The postseason begins for teams on both sides of the river beginning this weekend. Here is a brief look at the upcoming district playoffs at Missouri, involving St. Louis area teams. For a complete look at the playoff brackets, you can visit the state’s website at MSHSAA.org.
Outlook: A powerful DeSmet team gets the top seed after a 9-0 regular season. They are looking for a long run towards a state championship, but there is quality competition in the field with No. 2 Francis Howell, No. 3 Hazelwood West and No. 4 CBC.
Earl’s Prediction: DeSmet
Outlook: The wide open field has a mixture of teams from St. Louis, Mid-Missouri and the Kansas City area. The top three seeds are Gateway Athletic Conference teams Fort Zumwalt West, Holt and Troy. Blue Springs and Rock Bridge also have solid teams in the district.
Earl’s Prediction: Fort Zumwalt West
Outlook: Top seed Joplin has enjoyed an excellent 9-0 regular season after making a run to the state semifinals a year ago. Rockwood School District rivals Marquette and Lafayette are right behind at No. 2 and No. 3 while a dangerous Kirkwood team checks in at No. 4 with its potent passing attack.
Earl’s Prediction: Joplin
Outlook: The four team district consists of Jackson, Poplar Bluff, Seckman and Fox. Top seeded Jackson has a potent air attack while No. 2 seed Fox prefers the ground game. Both are very good at it.
Earl’s Prediction: Jackson
Outlook: No. 1 seed Eureka moves down from Class 6 to Class 5 and has a chance to be a big factor in the playoffs. Mehlville and Vianney are the top challengers.
Earl’s Prediction: Eureka
Outlook: A very talented district that includes No. 1 seed Chaminade, along with McCluer North, Parkway West and Webster Groves. All four teams are capable of winning the district.
Earl’s Prediction: Chaminade
Outlook: No. 1 seed Fort Zumwalt North has put together another great regular season with a 9-0 record. They are the solid favorites in this field.
Earl’s Prediction: Fort Zumwalt North
Outlook: A wide open district with several solid teams. No. 1 seed McCluer is enjoying a big turnaround season, but also watch out for No. 2 Affton and No. 3 St. Mary’s from the South Side. No. 4 Hazelwood East is also capable of making some noise.
Earl’s Prediction: St. Mary’s
Outlook: Defending state champion Ladue is the top seed are geared up for another deep playoff run. No. 2 seed Rockwood Summit is 8-1 with a young MICDS team at No. 3.
Earl’s Prediction: Ladue
Outlook: A wide open field with a number of possibilities to win the championship. Wentzville Liberty gets the No. 1 seed with Hannibal, St. Dominic and Warrenton is pursuit.
Outlook: A good group of solid teams that feature No. 1 Roosevelt, No. 2 St. Clair and No. 3 Borgia. All three are contenders to win the title.
Outlook: Defending state champion Trinity is the top seed. The Titans have battled through some injuries, but they are a strong unit with many talented athletes. No. 2 Priory and No. 3 John Burroughs have enjoyed winning seasons.
Outlook: Top seeded St. Charles West got out of the gate quickly, but tailed off at the end with injuries playing a big role. Right behind West is No. 2 seed Lutheran St. Charles; a young a talented team.
Prediction: Lutheran St. Charles
Outlook: Undefeated Lutheran North is the No. 1 seed and one of the favorites to win a state championship. The Crusaders are loaded. Also in the field are excellent teams in 8-1 Lift for Life and 7-2 Duchesne, who should meet in the semifinals.
Prediction: Lutheran North
Illinois State Playoffs (First Round Matchups)
Class 8: St. Charles East at Edwardsville, Friday, 6 p.m.
Class 6: Morgan Park at East St. Louis, Saturday, 2 p.m.
Class 4: Roxana at Columbia, Saturday, 2 p.m.
Breese Central at Effington, Saturday, 2 p.m.
Murphysboro at Civic Memorial, Saturday, 4 p.m.
Class 5: Mascoutah at Carbondale, Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
Highland at Cahokia, Saturday, 2 p.m.
Triad at Marion, Saturday, 2 p.m.
Class 3: Alton Marquette at Fairfield, Saturday, 2 p.m.
West Frankfort at Mater Dei, Saturday, 1 p.m.