75
      Sunday
      86 / 67
      Monday
      89 / 71
      Tuesday
      91 / 70

      A Time to Thrill (Mini Duerrisms for October 26th)

      The Postseason has in fact arrived with Hurricane Force. Given the mix of football, volleyball, cross country, and soccer coming our way this week, were are going to be plenty busy. And in that spirit, we go into Playoff Mode here on Duerrisms, which means the column will have a little quicker/sleeker look and feel the next few weeks in an effort to keep up with the pace. In that spirit, the longer we have teams alive and kicking, the longer this column stays in full effect. Should we have a rash of teams drop out quickly, this thing likely goes into moth balls until Basketball Season fires up in full force again. So do us all a favor here and win...a lot...

      As always, our thanks to GAMEMASTERS for their support and patronage of this endeavor.

      A reminder to all you social media users out there: you can follow me on Twitter ( https://twitter.com/ChrisDuerr ) for instant feedback, scores as the happen, and stories as they break in real time on Twitter. And if you are up late on Friday Night after the games, the Pigskin Party continues for KHQA on our Facebook site ( http://www.facebook.com/KHQAChrisDuerr ) We are there until Midnight delivering opinions and sharing your observations and comments on the night's action. Plus it's your chance to vote on our Star of the Week Poll, the winner of which is unveiled below every week in this column. We've got something akin to 2200 Twitter Followers and 2300 Facebook users on those specific sites, so come join the party with us. It's fun and easy and I guarantee you it will heighten your enjoyment of local sports.

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      KHQA STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE WEEK presented by CELL TECH, PETERS HEATING and AIR, and SUBWAY

      Now in its eighth year of existence, the KHQA Student Athlete of the Week Award celebrates the best and brightest examples of achievement in Tri State Athletics. Every Wednesday Night at 6:00pm, we will profile a deserving senior selected from a pool of applicants by our independent nominating committee. It's a look beyond just their highlights into the mindset and determination that make these young men and women successful in all that they do; a reminder to all of you just how much good there is out there to be celebrated in this generation. And at year's end, we will once again award scholarships to the top boys and girls scholar athletes in our area.

      If you know of a deserving senior who sports a minimum 3.5 GPA, please contact your high school athletic director and have them fill out a form on that student's behalf. Or help expedite the process yourself by printing a nomination form from our website (which can be found on the Student Athlete of the Week Page) and turning it in to your local athletic director so that they can submit it to us. Our next nominating session is in Early December, at which point we will pick 12 more honorees from the pool of seniors. The window of opportunity to nominate a deserving applicant is closing fast. We don't want to miss anyone in the process and sincerely hope you will help us out in that spirit.

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      2013 HONOREES

      Week One: DALTON POWELL, Hannibal High Football/Basketball/Baseball

      Week Two: INDIA GREEN, Quincy High Volleyball

      Week Three: JILL HARRIS, Beardstown Softball/Volleyball/Basketball

      Week Four: CARLI WATSON, Hannibal Volleyball

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      Past Scholarship Winners

      2012: ALEX WALTER, Central High (Augustana College)

      TORI KUHN, Quincy Notre Dame (Lindenwood College)

      2011: JACOB CONLEY, Central High (U.S. Military Academy at West Point)

      DAKOTA FLESNER, Payson Seymour (John Wood Community College)

      2010: MICHAEL LAFFERTY, Illini West (Monmouth College)

      TAYLOR BAXTER, Palmyra (Illinois State)

      2009: MATT PATTERSON, South Shelby (Truman State)

      CHLOE BARNES, Quincy Notre Dame (Ball State University)

      2009: LUKE GUTHRIE, Quincy High (University of Illinois)

      2007: KATELYN BASTERT, Illini West (Duke University)

      2006: MIKAL BENECOMO, Clopton (Southeast Missouri State)

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      FOOTBALL 2012

      THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN-WEEK NINE

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      7) GUS VERMILLION, QB, Beardstown

