With the American Legion baseball season now over, we can turn our full attention to the fall sports season, which actually begins next week with regular season games.

Congratulations to the Washington Post 218 Seniors for their great season and memorable postseason run.

A state championship and a trip to the Mid-South Regional Tournament certainly is something to be proud about.

Post 218 ran into two great teams and two tremendous pitchers at the regional in New Orleans.

The two teams Washington suffered losses to, the host Retif Oil team and Columbia, Tenn., were the two final teams remaining in the tournament. Retif Oil went on the win the regional, advancing to the American Legion World Series.

A total of 14 of the 17 Post 218 players are eligible to return next season.

With the success of the Freshmen and Juniors this season, the future for all three Post 218 teams looks great.

We’ll get a look at our area high school football teams this Friday during jamborees at various locations.

Football’s regular season kicks off Friday, Aug. 24.

A friendly reminder that high school football is beginning a new playoff format this season.

District play now will begin in week 10 after a nine-game regular season.

All teams qualify for district play, meaning every team will play at least 10 games.

A points system used during the regular season will determine district seeds and matchups.

The winner of each district advances to the state quarterfinals.

Class 4 District 3 should be super competitive with Borgia, St. Clair, Union, Pacific, Sullivan, Ladue, Westminster and Priory.

There are no pushovers in that district and some potential great matchups.

Washington is in Class 5 District 4 with Camdenton, Lebanon, Rolla, Waynesville and Smith-Cotton.

Once again, I don’t see any pushovers in that district.

There also is news involving area teams and their conferences.

For Borgia, the news is it is no longer an independent. The school is in the AAA (Archdiocesan Athletic Association) with the likes of St. Mary’s, St. Dominic, Trinity, John F. Kennedy, Cardinal Ritter, Lutheran St. Charles, Bishop DuBourg, Christian and Duchesne.

The Gateway Athletic Conference says goodbye to Duchesne and adds Orchard Farm and Winfield. The league also has gone from two to three divisions.

Washington now is in the GAC Central Division with Ft. Zumwalt North, Ft. Zumwalt South, Ft. Zumwalt East and Holt.

There’s a lot to look forward to for the upcoming football season.

How about Mizzou beginning play in the SEC and Jeff Fisher taking over the St. Louis Rams?

The Tigers play eight SEC games this season, beginning with Georgia Sept. 8 in Columbia.

Vanderbilt, Alabama and Kentucky also visit Faurot Field this season.

Mizzou travels to South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Texas A&M.

It’s going to be tough sledding for the Tigers. I think they’ll be able to compete, but it won’t be easy.

Will the spread offense work against SEC defenses? What kind of numbers will receiver Dorial Green-Beckham produce in his freshman year? Will the MU defense be able to play physical and stop the run?

An educated guess would be the Tigers finish 7-5 overall and 4-4 in the SEC, which should get them to a bowl game.

Fisher, in time, is going to make the Rams a tougher, more physical, better team. It’s just going to take some time.

Even after watching last Sunday’s preseason game in Indianapolis where rookie quarterback Andrew Luck had way too much success, I still think the Rams defense will be above average.

There are a lot of promising young players like James Laurinaitis, Chris Long, Michael Brockers and Janoris Jenkins along with veterans Quintin Mikell and Cortland Finnegan.

I just think the offense is going to continue to struggle putting points on the scoreboard. The biggest key is whether the offensive line can hold up.

Teams are going to focus on stopping Steven Jackson. Sam Bradford needs time to throw the ball.

The Rams’ schedule isn’t easy. They play San Francisco twice along with games against Detroit, Washington, Chicago, Green Bay, New England, Buffalo and the New York Jets, just to name a few.

If the Rams can’t rack up wins against division foes Seattle and Arizona along with Miami, Minnesota and Tampa Bay, it will be another long year.