Don’t blink or you might miss the end of your favorite high school spring sports team.
It’s playoff time for Missouri high school sports teams and there’s a good chance you could be following a team being knocked out between the time this is written Monday afternoon/Tuesday morning and the time you read this.
There is a lot going on right now. I’ll try to summarize what I can.
At the state level, the MSHSAA golf tournaments are taking place. Borgia’s golfers have won every meet or finished at the top of every tournament this season. That held up through 18 holes at the state event. Borgia’s lowest four scores totaled 303, two strokes in front of Priory for the Day 1 lead. Nevada (307) and Logan-Rogersville (309) were in close pursuit as well.
Leading the Knights was Tommy Alferman, who shot 74 (four over par) at the Sedalia Country Club. Will Schroeder was next at 75 while Austin Hoerstkamp shot 76. Zach Unnerstall carded 78 and Mark Maguire ended at 88.
It’s going to be a challenge for the Knights to hold on during the second day. Dave Neier has coached the Knights to two past state titles and his coaching staff of Chip Thompson and Brad Bruns also has extensive experience. Bruns coached the 2013 volleyball Lady Knights to a state title and led East Central College to three national tournaments.
Playing in Joplin, Washington’s Matt Hoemann shot 72, even par, to be tied for the individual lead at the Class 4 meet. He’s trying to become Washington’s second individual golf champion. Current Missouri State golfer Brad Carpenter won the Class 4 title in 2014.
We’ll have Day 2 state golf coverage in the weekend paper.
It’s an extremely busy time for area schools with a district championship a day through Wednesday.
Playing Monday, Borgia won its third Class 2 district girls soccer title in a row by beating St. Clair, 2-0.
Borgia never has a stellar regular season record thanks to its brutal schedule in the Archdiocesan Athletic Association, but it does a good job to prepare the team for the postseason.
Andrew Allen’s team has a good young group of players. Freshman Kara Voss scored both goals against St. Clair Monday and sophomores Hannah Overman and Anya Castelli run the defense and midfield, respectively.
Seniors like goalkeeper Chelsea Pohl and midfielder Haley Herbst also are important. Allen uses his depth to make sure he’s got a fresh unit on the field at all times, something which could build confidence in the postseason.
Borgia’s problem has been getting past the sectional round. This year, it looks like the Lady Knights will have to go to either St. Charles West or O’Fallon Christian to play. Either opponent will be tough and it’s going to take a full team effort to make it beyond that level.
St. Clair can’t hang its heads. The Lady Bulldogs had an amazing win over Sullivan in penalty kicks Saturday, one of the most exciting games in quite some time. It came down to the sixth kicker, Gabi Lindsey, who scored her first career goal and hit it off the post. Lindsey was one of St. Clair’s three seniors this season.
St. Clair, as well as Sullivan, are on the rise in girls soccer. While they might not be to the level of the best in the area yet, they’re going to be teams to watch.
Sullivan now runs Bill Kackley’s offsides trap to perfection. It’s a frustrating defense to play against and that frustration helps to create openings in the other team’s defense.
Tuesday’s district championship was at Union, where the baseball Wildcats took on the Lutheran South Lancers as these pages were being printed.
Lutheran South is the new district juggernaut, being shipped in with Pacific and Affton when the schools were shuffled before this year.
Union has a strong squad and could use almost everyone to pitch. The Wildcats have a strong staff and can hit the ball.
Union has shown it can compete with anyone this year and Tuesday’s final should be a challenge. It wouldn’t shock me if Post 297 baseball on the older levels has to be pushed back.
Wednesday’s championship is at Washington High School where we’ll finally see the area’s top two teams face each other. Top-seeded Washington and second-seeded Union will play for a sectional spot at 6 p.m.
Washington has the area’s top player, Mizzou-bound Cassidy Nurnberger, and has brought everything together under first-year Head Coach Adam Fischer.
Union has a solid team with a deep tradition of 13 Four Rivers Conference titles in a row and many good players. Union used to have the reputation of having a very good record against a poor schedule. The Lady ’Cats have boosted the level of play and taken some losses, but have improved overall because of that.
It could be another classic contest when the teams meet. I would hope it’s close and comes down to the final minutes. It’s a shame one of these very good teams has to exit at this level.
Believe it or not, it’s almost American Legion baseball time, the best season of the year in my opinion.
It’s easy to enjoy Legion ball if you’re a baseball fan in the Ninth District, especially if you happen to attend a lot of games at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field.
Washington Post 218 has had a lot of recent success, including two of the three state championships and a runner-up finish in the other division. It looks like Post 218 should be strong again this season at all levels.
It’s a friendly atmosphere at Ronsick Field and it’s pretty much a family with all of the regulars.
Other programs have done what they can to emulate Post 218. There is a lot of positive energy in the Union Post 297 and New Haven Post 366 programs as well.