Battleline: What Have We Learned? - The Missourian: Sports

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Battleline: What Have We Learned?

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Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 10:00 am

Like brown, red and yellow leaves, area fall sports teams are quickly falling from competition.

Yes, the fall high school and college sports seasons quickly are coming to a close. The same is true with Major League Baseball. It’s been an interesting season full of lessons.

So, what have we learned?

• If you can’t defend your home turf, you probably won’t win the World Series.

The Cardinals are in a deep hole needing to sweep in Boston to win this time. The Cardinals have been in worse conditions before, so it’s not impossible.

I think most fans would feel better if the team somehow could conjure the spirit of Enos Slaughter because he knows how to beat the Red Sox. His scoring sprint from first base in the 1946 World Series gave the Cardinals the crown that year.

• The Rams are an interesting team.

If the defense can play the way it did against Seattle, the Rams can stay in any game. The offense just needs to learn how to execute, especially in the red zone. More importantly, it needs to find a way to get a rushing touchdown soon.

• It’s been a so-so year for prep football.

We’ve got some amazing athletes playing the game, but they’re mostly at the skill positions. Even the best of our teams, Sullivan, isn’t even the top seed in its district.

Quarterback has been a key. We’ve had some good ones in the area, such as Sullivan’s Justin Biermann, Union’s Blake Hulsey and Hermann’s Craig Winkelmann. Borgia has found a way to successfully incorporate three national quarterbacks into its roster. Pacific would just like to have one of its quarterbacks stay healthy for three consecutive weeks.

We’ll likely lose most of our teams this week in games. I would expect to see Sullivan, Union and Hermann playing next Wednesday.

Sullivan has found itself again and is on a seven-game winning streak. Union still has a potent spread offense. Hermann has refound its game now that it’s back to running the veer.

The next two possibilities would be Borgia and St. James, but they’re going to have to play extremely good to make it through the first round.

Borgia hung around with Westminster for a long time during the first meeting. St. James will be at home, but faces a very athletic Bishop DuBourg team.

While we had no undefeated schools in the area this year (both Sullivan and Union are 7-2), we also had no winless schools.

I like the fact that football now has a district tournament, instead of a round robin four-team district. I don’t like how every regular season game now counts toward the tournament seeding. That punishes a team which may be the largest in its conference, but helps smaller schools who play a lot of big schools.

• Volleyball is still a strong sport in this area, but overall, it seems to be stronger around the state.

MSHSAA didn’t do our teams any favors this cycle.

New Haven is seeded third in its district behind Bismarck and Ste. Genevieve Valle and it will be a task to make it past the district round.

If the Lady Shamrocks could play every match the way they played Borgia Sept. 23, making it to Saturday’s sectional is a possibility.

Hermann should win its district, but the teams there are getting better. If Hermann can win the district, it likely will see defending state champion Fatima and Lutheran St. Charles in its section. At this point, Lutheran has got to be the favorite to represent the section in Cape Girardeau.

The local Class 3 winner, likely Borgia (not going out on a limb there as Borgia has won the district in all but two of the years since 1987) will host a sectional, but it’s got to be the toughest Class 3 sectional in the state. Expect Villa Duchesne or Visitation, St. Dominic and Duchesne to be there. Honestly, I think the sectional will be tougher than the state tournament for the winner.

The good news for our Class 4 teams is that either Washington or Pacific will survive past the first round of the district. The bad news is that the winner has to play Lafayette in the semifinals.

• In soccer, we don’t have a world beater.

I would have liked to have seen Pacific in the local district rather than Warrenton. I believe a third Union-Pacific game would be just as epic as the last one.

I think the local district is up for grabs and any team which gets hot next week could host the sectional game.

If Borgia ends up winning, I expect video of last year’s sectional loss to Rolla to be shown at least a couple of times.

• Our kids will run at state.

I think we discovered that we should have some state qualifiers in cross country, but no threats to win individual titles. I believe New Haven’s Seth Schenck should be the top state finisher among local runners. I haven’t followed Karinne Lane of Hermann enough to know whether she can carry through to medal at state, although I know she’s an amazing basketball player.

• It wasn’t such a traumatic start for swimming.

Borgia started boys swimming this fall and, pardon the pun, was thrown into the deep end. It wasn’t much time from the sport’s approval to its start.

However, to its credit, the school found a qualified coach in Jennifer Alferman-Molitor of the Washington Swim Team and a number of experienced summer and club swimmers. While Borgia hasn’t had the depth necessary to win a meet yet, it’s got one state qualifier in Michael Matthews and it’s only a matter of time until the team breaks through.

I’m under the impression the girls team will have a pretty good turnout for the winter season.

• Sullivan still is the class of the area in softball, but others are catching up.

The Lady Eagles again were the last team standing in the MSHSAA playoffs, but ran into a juggernaut in the sectional round.

Ashley Crump has the closest thing to a softball dynasty in this area and will find players to fill the gaps. They get the Four Rivers Conference player of the year, Sarah Messex, back next fall and a very good supporting cast as well.

But other teams are catching up. Washington has been very good, but plays in the largest class, so things are much, much tougher. Union and Borgia have been solid, but usually are watching Sullivan raise the district trophy. St. Clair, Owensville and St. James are getting better.

• Girls golf is growing.

Borgia’s team finally is drawing numbers for Chip Thompson. And Borgia has some quality returning next year as well. If the Lady Knights can continue to develop, it’s not going to be long until the team is winning matches again.

• It’s hibernation time at ECC.

From what we’ve seen through the season, I believe the season will come to an end Saturday for the East Central College volleyball Falcons. I also believe it will be an accomplishment for this team to make the finals. Since the program was reinstated, ECC has never finished lower than second in the NJCAA Division II District O Tournament.

The soccer Falcons played Tuesday at Jefferson College. ECC hasn’t beaten its nemesis on the field in some time and would need a big upset to advance to Saturday’s title contest.

/sports

Area Scoreboard

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North

Normandy

Carnahan

Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter

Pacific

Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1

CBC

Soldan

Washington

Pool 2

Borgia

North Tech

Union

Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Sullivan Shootout

Owensville vs. Rockwood Summit, 11:30 a.m.

St. Clair vs. Lindbergh, 1 p.m.

Jefferson City vs. Jackson, 2:30 p.m.

Washington vs. Lutheran South, 4 p.m.

Borgia vs. Poplar Bluff, 5:30 p.m.

Sullivan vs. Affton, 7 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James 72, New Haven 21

*Union 49, Pacific 48

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Francis Howell    7 p.m.

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia vs. Sullivan, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.

Wrestling

Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games

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