Smaller schools, big time talent
By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
This season the Kansas City Metro is well represented in the smaller Missouri classes. Of the 68 Metro playoff teams, 26 of those play in Missouri Class 1, 2 and 3.
Several of these teams have a good chance to go deep in the playoffs. Leading the way in Class 3 is Richmond. The Spartans are 10-0 and have impressive wins over Odessa and Oak Grove in district play. Richmond is 10-0 but they have beaten up on mostly Class 2 competition in Missouri River Valle Conference play. The question for them is whether they will have what it takes to make a deep run against the likes of Cassville who is also undefeated and two-time defending Class 3 champs.
There is a large group of teams who are used to being in the playoffs year in and year out even if they haven’t won a title in recent years. St. Pius X is back in the playoffs along with Odessa, Pembroke Hill, Pleasant Hill and O’Hara. Another good story is first-year Imagine Renaissance Academy who is a 6-4 district champ making its first playoff appearance.
One last team to keep an eye on in Class 3 could be Maryville. The Spoofhounds are the defending Class 2 champions who have moved up to Class 3 this year. Maryville is 8-2 and could make some noise playing a level higher.
Two of the top contenders for the state title matchup in the first round of the playoffs. Lawson who all season looked like a team on a mission winning its first eight games before a stunning loss to Lexington in the district opener. Lexington would go on to win the district sending Lawson into a tough first round matchup with undefeated Penney.
The Lawson-Penney game gives the Cardinals a unique opportunity. Penney is the defending Class 1 champ now playing in Class 2. If Lawson can defeat Penney it will have beaten both the defending Class 1 and Class 2 champs in the same season. Lawson opened the season with a win over Maryville who is now in Class 3.
Lexington opens its playoffs with a game against a Trenton team they beat 41-27 in Week No. 6. The Minutemen have been very good the last five games with only a loss to Class 3 power Richmond.
The other Metro teams that matchup in Class 2 play each other Lafayette County will host Butler and Adrian will host Carrollton.
So how good is Concordia? The Orioles have been absolutely dominant all season long allowing just 28 points in 10 games while never scoring less than 40 in any game. In fact, Concordia has scored at least 60 points in each of its last five games.
The Orioles look like a team that could be on its way to a state title but when they get there they could see a team from their own conference or another from the Metro. Wellington-Napoleon, West Platte and East Buchanan are all on the other side of the Class 1 bracket and could make a deep run given the right matchups.
Oak Grove Panthers
Excelsior Springs Tigers
Olathe Northwest Ravens
Mid Buchanan Dragons
St. Joseph Benton Cardinals
Olathe South Falcons
Lees Summit West Titans
St. Joseph Central Indians
Jefferson West Tigers
Olathe East Hawks
Ruskin Golden Eagles
Van Horn Falcons