      7 of 11 Passing, 210 Yards, 3 TD; 2 Rushing TD vs North Fulton

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      6) DERICK SMITH, RB/DB, Highland

      98 Yard Kickoff Return for TD, 2 Rushing TD vs Louisiana

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      5) ALEX BLACKFORD, RB/DB, South Shelby

      8 Carries, 117 Yards, 2 TD vs Mark Twain

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      4) ZACH ABNEY, FB, Pittsfield/Griggsville-Perry

      34 Carries, 213 Yards, 3 TD vs Sherrard

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      3) AUSTIN EGLEY, QB, Clark County

      24 Carries, 210 Yards, 2 TD vs Brookfield

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      2) JARROD ROCKHOLD, RB/DB, Macomb

      26 Carries, 158 Yards, 2 TD; 85 Yard Pick Six vs QND

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      1) TREVOR ROTH, FB, Keokuk

      31 Carries, 331 Yards, 5 TD vs Fort Madison

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      KHQA STAR OF THE WEEK

      (As voted by you the fans on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KHQAChrisDuerr )

      DILAN PARRISH, Palmyra

      He's been close on numerous occasions. All it took was a 91 yard rumble to push the big man over the top. And yes, delivering that kind of career highlight against Monroe City to win "The Mayor's Cup" does in fact make the accomplishment all the sweeter. Parrish has proven himself to be a terrific battering ram weapon this season and is one of those kids who you can simply use to punch away at and tenderize opponents. I think in different circumstances, on an offense that isn't so diverse and talented, the kid is probably a 1400 yard rusher. Palmyra has a lot of players to feed so the overall numbers on all of these guys are a little deflated and a little deceptive. That said, Dilan is a tremendously hard worker and a kid who does it the right way. You don't hear much out of him. He is a guy who simply hands the football back to the officials after a touchdown without a lot of fanfare. And all he does is hit the hole hard (or the blocking target in front of him) whenever his number is called. Just a really nice asset for a team that could have serious legs in this new District system for a Palmyra team with a sneaky-high ceiling.

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      Previous Winners:

      Week One: ANDRE REYNOLDS, Macon

      Week Two: TYLER STEINKAMP, Mark Twain

      Week Three: BROCK BUTLER, Palmyra

      Week Four: TYLER STEINKAMP, Mark Twain

      Week Five: JUSTIN PRICE, Hannibal

      Week Six: ADAM VEITH, Brown County

      Week Seven: BRADY LONG, Brown County

      Week Eight: BRADY LONG, Brown County

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      IHSA PLAYOFF BREAKDOWN

      First Round Playoff Pairings

      5A:JACKSONVILLE (5-4) AT CENTRALIA (9-0)

      Saturday 2:00pm

      Ray Kauling's Orphans catch the most gifted 5-4 team in the Class in the Crimsons. And I am not sure I am exactly enamored of Centralia's strength of schedule. You know how much I hate employing "The Transitive Property of Equality" when it comes to football but I think this merits mentioning. The Orphans beat Effingham (who finished 2-7 on the year) 44-36 back in Mid-September. The Flaming Hearts opened their season with a 49-7 loss to Breese Mater Dei. You remember Mater Dei, right? Same team the Crimsons smoked 41-14 a week ago. The Orphans were involved in three games this season that were decided by the margin of a single score. Those victories, if you are asking, came against a pair of 4-5 teams and an Althoff squad that finished the year 6-3. Again, I have no day to day working knowledge of the South Seven Conference. But on initial glance, it seems a pale comparison to the Central State Eight. Check that: I don't need working knowledge of the South Seven to tell you that everything else pales in comparison to the CS8. And we've seen a few Ray Kauling game plans over the years in these parts. He isn't Ken Leonard. If you are the Crimsons and you have stared down Glenwood, SHG, and Rochester (the latter two with your second string quarterback taking snaps) I am pretty sure you walk into this game feeling like you have a golden opportunity to win. The Crimsons have been historically superb in these "Mission Impossible" games under Mark Grounds (see also Metamora in 2005, the two wins over SHG) largely because there regular season battles with elite coaches and elite teams make them impossible to intimidate by record alone. Half the battle this time of year is believing you belong. When the entire rest of the world had written the Crimsons off for dead this year, they went out and smoked Mater Dei to seize a playoff berth. Mark Grounds gushes about this teams mental toughness, ability to fight through adversity. The Crimson Defense is as good as it has been since 2004 (averaging just 17 points a game against in the CS8) and as I peruse the Centralia schedule, I don't see a single team they have played that has three Division One recruits on the roster. If Jacksonville has the right mind set on Saturday, there is no reason to believe JHS can't win this game. And perhaps book a return playoff engagement (at home no less) with SHG in Week Two. Now that would be real, real fun....

