View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 10/13

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: October 14, 2014 - 9:58 AM

So here we are with one week to go in the Missouri regular season and three weeks left in the Kansas season.

There have been some interesting developments, but a few have caught my eye. These teams may not make a run to the dome in St. Louis or play for a title in Emporia, Pittsburg or Topeka, but they have good seasons no matter what happens over the next four or five weeks.

I’ll start with University Academy. The Gryphons sit at 6-2 with only losses to Center and Lincoln Prep. They finish up this week with Polo and could be looking at a No. 2 seed in the Class 2 District 4 tournament.

That is the good news. First-year coach Ryan Heffley has continued a turnaround started two years ago when veteran coach Dan Stanley took over the program. There have been some tough times, but University Academy is doing well given the small size of the school and the constraints of scheduling without a conference.

The bad news for the Gryphons is that while they are the likely No. 2 seed in district play the No. 1 is three-time defending state champ Lamar. The Tigers are 8-0 and are riding a 16-game winning streak dating back to last season. University Academy’s season might end in a district title game loss to the Tigers, but it will have been a very good season nonetheless.

On the Kansas side two schools are having good years, but their seasons might be over in a few weeks. Washington and Schlagle both lost in the first week of the season but have gone 4-1 since with each suffering their second loss to Kansas City Atchison League champ Atchison.

The pair now sits in a district with Lansing and Leavenworth. There is a good possibility that one or both won’t make it out of districts, but there have been many positives for both squads. Just a few years ago Washington was winless, but just one more win would guarantee the Wildcats back-to-back winning seasons.

The Stallions finished 4-5 last season, and one more win would give them their second winning season in the last three years.

While some will tell you that winning championships is all that matters, these three schools are showing that improving and getting better from year to year can mean as much to a program as holding a trophy at the end.