Today and Saturday at various sites
1 Another Kansas City sweep?
Since the Kansas State High School Activities Association expanded to three classifications for soccer, Kansas City-area schools have swept the 6A, 5A and 4-3-2-1A titles four times.
Most recently, in 2008, Olathe South took the title in 6A, St. Thomas Aquinas wore the 5A crown, and Kansas City Christian won the small-class championship.
Aquinas and KC Christian were also part of sweeps in 2004 and 2005 with Olathe East and Blue Valley Northwest, respectively.
The first time, in 2004, Aquinas won 6A, BV West won 5A and Maranatha Academy won 4-3-2-1A.
2 Saints seek seventh heaven
Only one area team reached the Kansas 5A semifinals this year, but it was the state’s most dominant soccer powerhouse, St. Thomas Aquinas.
The Saints, 16-3-0, who again are ranked No. 1 overall in the state and play Wichita Kapaun-Mount Carmel tonight at Emporia High School, are the reigning national champions and own 13 state championships overall, including seven in a row and the last five 5A titles.
Senior forward Thomas Schermoly has emerged as the most dangerous player for Aquinas, recording team highs for goals (17) and assists (17). Junior Mikey Geist added 15 goals from the midfield, and senior Emilio Quezada chipped in eight goals and 11 assists for an attack that has generated 89 goals this season, an average of 4.7 per game.
The Aquinas defense, which permitted seven goals all season, is led by junior center back Andrew Brown, the co-EKL defensive player of the year, and sophomore Kyle Gress, the co-EKL goalkeeper of the year.
3 Jaguars hope to end record season in style
Blue Valley West, the top-ranked team in 6A, dealt Aquinas one of its three losses on the way to winning the East Kansas League championship.
The Jaguars, who face Dodge City tonight at Wichita South High School, won the Kansas 5A title in 2004, but are seeking their first 6A championship to cap an already record-setting season.
BV West, 18-1-0, broke the school record for wins (16 in 2004) thanks in large part to senior midfielder Nick Besler’s program-record 26 goals — which surpassed the record of 23 set in 2004 by his older brother, Wizards defender Matt Besler.
Senior forward Eric Moore has added eight goals and a team-best 15 assists, while junior forward Garrett Pulliam has contributed 11 goals and seven assists.
4 Mustangs mount late-season surge
Blue Valley North will have a say in how BV West ultimately fares.
The Mustangs, 15-4-0, who battle Wichita Northwest tonight, won eight of nine games closing the season, but their final loss was a 2-1 defeat against the Jaguars a month ago.
Senior forward Jordan Rideout leads the BV North attack with 18 goals, two shy of the BV North record set by Curt McDonald in 2006.
Rideout must stay hot for the Mustangs to add to the program’s 1992, 2000, 2001 and 2007 state championships.
5 St. James seeks repeat
St. James Academy has the fewest wins and most losses of any team in the Kansas 4-3-2-1A semifinals, but the Thunder has earned an 11-6-2 record against some of the best competition in Kansas City metropolitan area. Last year, St. James won state with a 12-9-0 record, so the Thunder has designs on doing it again — no matter how many tough setbacks it takes to get there.
Senior Zach Kohlrus, who scored the game-winning goal in Tuesday’s quarterfinal win at Louisburg, leads the attack against Wichita Trinity tonight at Topeka’s Hummer Sports Park Soccer Complex.
But don’t count out Bonner Springs, 15-1-3, which also made the semifinals and has the most wins and fewest losses among the final four teams.
The Braves, who face Rose Hill tonight, haven’t won state in any sport since 1985. Shawn Jones (18), Jose Lopez (14) and Spencer Bush (11) are the team’s top scorers.