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      4A: QND (5-4) AT MACOMB (8-1)

      Friday 7:00pm

      The least surprising outcome of Saturday's IHSA Pairings release. And to some degree, Quincy Notre Dame fans are feeling fortunate about the Week Nine rematch since they (A) avoid a road trip to arch-nemesis Rochester and (B) draw an opponent in the Bombers who they have historically had success against. I like the fact that QND will be healthier this time around but I still take issue with the second half of that equation. I've watched a lot of Macomb Football this year, both in person and on tape. Friday Night, the Bomber Defense had well short of its "A" game against the Raiders...and still limited QND to just 13 points. And uncharacteristically, Macomb turned the ball over (granted, it was in the rain) far more than we have seen from them at any point this season outside of the IW game. This is the disconcerting thing to me if you are a QND fan: Macomb (on an off night, with some key people dinged up) appeared vulnerable on Friday. Yet the Raiders could not find a way to seize on the opportunities they needed with the window afforded them. The last two weeks, QND's offense has been sluggish at best. Granted, some of that stems from injuries. But the Raiders have to run the ball with power and force, particularly in the Red Zone, to be effective as an offense. They've gotten away from that calling card skill the last two weeks. On Friday, QND had six different visits inside the Macomb 30 yard line that came away empty. That's troubling, especially for a team that likes to hang its hat on beating you from tackle to tackle and imposing its will on the ground. More troubling still for: the Raiders best asset: nasty line play, has been a shell of its self the last two weeks. I though Macomb dominated QND up front from what I saw on both sides of the ball, especially on those "need to have" type plays. Goes back to what I said earlier this season about the Bombers: Garrett Kline is the most unsung lineman in Tri State Football. His hard nosed play, week in and week out, gets overlooked because he's flanked by a pair of All Staters. Kelly Sears also told me this week he thought Tackle Alema Stone graded out tremendously well. QND's window here may be shrinking, not opening. The chances of Macomb being that vulnerable two weeks in row, especially now that Kelly Sears has a more accurate read on QND, aren't good. I think the question this week is: who do you expect has the better shot to hit the switch and get back rolling in the right direction. Both the year-long tale of the tape and the result at Hanson Field last week would suggest Macomb is the better positioned of the two teams. Their long losing streak to QND is over. The Bombers have the confidence of knowing they beat QND with the equivalent of their C Game on Friday. And clearly, the Bombers have an edge in physicality until the "old Raiders" show up again and re-establish themselves. . QND is going to have to be a markedly improved and more aggressive squad on Friday to reverse that trend. I actually picked QND to win this game last week because I couldn't envision a Bill Connell club, coming off the Richwoods debacle, playing poorly two weeks in a row. They weren't great last week. They will need to be again to handle this difficult task.

