Daniel Boone (fft)

Sunday, July 20

Rest at Westhoff Park

G13 Championship — West 2, St. Charles 1 (13 innings)

Monday, July 21

G14 If-Needed Game — St. Charles 13, West 11

Zone 1 Senior Legion Tournament

At Lindenwood University, St. Charles

Thursday, July 24

G1 West 13, Daniel Boone Post 262 8

G2 Jefferson City Post 5 11, Hannibal Post 55 2

Friday, July 25

G3 West 11, St. Charles Post 312 1

G4 Daniel Boone 10, Hannibal 2

Saturday, July 26

G5 Jefferson City vs. West, 10 a.m.

G6 St. Charles vs. Daniel boone, 4 p.m.

G7 G5 loser vs. G6 winner, 7 p.m.

Sunday, July 27

G8 Championship — G5 winner vs. G7 winner, 1 p.m.

G9 If-Needed Game — G8 winner vs. G8 loser, 4 p.m.

Ninth District Junior Legion Tournament

Tuesday, July 8

At Union High School

G1 (1) Elsberry 3, (8) New Haven 0

At Ronsick Field

G4 (3) Washington 7, (6) Wentzville 1

G4 (2) Union 8, (7) Hannibal 1

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G2 (5) St. Peters 8, (4) St. Charles 6

Wednesday, July 9

At New Haven

G5 Wentzville 4, New Haven 0

G6 St. Charles 8, Hannibal 7 (9 innings)

At Ronsick Field

G7 St. Peters 5, Elsberry 2

G8 Washington 2, Union 1

Remainder at Ronsick Field

Thursday, July 10

G9 Union 7, Wentzville 1

G10 Elsberry 3, St. Charles 2

Friday, July 11

G11 Washington 12, St. Peters 11 (10 innings)

G12 Elsberry 6, Union 3

Saturday, July 12

G13 Elsberry 4, St. Peters 3

G14 Championship — Washington 3, Elsberry 1

Washington wins district, to host Zone 1 Tournament at Borgia. Schedule below.

Junior Legion Zone 1 Tournament

At Borgia

Thursday, June 17

G1 Elsberry Post 226 10, Chillicothe Post 25 2

Friday, June 18

G2 Washington Post 218 5, Elsberry 1

G3 Chillicothe 5, Elsberry 4

Saturday, June 19

G4 Championship — Washington 16, Chillicothe 0 (5 innings)

Washington advances to State Tournament in Jackson.

Junior Legion State Tournament

At Jackson

Thursday, July 24

G1 Jackson 3, Springfield Glendale 2

G2 Eureka 7, Sedalia 0

Friday, June 25

G3 Jackson 8, Washington 3

G4 Springfield Glendale 8, Sedalia 3

G5 Jackson 4, Eureka 2

G6 Washington 8, Springfield Glendale 0

Saturday, June 26

G7 Eureka vs. Washington, 1 p.m.

G8 Championship — Jackson vs. G7 winner, 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 27

G9 If-Needed Game — G8 winner vs. G8 loser, 1 p.m.

Freshman Legion Ninth District Tournament

Tuesday, July 8

At Elsberry Legion Field

G1 (1) St. Charles 7, (8) St. Peters 0

G2 (4) Elsberry-Winfield 4, (5) Wentzville 3

At Elsberry Khoury League Field

G3 (3) Hannibal 3, (6) Warrenton 2

G4 (2) Washington 10, (7) West 1

Wednesday, July 9

At Elsberry Khoury League Field

G5 St. Peters 17, Warrenton 6

G6 Wentzville 5, West 4

At Elsberry Legion Field

G7 St. Charles 10, Elsberry-Winfield 2

G8 Washington 3, Hannibal 0

Remainder at Elsberry Legion Field

Thursday, July 10

G9 St. Peters 11, Hannibal 9

G10 Elsberry-Winfield 13, Wentzville 4

Friday, July 11

G12 Elsberry-Winfield 8, St. Peters 3

G11 Washington 6, St. Charles 0, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 12

G13 St. Charles 10, Elsberry-Winfield 1

G14 Championship — St. Charles 5, Washington 2

Sunday, July 13

G15 If-Needed Game — St. Charles 2, Washington 0

Missouri Freshman

Legion State Tournament

At Rotary Recreational

Complex - Ronsick Field

Wednesday, July 16

G1 Creve Coeur Post 397 16, St. Robert Post 331 2

G2 Ste. Genevieve Post 150 4, St. Charles Post 312 0

G3 Jackson Post 158 1, vs. Springfield Glendale Merchants 0

G4 Washington Post 218 9, Eureka Post 177 4

Thursday, July 17

G5 Springfield Glendale 11, St. Robert 1 (St. Robert eliminated)

G6 St. Charles 10, Eureka 2 (Eureka eliminated)

G7 Ste. Genevieve 4, Creve Coeur 2

G8 Washington 12, Jackson 10

Friday, July 18

G9 Jackson 12, Springfield Glendale 0 (Springfield Glendale eliminated)

G10 Creve Coeur 8, St. Charles 3 (St. Charles eliminated)

G11 Ste. Genevieve 3, Washington 2

G12 Creve Coeur 11, Jackson 7 (Jackson eliminated)

Saturday, July 19

G13 Washington 8, Creve Coeur 3 (Creve Coeur eliminated)

G14 Championship—Washington 5, Ste. Genevieve 2

Sunday, July 20

G15 Championship Game 2—Washington 3, Ste. Genevieve 0

Great Midwest Football League

July 19

Missouri Cyclones 34, Illinois Justice 0

Swim Team Schedules

Washington Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    at Oaks Landing    Washington 192-100

6-16    Westglen    Washington 259-206

6-23    at Fox Creek    Washington 311-225

6-30    at Chadwick    Chadwick 264-258

7-7    Cherry Hills    Washington 291-140

7-11 at Division Meet, Westminster Christian First

Pacific Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    Lake of the Woods    LOtW 176-130

6-16    at Union    Union 289-220

6-23    Bridle Creek    Pacific 371-124

6-30    at Arbor Oaks    Pacific 282-241

7-7    at Indian Hills    Cancelled, weather

7-12    Division Meet    First

Union Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    at Arbor Oaks    Union 180-120

6-16    Pacific    Union 289-220

6-23    at Lake of the Woods    LoTW 312-201

6-30    Indian Hills    Union 322-275

7-7    Bridle Creek    PPD

7-12    at Division Meet, Pacific    Third

Pacific Diving Team

Date    Opponent    Time

6-14    at MAC West    MAC West 40-30

6-21    at Lindgate    Lindgate

6-28    at Cool Dell    9 a.m.

7-13    at Championships    8 a.m.

*Indicates League Games

Racing News