What Steve Said: Steve Bubalo 9/22

By Steve Bubalo PrepsKC Senior Writer
Posted: September 22, 2017 - 6:12 AM



It seems hard to believe but here we are, on September 21, already into Week 6 of football on the Missouri side and one month away from the playoffs.

Let’s take stock in what we’ve seen these first five weeks and who you should be keeping an eye on for each class.

Class 6 has been the wildest of all classes, as they have now had four different No. 1 teams in the last four weeks - Blue Springs, Kirkwood, Park Hill and now CBC. The Wildcats were the unanimous No. 1 team in the state to start the season but suffered back-to-back heartbreaking losses to Fayetteville, Ark., and Park Hill.

Speaking of the Trojans, that 28-25 win over the Wildcats was the marquee victory they have been looking for since they made the jump to Class 6 last season. It also might have made them the team-to-beat on this side of the state. This was a team that is known for their high-powered offense, but don’t sleep on the defense, which made some big plays in the win over Blue Springs.

But it’s still hard to overlook the Wildcats, and I can guarantee nobody in Class 6 is doing that. Their two losses have been by a combined eight points and I still think they have to at least be considered co-favorites with the Trojans. Here’s to hoping we see a rematch in the playoffs.

Not to be overlooked in Class 6 is Rockhurst and Lee’s Summit West. The Titans came into the season unranked but have moved up to No. 6. This might be the best team the Titans have had since they made the jump to Class 6. They have two of the best athletes and fastest players in the state in Phillip Brooks and Mario Goodrich.

I’m excited to see Rockhurst play again Friday at Blue Springs. This game could be very telling for both teams. Is Rockhurst in that upper tier of Class 6 teams? Do they have enough offensive firepower to stay with the top teams or is their stifling defense enough? The Hawklets aren’t flashy on offense, but as they showed last week against Shawnee Mission East, a ball control offense with a stout defense is still a very dangerous team. 

In Class 5, Staley is leading the way in the KC area, but not far behind are Liberty and Fort Osage. All three teams are in the top 5 of the rankings. I think you’ve got to give the edge to the Falcons right now, as they picked up a hard-fought win over the Indians last week to go along with a slightly tougher schedule than the other two. It is nice to see the Indians back in the rankings after a rough season a year ago that saw them get hit hard by graduation. It’s no surprise to see them back amongst the best in the state.

Despite a rough finish to the 2016 season, Liberty is right back where they were for the first part of last season after another 5-0 start. Something tells me a 2-4 finish isn’t going to happen to the Blue Jays again.

The surprise of Class 4 might just be Platte County. The Pirates were unranked coming into the season but have catapulted to No. 4, right behind Kearney. The Pirates’ remaining schedule poses several challenges, including Liberty this week, then Raytown South and a date with Kearney to end the regular season.

Much like they did a season ago, defending champion Harrisonville is starting a bit slow but still at No. 8 in the rankings. They started the season 3-3 last year before winning nine in a row. Smithville is another interesting team to keep an eye on, as they have steamrolled teams on the way to a 5-0 record.

Maybe the most impressive team so far this season has been Chillicothe in Class 3. The Hornets were a solid 9-2 last year but came into the season unranked. I remember seeing them at the Grain Valley Jamboree, and while it’s hard to take much from that, I was very impressed with their defense. That defense has not disappointed this season, allowing just 16 points in five games, including a dominating 24-0 win over offensive juggernaut Maryville. They’ve more than earned their No. 4 ranking. The Spoofhounds sit behind them at No. 5, while the still-explosive Center Yellowjackets are at No. 7.

Class 2 has seen a pair of unranked teams that have had recent success continue their winning ways. Lexington and Lafayette County are both 5-0, ranked No. 7 and No. 10, respectively, and are set to clash in two weeks.

Defending champion in Class 1, Penney, has dropped a bit from its preseason No. 1 ranking to No. 4. The lone loss was by a single point, so I would full expect the Hornets to be major players once again come playoff time.