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      2A: ARGENTA-OREANA (6-3) AT CSE (9-0)

      Saturday 2:00pm

      That the undefeated Panthers were seeded 4th in a 16 team bracket (in a 32 team class) speaks volumes about the depth in 2A this season. The "lower" seed however, doesn't exactly hurt Brad Dixon's team here from my vantage point. If the bracketing holds, CSE would host undefeated Cerro Gordo in the second round. That's two home games for the Panthers; the "tougher" of which ostensibly comes against a Bronco squad that honed its perfect record against a slate of opponents who went a combined 29-52 this season. Put more simply, Cerro Gordo played the easiest schedule in Class 2A this season, relative to everybody else. Again, that seems to be a nice springboard for CSE but lets not get too far ahead of ourselves. The Panthers will open with a very battle tested Argenta-Oreana squad that hails from the always loaded Okaw Valley. The Bombers lost three games in the middle of the season to three outstanding programs: Tolono Unity, Central A&M, and Maroa; the later two in blowout fashion. A-O appears to be a team with potent offensive firepower...and some notable struggles keeping opponents out of the end zone. The Bombers will run the football and run it well and feature an outstanding back in Cameron Hupp, who presents a mix of both speed and power. Tolono Unity Coach Scott Hamilton told the Decatur Herald Review that Hupp is "as good a running back as we've seen in a long time." He's also a threat in the return game. The Bombers also have breakaway threats in Taylor Ferrill and Quarterback Gage Eller. A-O doesn't appear to pass often and on initial scan of their schedule, I don't see any teams that schematically run a 5 linebacker scheme like Brad Dixon does. Hupp will be the best back CSE has seen since Derek Schone (scary in that Hupp looks both bigger and faster than the Triopia All State candidate) and like Triopia, A-O has other weapons with which to compliment him. Bottom line, CSE needs to be fundamentally sound in tackling and mindful of the fact that A-O uses Hupp well to set up their other weapons, including Ferrill in play action. Offensively, CSE will have a decided advantage in running a scheme that the Bombers haven't seen this season and doing so against a team that is giving up 22 points per game on average. The Panthers, in contrast, are allowing just 7 (albeit against a less arduous schedule) points per game. It's a matchup I like for CSE. The Panthers are well heeled to stop the run. And team speed should be to their advantage in attacking A-0. Factor in the added motivation of last year's playoff disappointment and you have a team here with a bit of chip on its shoulder and something to prove. My guess: CSE is the last area team standing this Fall based on talent and the draw.

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      2A: ATHENS (7-2) AT BEARDSTOWN (8-1)

      Friday 7:00pm

      Conversely, not a big fan of Beardstown's first round draw. The Tigers will get a stern Defensive test from one of the best one-two running back combinations in Seth Perkins (1439 yards, 13 TD) and James Sellinger (964 yards, 18 TD) in all of Illinois Small School Football. The Warriors only loses have come to a very good Plains squad and a stellar Williamsville club. Not only has Ryan Knox's club played a very good schedule, they have done so to the tune of scoring 37 points per night. Beardstown has been statistically very good as a Defense this season, giving up just 12 points per game, so something here has got to give. While the Tigers are the higher seed and boast the better record, you won't find anyone outside of Beardstown proper picking The Stripes to win this game. In some ways then, this is the opportunity Aaron Elmore's crew has been seeking. There has been no state ranking this year. No great media hype. Nor anyone outside "the family" who buys that this team is for real, even though it came within a botched two point conversion of a perfect season. This is your window, Beardstown, to prove to the world what you have become. The Tigers are loaded with weapons and have one of the hottest quarterback hands in the region right now in Gus Vermillion. And the Beardstown Defense certainly has the physical dimensions up front to disrupt an Offensive Line. And they had better do exactly that because you don't want the Thunder and Lightning combo of Perkins and Sellinger to get moving North and South. In life, we are all defined in some way or another by a moment of truth. This is that moment for the resurgent Tigers.

