Well, I guess it had to end sometime.
Kansas City Royals fans truly lived in a fantasy the past couple seasons. Back-to-back World Series appearances followed by a year filled with injuries, frustration and anger (and, really, at one particular player).
While watching the Royals finish the 2016 slate with a 3-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit sad. But, that lasted for maybe five minutes. I mean, watching the Royals go .500 for the season would have been a dream during my childhood years. Instead of feeling disappointed, take a look back over the past two seasons.
Where were you when the Royals made an impossible comeback to beat the Oakland Athletics in 2014? Were you screaming at a television while Alex Gordon was rounding the bases in game seven of the World Series versus the San Francisco Giants? What were you feeling when Wade Davis put the final nail in the coffin to the New York Mets for a World Series championship?
I ask, only to remind you how truly special the run was. I was watching the Oakland game on a couch at my sister’s house. I was fidgety in the press conference room when Gordo was preparing to possibly round third. A year later, I was at the same house, witnessing the Royals win the crown and seeing my sister, Janelle, burst into tears, only to be followed by an impromptu trip to snag championship gear.
Don’t let this season wipe those moments from your memory bank.
Now, it’s truly football season (not like it wasn’t already). Every week, I send a ballot to Tim McGonagle ofKansas Prep Football, ranking high school football teams. Enjoy.
1. Derby (5-0)
2. Blue Valley (5-0)
3. Shawnee Mission East (4-1)
4. Wichita Heights (5-0)
5. Junction City (5-0)
6. Aquinas (4-1)
7. Miege (4-1)
8. Great Bend (5-0)
9. Holcomb (5-0)
10. Mill Valley (3-2)
Quick hits: St. Thomas Aquinas showed the whole state that the Saints are a force to be reckoned with. A monster of a win over Mill Valley has the Saints marching back into the top 10. Junction City is at number five right now, but a matchup versus 5-0 Manhattan takes place this Friday. Still think Derby is by far the best team in the state. Blue Valley is getting closer, though.
1. Derby (5-0) – 49-13 over Bishop Carroll
2. Blue Valley (5-0) – 45-0 over St. James
3. Shawnee Mission East (4-1) – 77-26 over Shawnee Mission North
4. Junction City (5-0) – 42-12 over Highland Park
5. Manhattan (5-0) – 42-21 over Seaman
Quick hits: Derby just can’t be stopped. Bishop Carroll is a solid team and the Panthers made the win seem easy. That was also the case for Blue Valley, SME and Manhattan. That sets up one heck of a rivalry showdown between Manhattan and Junction City. Two unblemished records and essentially a Centennial League championship are on the line.
1. Wichita Heights (5-0) – 60-7 over Wichita North
2. Great Bend (5-0) – 42-21 over Wichita West
3. St. Thomas Aquinas (4-1) – 40-33 over Mill Valley
4. Mill Valley (3-2) – 40-33 loss to Aquinas
5. Bishop Carroll (3-2) – 49-13 loss to Derby
Quick hits: I was just as surprised as many were to see Mill Valley fall to St. Thomas Aquinas. That’s the second-straight loss for Mill Valley and the schedule doesn’t get any easier as the Jags go to Bishop Miege this Friday. With the loss, that allows Wichita Heights to take over for the number one spot.
1. Bishop Miege (4-1) – 54-7 over Blue Valley West
2. Andale (5-0) – 61-20 over Clearwater
3. Atchison (5-0) – 58-6 over KC Washington
4. Buhler (4-1) – 48-7 over Winfield
5. Abilene (5-0) – 28-7 over Concordia
Quick hits: No real shockers from last Friday. Abilene continues to get better. Atchison lost its best offensive lineman, but the Redmen continue to roll through the Kansas City-Atchison League. Miege has tough test versus an angry Mill Valley squad this week.
1. Holcomb (5-0) – 27-13 over Colby
2. Frontenac (5-0) – 70-0 over Southeast-Cherokee
3. Columbus (5-0) – 35-14 over Prairie View
4. Santa Fe Trail (5-0) – 26-21 over Wellsville
5. Pratt (4-1) – 32-14 loss to Hoisington
Quick hits: In the battle of unblemished records, the Santa Fe Trail Chargers proved that they are the real deal. The football program continues to improve with no end in sight. Tough loss for Pratt, but the Greenbacks still have a decent grip on the fifth spot.
1. Silver Lake (5-0) – 36-28 over Rossville
2. Rossville (4-1) – 36-28 loss to Silver Lake
3. Hoisington (5-0) – 32-14 over Pratt
4. Phillipsburg (5-0) – 56-14 over Ellis
5. Nemaha Central (5-0) – 53-19 over Centralia
Quick hits: My rankings for Class 3A have been vastly different than the rest of the panel from Kansas Prep Football. Over the weeks, members said Silver Lake was the third-best team in this class. Well, I had the Eagles second until they faced Rossville and the Eagles put an end to the Dawgs’ 32-game winning streak last Friday with the War on 24. Rossville will bounce back in a big way and if those two teams meet up in the postseason, I suggest taking off work and traveling to northeast Kansas.
1. Troy (5-0) – 62-28 over Doniphan West
2. Lyndon (5-0) – 26-8 over Council Grove
3. Meade (4-1) – 58-0 over Syracuse
4. Plainville (4-1) – 58-28 over Republic County
5. Washington County (4-1) – 22-14 over Jackson Heights
Quick hits: Welcome back into the top five, Washington County. The Tigers took on undefeated Jackson Heights and were able to get by the Cobras. Plainville is back on track with back-to-back blowout wins. Lyndon had an underrated victory as the Tigers edged the 4-0 Council Grove Braves.
Class 8-Man D-I
1. Spearville (5-0) – 58-8 over South Gray
2. St. Francis (5-0) – 50-0 over Hoxie
3. Burlingame (5-0) – 48-0 over Onaga
4. Central Plains (5-0) – 50-0 over Canton-Galva
5. Clifton-Clyde (5-0) – 50-36 over Herington
Quick hits: Three shutouts and a dominating performance for the top four teams in this class. No surprise, but how about Clifton-Clyde taking down Herington? That’s a biggie for the Eagles. St. Francis has a huge matchup with Atwood-Rawlins County this week. Osborne is just outside the top five, but could give back in with a win over Logan-Palco this Friday.
Class 8-Man D-II
1. Hanover (4-0) – 50-0 over Wetmore
2. Dighton (5-0) – 74-14 over Brewster
3. Pike Valley (4-1) – 68-6 over Southern Cloud
4. Hodgeman County (4-1) – 56-8 over Greeley County
T5. Otis-Bison (3-2) – 28-20 loss to Wallace County
T5. Caldwell (5-0) – 74-0 over Burrton
Quick hits: Otis-Bison took a tumble, falling to Wallace County. Wallace County misses the cut as Caldwell has been quietly hammering teams.