In case your allergies haven’t told you, it’s spring.
Yes, it’s time to get back into the great outdoors, get out and see some games.
However, remember your allergy medicine, sunblock and bug spray. It won’t take long to remember those items. The looks you’ll get when your allergies act up and folks think you have the plague should prompt you to remember the allergy remedies.
Also, bring a coat and umbrella. Just because the calendar says it’s nearly April doesn’t mean that the weather is going to be perfect. In the past, it almost always got cold, windy, rainy or even snowy for events early in the spring sports season. I can remember one game in the Four Rivers Baseball Classic years ago (Wright City at Borgia) where it snowed.
We’ve got some good spring teams playing right now. St. Francis Borgia Regional’s baseball Knights technically are defending state champions. They won the Class 4 state title in 2019, and last season got wiped out. They’ll be playing up two classes this year. I can’t tell you where yet, as MSHSAA hasn’t released its districts yet.
At any rate, Borgia won the Bank Classic last weekend, beating Jefferson City in the title game. If last week’s play is any indication, Borgia, Washington (runner-up in Four Rivers Classic) and Union (third in Bank Classic) should be teams to watch. I think Pacific will move into that group as well. Jeff Reed knows how to get the best out of his players.
Pacific hosts Borgia Wednesday, and that should be an interesting game between two local rivals. Union plays at Washington Friday in another game to watch.
New Haven has a couple of nice wins to start the season, and it will be interesting to see how the Shamrocks fit into the FRC baseball scene.
In girls soccer, it’s looking like Union is getting back in stride once again. The Lady ’Cats finished fourth in Class 3 in the two years prior to the pandemic. Union has started strong again with wins over St. Clair, Borgia and Owensville.
Union will see a real test this week. The Lady ’Cats play Rockwood Summit, Pacific, Ft. Zumwalt West and Holt.
The latter two games are part of the Union Showcase. The two-day event will take place at Union High School and Union Middle School Friday and Saturday. Games start at noon Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday. Overall, there are six games Friday and eight scheduled for Saturday.
Union plays at the high school at 6 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday. Washington, another team to watch this year, takes on Francis Howell Central at Union Middle School Friday at noon. Pacific plays Farmington at Union Middle School Saturday at 4 p.m.
Union stepped up because the Parkway College Showcase, originally scheduled for this weekend, had to be called off due to the pandemic and St. Louis County restrictions.
Although this isn’t the same scale as the Parkway College Showcase (there are 10 fields at the Lou Fusz Soccer Complex), it’s a nice substitute to make sure the young athletes have a venue this year. Hopefully, there will be some scouting taking place as well.
I’ll end with a couple of notes on indoor sports.
Congratulations to Reagan Rapert for being named the Class 5 girls basketball player of the year and being a finalist for Miss Show-Me Basketball. Although she has the athletic abilities, she doesn’t dominate because she’s taller than the rest of the players. Instead, Rapert has put a lot of hard work into her game to polish her positive skills. And it’s shown.
Rapert’s work ethic and drive to succeed paid off. It’s great to see that recognized. Reagan Rapert is a great role model for young players who want to maximize their skills.
Congratulations to East Central College’s volleyball team for winning the NJCAA Region 16 Division II Tournament. The Falcons swept rival Metropolitan Community College (formerly MCC-Longview) Saturday for the title.
This one was a little easier than the last postseason triumph. In those days, the district (which included Northeastern Oklahoma A&M from a different region) had more teams. NEO has been shifted to a different district. Also, Cottey College, Wentworth Military and St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley no longer are in Division II. Cotttey became a four-year school. Wentworth closed. Flo Valley was combined with St. Louis Community College-Meramec in a system-wide program.
East Central has one remaining hurdle to make it to the national tournament, and it won’t be easy. The Falcons have to go to Iowa Friday to face the Region 11B winner for a spot at the national tournament. At deadline Tuesday, the 11B winner had not been decided.