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      2A: ILLINI WEST (7-2) AT TREMONT (8-1)

      Friday 7:00pm

      Friday's loss to Monmouth Roseville cost the Chargers a chance to host a first round Playoff Game. But if there is any consolation here, it's that Illini West isn't likely to see a better individual talent anywhere in these playoffs than the one who single-handedly beat them on Friday. Martel Hunter caught a pair of touchdown passes (and proved he can push off a defender in full view of the entire world and get away with it) and added a pick six interception to account for all of the Titans scoring last week. Any way you slice it, that kid is a stud. And the fortunes of MonRose are likewise ascending on his shoulders as well. Illini West? Will be interesting to see how they respond going forward. All in all, it could be argued that the Chargers, given the circumstances, delivered their best Defensive outing of the year last week. MonRose only had 201 yards on the ground and under 240 for the entire game. From what I can can gather on Tremont, the Chargers won't have the luxury of selling out on any one target this week. Junior Caleb Shutt is the squad's lead back with more than a 1000 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns, but there seems to be some balance in play here. Quarterback Konnor O'Keefe has accounted for nearly 700 passing yards and 8 touchdown strikes through the air, against just four interceptions. Tremont also has a game breaker type in junior Ike Thompson, who is averaging nearly 17 yards a carry this season and who Tim Lafferty tells me averages a touchdown once every four times he touches the football. Defensively, the Turks have a likely All State candidate in Jake Lang, who has 136 tackles and 13 stops for loss in his resume. For comparison's sake, Tremont's only loss came by way of a 52-6 housing at the hands of Downs Tri Valley, a terrific program. The Turks also have an impressive win to their credit at Flanagan. Beyond those two games, however, the Turks did not play another team with a winning record this season. I remain very high on the Chargers in this spot and throughout this bracket. This is an IW team with a diverse array of offensive weapons and a unique scheme that will make unfamiliar foes stretch their defenses a great deal. Should the Chargers beat Tremont, they would likely host Clifton Central. That's a tall order but I don't think an impossible one, particularly at Fuzz Berges. And if the Chargers aren't making mistakes, possessing the football, and playing defense they way they did last week, that neutralizes a high powered offense a great deal. It may not look like a great draw on the surface, but I have some questions about some of the other teams on the North Side of the bracket (looking at you, Mercer County) and think there may be a lot more "record flash" here than substance in some cases. Again, I have a ton of faith in Tim Lafferty and Lyle Klein in these kinds of chess matches and its hard not to like the resolve this Charger team has shown this season, even in defeat. I think they win here and get home next Saturday.

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      1A: BROWN COUNTY (5-4) AT LEROY (9-0)

      Saturday 2:00pm

      There are no good draws when you get into the 1A Playoffs as a 5-4 squad, a fact Brown County knows all to well after playing the role of Goliath the last few years. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Look, let's not mince words here: the Hornets are to be commended for picking themselves off the mat with a young team after a rough middle of the schedule and fighting their way into the dance. And with all the young talent in play here, this is a fantastic window for Tom Little to introduce those kids to the level of football they are going to need to rise to return to being the kind of power program they aspire to be again. Brown County's future, based on some of the development we've seen from some of the backs here and the linemen will be bright. The present, however, looks comparably bleaker. BC draws one of the most explosive Offenses in the state. The Panthers have a tremendous mix of skill position talent with three really good backs (Shane Bruning, Austin Eddy, and Cody Eastham) and a darned promising passing game behind Nic Stevens to go along with it. Defensive Coordinator Eric Grady is going to have to pick his poison here against a team that, at least on paper, appears far superior to the Carrollton team that clobbered BC a week ago. This is going to be a really tall order for BC.

