This is the best week of the year.
It’s district finals week in the state of Missouri, and boy, are there some big games this week.
I’ll start in Class 6 with the Liberty North/Raymore-Peculiar final. Liberty North is one of the best, if not the best, team in the state. The Eagles are balanced on offense and attack you different ways defensively.
Ray-Pec will present a tough challenge for Liberty North. The Panthers can attack with their methodical passing game, or they can gash you with a punishing run game. Not only are they good on offense, the defense has played great down the stretch.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Ray-Pec pulled the upset in this game.
Because the Panthers are well-coached, and battle tested. They have played a tough schedule, but so has Liberty North.
Not only is this district final interesting, there is one in Class 4 I’ll be keeping my eyes on.
Lincoln Prep vs. Platte County
Lincoln Prep is playing for a teammate who was injured in a car accident nearly two weeks.
After winning a thrilling game last week against Excelsior Springs in overtime, the Tigers know exactly what it will take to pull out a win against a very tough Pirates team that defeated Smithville last Friday.
The teams are polar opposites.
The Pirates like to air out the ball on offense, while the Tigers like to run the ball at will. The combination of Howard Brown and Mario Woods Jr is tough to stop — so far no one has been able to show they can.
Brown’s bruising style sets up Woods’ ability to attack the edge and break of big runs. If Platte Co. can stop the rushing attack and force Brown to the throw, then they might have a chance to win.
I’m sticking with my original pick and taking the Tigers to come out on top of this district.
Now for the most intriguing district final.
Maryville vs. Lathrop
The Spoofhounds have the tradition, the Mules are the up and comers.
Lathrop played in the Class 2 finals a season ago. Maryville made it to the semifinals last year in Class 3, so naturally, something has to give.
After losing its opening game of the year Blair Oaks, Maryville rattled off nine straight wins. Lathrop has yet to be tested.
Both teams are evenly matched. But I think the Spoofhounds’ experiences in these games will pay off again.