Expect a clash of titans later this week in Kirksville.
The Junior Legion Zone 1 Tournament features three teams area fans are familiar with and two others for the five-team event which gets under way Thursday.
Washington Post 218 plays host Kirksville at 8:30 p.m. while Jefferson City Post 5 plays Moberly Post 6 in the 6 p.m. game.
“Never easy playing the host team on the first night, but we’ll give it all we have,” Post 218 Manager Kent Getsee said. “Kirksville has about five or six rostered guys from their high school varsity team two players that played a lot for them. Quite the mystery, but that is part of the fun.”
The other team, Rhineland Post 147, plays the Jefferson City-Moberly winner Friday at noon.
The Washington-Kirksville winner advances directly to the winners’ bracket final.
“I like our spot in the bracket though,” Getsee said. “I’m not a fan of playing two games a day in the winners’ side, even though that will be the case in the state tournament here as well. It just seems odd to me and a little unfair. It will be interesting to see the other teams and get the lay-of-the-land for the state tournament as well.”
Two of the teams will be headed to the Missouri State Tournament in Washington July 18-21.
Washington Post 218 will be the host for the state event and will be joined by the Zone 1 winner. If Washington wins the Zone 1 Tournament, the runner-up also would come to the state tournament.
Washington advanced to the Zone 1 Tournament as the Ninth District regular season runner-up.
The Ninth District had 10 teams this season, easily the most of any district in the zone. For that reason, the district has additional representation at the zone level.
Rhineland Post 147 won both the regular season title (swept Washington in district games) and the postseason tournament.
Jefferson City Post 5 is the other team many area fans know about. Post 5 won the Eighth District title and also claimed the Washington Post 218 Memorial Weekend Tournament at the start of the season.
The other two teams in the Zone 1 Tournament are the host Kirksville Redbirds and District 1-2 Tournament representative Moberly Post 6.
Two games are scheduled for the opening day of action.
Jefferson City Post 5 will play Moberly Post 6 in the opener at 6 p.m.
The second Thursday game will be between Washington Post 218 and the host Redbirds.
The tournament resumes Friday with the Jefferson City-Moberly winner playing Rhineland Post 147 at noon.
A losers’ bracket game between the Jefferson City-Moberly loser and the Washington-Kirksville loser will start play Friday at 2:30 p.m.
The winners’ bracket final is set for 5 p.m.
The final Friday game will be played at 7:30 p.m. between the winner of the 2:30 p.m. game and the loser of the noon game.
Going into Saturday, only three teams will remain. The first game is the losers’ bracket final at noon. The first championship game is set for 3 p.m.
Should that be the first loss for a team, the if-needed game will be played Sunday at 10 a.m.