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      1A: MOUNT OLIVE (6-3) AT TRIOPIA (8-1)

      Saturday 1:00pm

      The Trojans have been in a foul mood ever since that loss to C-SE and have since outscored their final three opponents 137-0 in response. And they appear to now have a healthier Derek Schone in play, which makes them even scarier. I don't know much about Mount Olive, except that they lost badly to a good Nokomis squad and as well to something called "Oblong" but it looks like Josh Martin has gotten this program back on a path to restoring the tradition of Wildcat Football after a forgettable 2011 season. Statistically speaking, Triopia has the stingiest defense in 1A this season and I can't see Mount Olive doing much to change that. What I don't like about Triopia going forward is the draw. Essentially, Rich Thompson's crew is going to have run a gauntlet of the two best teams in the loaded Okaw Valley, sandwiched around a really good Heart of Illinois Championship team, just to get to Champaign. And we are talking about a who's who of powerhouse programs in Central A&M, LeRoy, and Moroa Forsyth who play in essentially 2A/3A conferences. It makes for great pairings of teams who rarely cross paths, but it also makes Triopia the team with biggest mountain to climb just in trying to reach Champaign. There are really good 4A teams in our region that I have doubts could handle that three-step back to back to back. The Trojans grew up as team in a hurry after the adversity of the CSE loss. We will find out, definitively, how much during this stretch because make no mistake about, there will be plenty of adversity facing whatever team emerges from this pack of wolves.

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      1A: WEST CENTRAL (6-3) AT VILLA GROVE (8-1)

      Saturday 2:00pm

      Ah Villa Grove. A program that delivers year after year of impressive regular season results only to bow out of the playoffs prematurely with regularity. This might be a very winnable game for West Central...if of course we had any idea which version of the Jekyll and Hyde Cougars will show up on Saturday. Nick Graham has built a pretty good defense. The Cougars are physical and stingy when they want to be and can take the starch out of an opponent with that physicality. And they can flat take the air out of the Football with a run game that is exhausting to defend when it's at Max-Q. Unfortunately, the Cougars also have a greater propensity than any of our area playoff qualifiers to deliver up an inexplicably horrible game at the wrong time. See also the Pleasant Hill outing. It's just hard to know where to be confident with this team. Good WC has a shot of pulling the upset. Bad WC gets turbo clocked. Somewhere in between isn't enough to get this win. Have no idea how this turns out.

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      KHQA SNAP JUDGEMENTS FOR WEEK TEN

      1) Hey, Duerr...where is my elaborate Missouri District Playoff Opening Preview? I mean, come on...you gave Illinois all that press. Do you like them better? Well, kids, here's the dirty little epiphany at which I have arrived. This first week of new fangled District Play in the Show Me State, with reseeded, is going to be abysmal. There is only one game on the entire Missouri slate I can get even moderately excited about. And that's simply because I think Highland is going to pull the road upset of Clopton/Elsberry and looking good doing it. Every thing else? The height of mismatch. The scoring differential between the haves and have-nots in Week One of Districts is going to be Biblical in nature. So lets get through this first week of Turbo Clock fun and I promise to give you a far more indepth look at the Missouri Playoff Picture when the wheat is more fully separate from the chaff.

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      2) Pella ousted Keokuk Wednesday from the playoffs and ended our Iowa Football season with a 38-14 victory. It's been a weird ride with this ultra-talented, but at times wildly mercurial Chiefs team. Some of the Defensive struggles the Chiefs had this year weren't really surprising. But the manner in which this team would go from putting up 600 yards of total offense one night to being well out of synch the next was just difficult to understand, given the firepower in play. I am still not sure I know what the disconnect was which is unfortunate. When the Chiefs were at Max-Q there was no more entertaining team in Tri State football to watch. And I will miss having that opportunity going forward this season.

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      3) Chief Defensive Tackle Alex Goss ended his career with a strong showing. I had him with four tackles for loss and half a quarterback sack against Pella. Good player. Still unspoken for in the recruiting process. Well worth a look (more so as an Offensive Lineman) for all you college coaches out there looking for recruiting value at this stage of the game.

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      4) Farewell Macon. The Tigers may have caught the worst first round draw of anyone in MSHSAA districts in having to open with a Chilicothe team that turned out to be far better than its record. A 30-8 loss at Hugh Dunn wasn't a fitting way to exit for a Tiger team that really worked hard to overcome a lot of, how shall I say this diplomatically, "player defection drama" over the course both the summer and the season. Give Pete Claas and his kids a lot of credit. They far exceed everyone's expectation this season and made it about the players who were on the field, rather than the guys who were not. And in the process, the stripes developed some good young prospects (particularly on the defense) who will make nice building blocks going forward.

