As September fades into October, it’s quickly becoming time for high school sports teams to show what they have.

At this point, we’re closer to the playoffs for many sports. This Friday will be Week 6 for football. Week 10 is the start of win-or-go-home playoffs in that sport.

We’re getting very close to district tournaments for girls golf and softball. And other sports won’t be far behind.

Yes, there will be surprises. I don’t know if anyone picked Union to reach the Class 4 football semifinals or New Haven to go to state in volleyball. Last year also was when Sullivan won a state title in softball.

There will be surprises this year, and some favored teams will head home early. That’s how it works every year. You’ve got to peak at the right time.

In football, there shouldn’t be many expectations in the postseason. Union was last year’s surprise and this year’s favorite. I think Union has a good shot at reaching the district championship game, but Vashon might be the host for that event. From there, it’s anybody’s guess.

I would like to see other teams recover. Pacific and St. Clair, if fully healthy, could make some noise.

In volleyball, there are the usual suspects. Hermann and New Haven should be solid, and if they make it to Cape Girardeau, it should be no surprise.

History would state that Borgia, the 2019 Class 3 state champion and 2020 Class 5 third-place team, has most of the players back from the past two years. However, there’s no guarantee the team will advance.

Eureka is undefeated at 20-0. The Lady Wildcats have swept Borgia as well as winning the Edwardsville and Gateway tournaments.

Lafayette is 19-2-1. Borgia would have to beat Lafayette Oct. 12 to even have a chance at one of the top seeds for the district tournament. Even Washington and Francis Howell will be tough outs in this tournament.

If Borgia can fix its serve receive ruts, maybe it’s got a chance.

There have been some very powerful Borgia teams knocked out before the state tournament. The 1994 and 1996 teams come to mind right off the bat. Nobody should be surprised if this team joins them. 

We should get a much better idea of how strong local teams are this week at the Hermann Tournament.

Pacific, St. Clair and Union all are at or above .500 this season. Rolla is the favorite in Class 4 District 9, but it wouldn’t shock me if any of the others advanced.

In softball, nobody is even close to Sullivan in Class 3 District 3. That team is like Borgia volleyball. It just reloads year after year.

Class 4 District 2 should come down to Washington (17-5) and Rockwood Summit (19-1). A good team will be going home. Webster Groves, last year’s state champion in that class, isn’t even at the .500 mark.

Union’s softball district is to the west, and the Lady ’Cats have a difficult task. Five of the eight teams have winning records with Rolla (19-6) and Capital City (14-4) being two of the favorites. Marshfield (12-5) could be a spoiler.

Over the next four to six weeks, we’ll see who this year’s surprises are. There are potentially teams we’re not even talking about who will get hot and become this year’s Cinderellas. The real fun part is watching that happen.