Through the Uprights Mile Lavieri 10/13

By Mike Lavieri PrepsKC staff writer
Posted: October 13, 2015 - 6:17 PM

My dislike of district play is well documented, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about. Since this is the final year, hopefully forever, for district play in Class 5A and 6A, let’s have some fun with it.

Prediction time!

Class 5A, District 1: Lansing, Leavenworth, Schlagle, Washington
I like Lansing to win this district despite its 3-3 record. The Lions have played a difficult schedule, and their Wing-T offense will be very difficult to stop.

The second spot is a bit of a tossup as Leavenworth hasn’t won yet, but is facing teams in the best league in the state – the Sunflower League. Schlagle is 4-2, but plays in the weaker Kansas City-Atchinson League. The Stallions’ biggest test of the year, Topeka High, was a 42-0 loss.

The two square off on Friday, and I think Leavenworth wins and advances to the playoffs.

Class 5A, District 3: Bonner Springs, Mill Valley, St. James, Turner
We can count out Turner. It’s not a knock on the Golden Bears, but this district is the most difficult in the state in Class 5A. It is absolutely loaded as Bonner Springs, St. James and Mill Valley are a combined 17-1 on the season. The lone loss is Mill Valley’s in a week five loss to Staley.

Last year it was Mill Valley and Bonner Springs making the playoffs while St. James was on the outside looking in. This year I think Mill Valley will be in. This might be the best team Joel Applebee has had in his tenure as coach.

The final game of the regular season between St. James and Bonner Springs will decide who advances. And, like last season, I think Bonner Springs wins it on the shoulders of Connor Byers.

Class 5A, District 4: Blue Valley Southwest, Blue Valley West, Pittsburg, St. Thomas Aquinas
This is an easy one to predict: Pittsburg and St. Thomas Aquinas will advance, but the order will be decided on the final day of the season when these two square off in Pittsburg.

Class 6A, District 1: Harmon, Shawnee Mission East, Shawnee Mission North, Wyandotte
Both Shawnee Mission schools advanced last year, and both should advance this year. Shawnee Mission East will win the district with North coming in second.

Class 6A, District 2: Blue Valley North, Shawnee Mission Northwest, Shawnee Mission South, Shawnee Mission West
Northwest and South have struggled this year under new coaches. This isn’t the year for them as Blue Valley North, which knocked off Blue Valley this year, and Shawnee Mission West are too much. Give me West to win the district.

Class 6A, District 3: Blue Valley, Blue Valley Northwest, Gardner-Edgerton, Olathe South
Blue Valley is going to win the district, but the second spot is up for grabs. Northwest is 0-6, and Olathe South and Gardner-Edgerton are both 1-5. Also, these three have been blown out in a lot of their losses. I think Blue Valley Northwest is starting to play better football, so they’ll earn the second spot.

Class 6A, District 4: Lawrence, Olathe East, Olathe North, Olathe Northwest
What a stacked district this is. I love what Lawrence has done this year, and I think they keep it going. The final spot for me will go to Olathe North. I think Olathe Northwest is capable, but until North is knocked off their perch, they get the nod.

Class 6A, District 5: Free State, Manhattan, Topeka High, Washburn Rural
I don’t know much about the other three teams, but Free State is probably the best 3-3 team in the state. The Firebirds knocked off Shawnee Mission East, which suffered its first loss since 2013 a couple weeks ago. I think this is a Free State team that can make it to the state championship out of the west.