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      5) At this point, my 2013 and 2014 Player of the Year ballot may be be easier to sort out than the one for this current season. I tend to think South Shelby's Trace Windsor is going to take a lot of the guess work out of that decision making process for us during his Junior and Senior years; perhaps both given (A) what you can project out his production to be and (B) South Shelby's opportunities for team success going forward. As for the more immediate matter, I still have Austin Egley, Dalton Heubner, and Brett Taylor (who needs 26 tackles to set the Bombers new All Time Single Season record) as my top three in the process and a half dozen other finalists still technically in the mix. Lots still to be sort out these next few weeks.

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      6) South Shelby/PGP may not be the only Clarence Cannon Conference/West Central Conference Cross river football coupling on the immediate horizon. Nothing imminent yet but Macomb might be exploring a Border Battle of its own in the coming years. Stay tuned.

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      FEARLESS PREDICTIONS

      Last Week: 14 of 18 (78%) The Slump Continues....

      Season to Date: 128 of 156 (82%)

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      IHSA Playoffs

      QND 16

      MACOMB 24

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      ATHENS 30

      BEARDSTOWN 14

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      ILLINI WEST 28

      TREMONT 27

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      MOUNT OLIVE 6

      TRIOPIA 27

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      BROWN COUNTY 8

      LEROY 38

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      JACKSONVILLE 30

      CENTRALIA 35

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      WEST CENTRAL 12

      VILLA GROVE 18

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      MSHSAA Districts

      MONROE CITY 16

      CLARK COUNTY 49

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      MARK TWAIN 12

      PALMYRA 35

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      HIGHLAND 28

      CLOPTON-ELSBERRY 18

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      TRENTON 6

      BROOKFIELD 40

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      SCOTLAND COUNTY 7

      SOUTH SHELBY 49

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      LOUISIANA 18

      SCHUYLER COUNTY 55

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      PARIS 14

      KNOX COUNTY 48

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      NORTH SHELBY 6

      WESTRAN 45

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      RANDOM MUSINGS

      Central Lee Rebound Magnet Taylor Burdett has joined the ranks of the "spoken for" in Tri State Basketball recruiting. The 6'2" Lady Hawks pivot pledged AIB Business College, an NAIA Division II school in Des Moines, this week. Miss Taylor averaged 10.3 points and 11 rebounds per game during her Junior season and Central Lee is a tidy 54-17 in her three years as a starter in Donnellson.

      It has been a postseason of serious attrition thus far. If you would have told me that neither the nationally ranked Quincy High Soccer and Volleyball programs would generate so much as a Regional Championship plaque to add to the Blue Devil trophy case, I would have laughed in your face. That both powerhouse squads were taken out so early in the process speaks volumes about the quality of competition at the big school level. There truly aren't any "take for granted" opponents at that level, even in the earliest stages of the postseason process.

      I have seen a lot in my over 20 years of covering high school sports. Not sure I have ever seen anything quite like the week of Soccer we had last week. From Quincy High scoring two goals in the final 3 minutes to beat Alton to Macomb going on that ridiculous Cinderella postseason run (capped by a PK win in the Sectional Championship) to Hannibal rallying from a 4-1 second half deficit to beat Marshall for the outright NCMC title...that was some serious Pitch Nirvana.

      The Quincy University Womens Basketball team has been picked to finished 3rd Preseason in the GLVC West behind Indy and Drury. Marty Bell's Mens Program was also picked third in the West, behind UMSL and Drury.

      Quincy University announced a new initiative on Saturday to fund a 1.5 million dollar rehab of North Campus Field for Soccer, including the installation of turf fields. You can read all about the plans here: http://hawks.quincy.edu/news/2012/10/20/MSOC_1020120510.aspx