By Mark Schremmer, for Kpreps.com
Posted: October 16, 2012 - 10:02 PM
Every year around this time, I like to look at the districts in each classification and attempt to predict the state championship matchups. Sure, Iím wrong a lot of the time.
This year should be no different. While there are some heavy favorites like Bishop Carroll in Class 5A West, there always will be a team or two that will surprise you.
Still, itís fun, and every once in a while I pull a rabbit out of the hat.
There isnít a clear-cut choice on either side of the state. Hutchinson is the No. 1 ranked team in 6A, but with two losses the Salthawks have shown they are beatable. Second-ranked Derby and Wichita Heights, which has represented the west in the 6A title game the past three years, also are strong contenders.
On the east side, there may be as many as six teams that are capable of advancing to the state championship. Lawrence, Lawrence Free State, Shawnee Mission East, Shawnee Mission West, Gardner-Edgerton and defending state champion Olathe South are among the contenders.
Schremmerís prediction: Hutchinson vs. Lawrence Free State
With Hutchinson now in 6A, Bishop Carroll looks like it should have a clear road to the state finals. The Eagles are 7-0 and havenít been tested all year long. However, Andover, Emporia, Hays and Salina South are all worthy opponents.
There are no unbeaten teams and only two one-loss teams in the east. St. Thomas Aquinas, Blue Valley and Blue Valley West are the most likely candidates to be playing on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Schremmerís prediction: Bishop Carroll vs. St. Thomas Aquinas
This classification is loaded in the west with four of the top five ranked teams on that side of the state. Holton, McPherson, Mulvane and Wichita Collegiate are the top ranked teams in the state in that order. But Topeka Hayden, Maize South, and Andale all figure to make a run.
Eudora, Fort Scott, Girard and Coffeyville will all be tying in a wide-open east.
Schremmerís prediction: McPherson vs. Eudora
Silver Lake, last yearís 3A runner-up, has been ranked atop the classification all year as it has cruised in the first seven games. The Eagles are the favorite to return to state, but will find resistance from the likes of Caney Valley and rival Rossville.
The west could be represented by a half dozen teams with Conway Springs, Garden Plain, Beloit, Scott City, Hillsboro and Holcomb among the contenders.
Schremmerís prediction: Garden Plain vs. Silver Lake
LaCrosse is 7-0, but the Leopards will have to get through the likes of Meade and Stanton County to make it out of a difficult west.
Unbeaten Lyndon and Centralia, the defending state champs, are the top contenders in the east.
Schremmerís prediction: LaCrosse vs. Centralia
8-Man Division I
With seven teams still undefeated in the class, there should be some great playoff battles in 8-Man Division I this year. Ness City, Atwood Rawlins Co. and Solomon are all 7-0, while Pretty Prairie, St. John and Minneola also are among the best in the west.
Unbeatens South Haven, Marmaton Valley, St. Paul and Central Burden lead the east, while defending state champion Madison, Osborne and Mankato-Rock Hills also could make runs.
Schremmerís prediction: Ness City vs. Madison
8-Man Division II
Sharon Springs-Wallace County and Weskan are the only teams that are still undefeated on the west side, but Otis-Bison and Thunder Ridge also are top candidates.
Top-ranked Baileyville B&B looks to roll back into the finals, but they will find opposition in Waverly and Hanover, among others.
Schremmerís pick: Sharon Springs-Wallace County vs. Baileyville B&B