Baxter Springs (4-2)
Baxter Springs enters district play with a 4-2 record. However, their 4 wins are against teams who are a combined 1-21. That said, they have handily defeated those teams, including 2 shut outs. Their 2 losses came at home against Colgan and Galena, both double digit losses. The Lions face their toughest task in district play traveling to Columbus. They then travel to an athletic, but winless, Parsons Vikings team and finish district play at home against Frontenac. As long as Baxter Springs stays healthy after Columbus, the Lions should have a shot to clinch a spot in to the playoffs.
The Columbus Titans suffered their first lost of the season against a surprisingly unranked 3A Galena Bulldog team. Prior to Friday’s loss, the only close game the Titans encountered was against Colgan in Week 4. The Titans average 118 yards receiving and 287 rushing yards per game. Quarter Back Ridge Smith has completed 58% of his passes this season, with 6 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Senior running back Keenan Stanley leads the team with 10 rushing touchdowns and 828 rushing yards. In addition to Stanley, the Titans boast 4 rushers with over 100 yards this season. Columbus’s average margin of victory is 31 points. No one in this district has faced a tougher schedule. Columbus will open district play against Baxter Springs at home, make a short drive to Frontenac and finish the regular season at home against Parsons.
Don’t let a .500 record scare you from thinking the Frontenac Raiders aren’t a team to compete in not only district play but also a possible playoff run. Their 3 losses this season have been against quality opponents in 3A Galena, 2-1A St. Marys Colgan, and 4A-1 Labette County. The Raiders have defeated the teams they should in their schedule and stayed competitive in their losses. The Raiders haven’t had much breaks in the first 6 weeks of the season, but starting at home against Parsons and then hosting state ranked Columbus may be the break the Raiders have been looking for all season.
There’s no easy way to spin an 0-6 record. Unless you’ve seen Parsons compete. They have speed and athletes, but are young and undersized. Sophomore quarterback Daquan Johnson is one of the best athletes in the region. Oh, did I mention he’s a sophomore? Parsons features a young group of student athletes, with only 3 seniors on their roster. The team wants to get into a foot race with their opponents. The Vikings offense has put up 40+ points twice. Lost close games by a margin of 6 points or less. Stranger things have happened and Parsons will give the best of teams a fit on Friday night for the next 3 weeks with their young athletes.
Prediction: Champion – Columbus Runner-Up – Frontenac