Now that things are all said and done with the regular season, I wanted to look briefly at how each district went for the final year of the districts system.
6A District 1
Champion: Shawnee Mission East 8-1 (3-0)
Runner-Up: Shawnee Mission North 3-6 (2-1)
KC Wyandotte 1-8 (1-2)
KC Harmon 2-7 (0-3)
It was like execution day for the teams missing the word "East" in their names. The Lancers have fallen off the radar a tiny bit since their loss to Lawrence Free State in Week 5, but they are not out of the running for a state championship in the slightest and the point was driven home as they demolished all three opponents in their district. SM North showed that they were the clear second in the district, but it's a bittersweet reward when last year's state champs demolished the same competition by an even greater margin. Can't the Indians have anything? I guess a 3-6 (0-5) record will have to do for this season.
6A District 2
Champion: Blue Valley North 8-1 (3-0)
Runner-Up: Shawnee Mission West 7-2 (2-1)
SM South 1-8 (1-2)
SM Northwest 1-8 (0-3)
SM South ended the season on a high note by narrowly beating SM Northwest 14-6. The bar was already at the bottom but a step towards bad is way better than a final step in to win-less territory. On the upper half, the Sunflower League got another yearly surprise against the EKL after SM West fell flat against the BV North Mustangs in similar fashion to their loss against SM East in Week 4. Both teams have a good chance to go far, but history has been betting against EKL teams that the 6A level since the playoffs began. Blue Valley High made it to Sectionals last year, which is the farthest a team outside the SFL has gone since before 2010.
6A District 3
Champion: Blue Valley 7-2 (3-0)
Runner-Up: Blue Valley Northwest 2-7 (2-1)
Gardner-Edgerton 2-7 (1-2)
Olathe South 1-8 (0-3)
It feels like we all just forgot that this district existed, considering people like to talk about how bad SM East's district was. This district might have been the worst in the entire state with the three teams not called the Tigers combining for five wins on the entire season. At least District 1 could find 6 wins among the bottom three. I guess you could say the EKL has the best chance for a 6A state championship considering this district adds to a total of three Blue Valley schools in the same bracket. The Tigers will be playing an uphill battle from the starting blocks as they have to go through SM West (8-1) and likely Lawrence (9-0) just to get to Sub-State this year.
6A District 4
Champion: Lawrence 9-0 (3-0)
Runner-Up: Olathe North 8-1 (2-1)
Olathe Northwest 6-3 (1-2)
Olathe East 3-6 (0-3)
The deathmatch in the toughest district in 6A East finally came to a close in appropriate fashion after Olathe North barely escaped a frantic comeback bid against Olathe Northwest. The Eagles were a single play away from the upset over Lawrence the week before, which just goes to show how close and competitive this district actually was. Lawrence gets the easier match-up between the two qualifiers by far, as they open Regionals against SM North (3-6) while Olathe North gets to take on BV North (8-1) who finished 2nd in the EKL.
6A District 5
Champion: Lawrence Free State 6-3 (3-0)
Runner-Up: Topeka High 8-1 (2-1)
Manhattan 5-4 (1-2)
Washburn Rural 5-4 (0-3)
I think we can all agree that Free State is one of the top teams in the state. The Firebirds ran over every team in their district while winning six straight games to end the season. They start off against an average Wichita West (5-4) team who barely escaped Haysville Campus (2-7) in a 64-63 shoot-out and got dismembered by Derby (8-1) to the tune of 56-28. I can say the Firebirds should easily make it out of Regionals where they'll likely take on Wichita Northwest (9-0) who is the team to beat in the 6A West.
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