Can we agree that spring really is here?

Temperatures are warming up this week, and that should make going to area sporting events more bearable.

Of course, it’s Missouri. That means we could still see snow again.

And we’ve got a ton of sports going on right now, from East Central’s delayed soccer season to the normal spring sports.

We’ve seen some good teams, some teams with flashes and some that are building for next year.

One of the most interesting races is Four Rivers Conference baseball. 

While the league picture got a little more in focus Monday, it’s not settled yet.

Union can win the title by closing out with a win Thursday over Owensville. The Wildcats picked up a massive league victory Monday over Hermann.

St. Clair now is a half-game back after beating St. James Monday. The Bulldogs still have to play New Haven and Owensville.

Owensville is 3-1 in league play with games against Union, New Haven and St. Clair to go. If Owensville wins out, it can claim the title.

Pacific improved to 4-2 by beating New Haven. The Indians close out on the road at St. James. Pacific has a chance, but needs help.

Hermann’s loss to Union dropped the Bearcats out of the league race. Hermann now is 3-3.

Sullivan also has three losses while New Haven has four defeats and St. James has lost five FRC games.

With new districts, classifications and rules concerning the postseason this year, Union and St. Francis Borgia have an interesting district. Both are in Class 5 District 5 with teams as far away as the Springfield area.

It’s hard to say who the favorite is for the district. Willard has won 15 games and is ranked No. 1 by the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association. Bolivar is 9-4, and Marshfield is 7-4.

St. Francis Borgia Regional and Rolla each have 11 wins. Union is next with 10 victories.

All but one of the teams in the district has a winning record. Camdenton is 8-6. Only Hillcrest (2-18) is under .500.

There will be plenty of travel and intrigue in this district.

In girls soccer, Union seems to be the top area team at 13-1. The lone loss came in double overtime to Rockwood Summit. Union would be the favorite to earn the top seed for the upcoming Class 3 District 9 Tournament.

However, don’t look past Pacific. The Lady Indians made Union sweat for most of the regular season game at Stierberger Stadium. Pacific took a 2-0 lead before Union chipped back to win it. It was the first time in years that any FRC team scored on Union.

The teams play again in the Blue Cat Cup pool play. The match is Wednesday at Stierberger Stadium with a 6:45 p.m. start. 

This game, along with Thursday’s 6:45 p.m. game between Borgia and Washington, could be a crystal ball as well. Both should play each other in the Class 3 District 8 Tournament. There’s a chance it could be in the championship game, depending upon where Hannibal gets seeded.

Right now, Hannibal is the only team with a winning record. Washington is at .500, and Borgia is just below.

Washington has solid players and good coaching. Borgia seems to have a different lineup every game. It has been a rough season for injuries with the Lady Knights.

I’ll close with the East Central teams. There’s a reasonable chance that Brad Wallach’s softball Falcons could win the school’s second Region 16 title of the fall. 

The men’s soccer team showed what it can do last weekend, knocking off Jefferson College. That’s a huge victory.

The women have no depth, literally. In recent games, they’ve had 11 players. That makes things tough in trying to keep up with opponents for 90 minutes. The truncated 2020 recruiting season didn’t help.

The Falcons have good building blocks but now need to add depth for next fall.