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MSHSAA District 1 Playoff Preview

The Geek’s MSHSAA District 1 Playoff Preview – 2017

 

Once upon a time, Missouri picked its State Championship playoff entries with a point system that excluded a lot of sturdy teams in favor of the cream.

Since then, MSHSAA went PC – pocket cash, that is – allowing everyone into the tournament and selling a whole state’s worth of tickets. Schools across 6 enrollment classes are now split into (mostly) 8-team Districts and seeded 1-8 in their brackets to begin the postseason. #1 is matched against #8, #2 against #7 and so on.

Matching the best and the worst team from each District seemed sadistic at first. Local newspapers published “Don’t Make The 8th Seeds Play” editorials every October. No #8 seed came close to pulling off an upset in well over 100 tries – until St. Louis produced a stunner in 2015. Scholarship QB Anthony Cameron led the #1-seeded Clayton Greyhounds into a lay-up Quarterfinal against winless Riverview Gardens, but somehow the visiting Rams won 24-20, unheralded sophomore Lawrence Johnson passing for 2 touchdowns. The editorials seemed to stop after that.

The system is not perfect. Schools can qualify in a higher spot than they merit by beating up small-fry opponents. The North County Raiders, for instance, lost to Farmington in Week 2 and would be 3-touchdown underdogs against Cape Central. Yet NCHS is seeded #2 – above the Black Knights at #4 and the CHS Tigers at #3.

 

Here’s a gander at every District 1 bracket set to begin play this Friday…and The Geek’s quick-take on each. Defending MSHSAA champions are in ALL CAPS and defending District winners are in bold.

Class 6

#1 – Eureka Wildcats (9-0) 

vs 

#8 – Seckman Jaguars (1-8)

#4 – Lafayette Lancers (6-3)

vs

#5 – Fox Warriors (5-4)

#2 – Lindbergh Flyers (8-1)

vs

#7 – Mehlville Panthers (2-7)

#3 – KIRKWOOD PIONEERS (7-1)

vs

#6 – Northwest Lions (4-5)

 

Won’t be surprising if…Fox gives Lafayette a little business in the 1st half. The Warriors only scored on special teams when the schools met on October 6th – but Brent Tinker’s teams have a knack for over-achieving in the playoffs.

Will be very surprising if…Kirkwood looks anywhere close to as good as they were in ’16.

Watch for…Eureka QB Tyler Kennedy, a nimble junior with 17 combined TDs, only 3 interceptions, and handy Hassan Haskins lined up beside him.

 

Class 5

Byes:  

#1 – VIANNEY GOLDEN GRIFFITHS (8-1)

#2 – Poplar Bluff Mules (9-1)

#3 – Jackson Indians (6-2)

#4 – Oakville Tigers (3-6)

vs

#5 – Rockwood Summit Falcons (3-6)

 

Won’t be surprising if…Poplar Bluff and Jackson, slated for a Semifinal on 10/27, have another 12-round slugfest.

Will be very surprising if…either the Indians or Mules can hang close with Vianney until halftime.

Watch for…Vianney QB Tionne Harris, diminutive at 5’9” but an almost-unstoppable dual-threat out of the shotgun.

 

Class 4

#1 – Hillsboro Hawks (6-3)

vs

#8 – DeSoto Dragons (4-5)

#4 – Farmington Black Knights (5-4)

vs

#5 – Perryville Pirates (6-3)

#3 – Cape Central Tigers (5-4)

vs

#6 – Sikeston Bulldogs (4-5)

#2 – North County Raiders (7-2)

vs

#7 – Festus Tigers (4-5)

 

Won’t be surprising if…Festus makes a game of it against the #2 seed. North County has an excellent QB in Kolten Poorman, but his supporting cast hasn’t faced a legitimate 4A team since losing to Hillsboro by 20 points almost a month ago.

Will be very surprising if…Cape Central doesn’t take revenge on Sikeston for a frustrating regular-season loss.

Watch for…Senior CHS running back Aaron Harris, possibly the deadliest offensive weapon in the bracket…with Poorman and Hillsboro’s Micheal Keller not far behind.

 

Class 3

#1 – Park Hills Central Rebels (9-0)

vs

#8 – New Madrid County Central Eagles (1-7)

#4 – St. Genevieve Dragons (5-4)

vs

#5 – Potosi Trojans (3-6)

#3 – Salem Tigers (6-3)

vs

#6 – Dexter Bearcats (4-5)

#2 – Kennett Indians (6-3)

vs

#7 – Fredericktown Blackcats (1-8)

 

Won’t be surprising if…the Trojan-at-Dragon rematch is entertaining, if a little slow-paced. (St. Genevieve won 20-15 in a regular-season contest.)

Will be very surprising if…either of the top 2 seeds aren’t playing their Junior Varsity by the 3rd quarter.

Watch for…the Bearcats, who shut-out Sikeston 12-0 a few weeks ago. That’s one heck of a win for a Class 3 team that couldn’t get out of its own way for most of the season.

 

Class 2

#1 – Caruthersville Tigers (7-2) (bye)

#4 – Charleston Blue Jays (5-4)

vs

#5 – St. Pius Lancers (4-5)

#2 – Malden Green Wave (8-1)

vs

#7 – Kelly Hawks (2-7)

#3 – Jefferson Blue Jays (7-2)

vs

#6 – East Prairie Eagles (4-5)

 

Won’t be surprising if…Jefferson and East Prairie have another terrific battle (Week 2: EPHS 46, JHS 45) despite the Blue Jays’ do-it-all phenom Andrew Graves having suffered a season-ending injury against Chaffee.

Will be very surprising if…St. Pius at Charleston isn’t the most entertaining #4 vs #5 scrum in District 1.

Watch for…an emotional Caruthersville-Malden rematch in the Final.

 

Class 1

#1 – Valle Catholic Warriors (8-1) (bye)

#4 – Portageville Bulldogs (4-5)

vs

#5 – Scott City Rams (3-6)

#2 – Hayti Indians (7-2)

vs

#7 – Crystal City Hornets (0-9)

#3 – Chaffee Red Devils (6-3)

vs

#6 – St. Vincent Indians (2-7)

 

Won’t be surprising if…St. Vincent jumps right up and takes down Chaffee.

Will be very surprising if…Valle Catholic and Hayti don’t meet in early November to decide the District title.

Watch for…the talented, well-coached Indians to give the billion-time Class 1 champs a night to remember.

 

 

The Geek is a contributing writer for MVP Sports Channel. Visit The Geek on Facebook.

 

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