What Steve said: Steve Bubalo 10/21
By Steve Bubalo PrepsKC Senior Writer
With the playoffs upon us, there will always be potential matchups that catch your eye as you look at the brackets.
I plan to go over the ones that interest me the most, but one thing grabbed my attention more than anything, and that is that if Blue Springs South can make it to the state title game – heck, even the state semifinal game – they will have earned it.
This is the second season that the Jaguars are in a district with teams from Columbia, Jefferson City and the St. Louis area, and it will make for a difficult run.
While the other six Kansas City area Class 6 teams sit on a different side of the bracket – teams South went 6-0 against – the third-ranked Jaguars are looking at a possible second-round game against fourth-ranked Jefferson City.
Get past that, and there’s a good chance second-ranked Francis Howell will be waiting.
And that’s just to reach the state semifinal game.
That makes South’s draw the toughest of any area team, but also the most intriguing.
The Jaguars have rolled to a 9-0 record, and I can’t imagine head coach Greg Oder or any of his players would be caught dead making any excuses about their difficult draw. I think they’ll get past the gantlet and will have a good chance to play for their third state title since the 2006-07 season.
Class 5 has a similar portion of the bracket involving Kansas City teams with three of the top five teams in the state in the same district.
Staley – ranked No. 1 – will more than likely get a test against Park Hill or Liberty North for a chance to make it to the state quarterfinals. If the Trojans and Eagles get past their first-round games, they’ll beat up on each other in the next round before a possible date with the Falcons.
Whoever gets through that gantlet will get a possible matchup with third-ranked Fort Osage.
If I had to guess, I’d say Staley and its fantastic defense that has allowed more than two touchdowns in a game only once this season makes it out alive with a chance to play for the state title.
The other two brackets that really caught my eye were Class 3 and Class 2.
In Class 3, Odessa (No. 4 in the state), Hogan Prep (No. 5) and Oak Grove (No. 7) will all be battling it out for a chance to reach the state quarterfinals. Not to be forgotten in that bracket is 7-2 O’Hara.
While a rematch of Odessa-Oak Grove would be great theater, each of those teams will have a very difficult second-round game.
I like Odessa to make it out of there, but wouldn’t be surprised if any of those other three teams play their way into the state quarterfinal game against what will likely be top-ranked Maryville.
And while Maryville had that mystique to them in the past, Oak Grove might have wiped a lot of that away with its drubbing of the Spoofhounds in last year’s playoffs. I wouldn’t expect Maryville to just skate into the state semifinals unchallenged.
In Class 2, while I would love to see another rematch, this one with Lexington and Lafayette County, it won’t be an easy road for either, especially Lexington.
The Minutemen are in a brutal district, accompanied by second-ranked East Buchanan and third-ranked Brookfield. Lexington could see Brookfield in the second round with Each Buchanan to follow if they can win.
At the same time, Lexington can’t overlook a quality Lawson team in the first round. The Minutemen will have their hands full and it would be very impressive to see them win a few games. And after watching them play a couple of times this season, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see them advance deep into the playoffs. Despite a loss in their regular season finale to Richmond, they have the talent on both sides of the ball to make some noise.
I’m not really in the prediction business, but I’ll make a couple anyway. Put me down for Blue Springs South and Staley to represent Kansas City in St. Louis for state championship games. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more from the area, but I like those two the most.
The best thing come playoff time is that anything can happen. Let the chaos begin.
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