Whether they are teams with good records or teams that were in loaded districts with only two spots getting to come to the playoffs, we take a look at some of the teams missing the 2016 Kansas State School Activities Association Football playoffs.
Spring Hill (5-4)
The Broncos are a team that missed out on the playoffs because of their one point loss (14-13) to De Soto back in week seven of district play. Nobody had them beating Miege this Friday, but Spring Hill is a team that could be considered team around that top five on the Eastern side but is sitting at home. The good thing with 4A-I East, the eight that did make the playoffs, all teams have a winning record. Spring Hill got their best victory of the season with a 33-12 victory over Ottawa in week five and a 28-27 win against Louisburg back in week six. Louisburg took district runner-up in their district this season in 4A-I East, while Ottawa would win that district with Louisburg in it. Spring Hill had a rough start with losses to Tonganoxie and Basehor to begin the season but the four teams that Spring Hill lost to combined to be 29-7 on the season.
Other Teams at home with winning records: Atchison (6-3)
Santa Fe Trail (7-2)
Trail is sitting at home this season for the 2016 playoffs after making two nice runs in 4A-II in 2014 and 2015. Topeka Hayden dropping down a division and being put in their district, along with traditional power Holton, didn’t help out SFT chances, as Hayden plays a much tougher schedule than anybody in 4A-II with their 5A and 6A schedule in the Centennial League. Holton eliminated Trail on Thursday night in Carbondale, 36-24. Hayden (5-4) is your district champion, while Holton (5-4) was the district runner-up. The problem with the Chargers sitting at home is four of the eight teams that got in on 4A-II East have losing records: Girard (4-5), Iola (4-5), Baldwin (3-6) and Osawatomie (2-7).
Hugoton had a lot of expectations this season as they returned senior all-state quarterback Valentino Dellagado but they were put in a district with defending state champion Holcomb and a much improved Pratt team, who struggled with injuries one season ago. Pratt shocked everyone in this district as they were able to knock off Holcomb in week eight and became the district champion by going 3-0. Many experts at the beginning of the year would have had Holcomb as the champion and Hugoton as the runner-up, but Hugoton is sitting at home despite being a team that could compete at a high level in 4A-II. Hugoton only fell to Pratt by three back in week seven, but really struggled this week with their backs against the wall in week nine as they fell to Holcomb, 47-7. Unlike the East, everyone that made the playoffs on the West has above a .500 record.
Other Teams at home with winning records: Baxter Springs (5-4), Burlington (5-4)
Conway Springs & Cheney
The Cardinals could have been a contender had they got in the playoffs but unfortunately two of the teams in this loaded four team district of Chaparral, Garden Plain, Conway and Cheney were going to be left out. All four teams finished the regular season with above a .500 record, when eight of the 32 teams that got 3A playoff spots had losing records across the state. Conway’s 25 point loss in week nine to Chaparral cost them their spot in the three-team tiebreaker by points, as Chaparral took home the district title, while Garden Plain took runner-up. Cheney finished the season at 5-4, despite entering the districts at 5-1. Both Cheney and Conway could have probably earned playoff spots in most districts across Kansas had they not been stuck in this district that was 22-2 entering playoffs.
Marion may have not been the team that we thought they were after the first six weeks with a 6-0 start, as they finished with two of three losses to miss the playoffs with a 7-2 record in 2016. Marion took losses to SE of Saline (48-6) and Hesston (57-24). They did finish with a good record but the way their district losses happened proved it would have been a long shot for the Warriors to be a contender in 3A.
Beloit took some injuries to their star players in Caydren Cox and Hunter Budke late in the year that changed everything for their team. The Trojans, who have struggled with depth and numbers, lost two district games to Marysville and Riley County, giving them a 1-2 district record and missing the playoffs. Marysville would win the district with a 3-0 record, while Riley County took runner-up at 2-1. Beloit, who also lost to SE of Saline in week six, finished the season at 6-3. Depth and injuries can always factor in, which killed Beloit’s chances of making the 3A playoffs.
Ellsworth may have not been a contender for a deep run but it’s a team we had in the playoffs and that didn’t happen as they lost to Larned, 42-21, on Thursday night. Larned was 1-7 entering the match-up but proved that the strength of that CKL schedule helped prepare them for district play and a win over Ellsworth. The Wildcats finished the season at 5-4 and at times hung around with the #1 team in the state, Hoisington, a few weeks ago, where they lost 39-20.
Other Teams sitting at home: Council Grove (6-3), Cherryvale (5-4), Neodesha (5-4), Hutch Trinity (5-4),
The Cobras finished the season at 6-3 and will miss the 2016 2-1A playoffs. Washington County would win this district, a team that beat Jackson Heights by just eight points, but losses to Wabaunsee (28-14), and Valley Heights (26-22), the district runner-up, would eliminate them from getting a spot in their loaded five team district. The lone district win came over Centralia in week nine, 22-14. Centralia, usually a traditional power in the past, has struggled recently and went 1-8 in 2016. Wabaunsee could also have been a decent 2-1A playoff team but is sitting at home with a 2-2 district record and a 4-5 record overall but had Mid-East League losses to Riley County, Silver Lake and Rossville.
I think everyone thought Chase County (6-3) was in the playoffs until Lyndon was upset by Olpe on Friday night. That left Chase County out of the playoffs on a three way (2-1 record x 3) tiebreaker. Chase beat Olpe 14-7 in week seven and lost to Lyndon by 13 and beat Northern Heights by 23 on Friday, but Olpe and Lyndon get in on the point tiebreaker.
The team that you may feel the worst for on point tiebreakers is the Blue Devils of Sedan. Sedan went 8-1 this season and beat St. Paul on Thursday night, but will sit at home on the point tie breaker. St. Paul, West Elk, and Sedan all finished at 4-1 in district play and Blue Devils were odd man out on point tiebeaker with 51 points, as West Elk took district runner-up with 63 points, and St. Paul took district champion with 74 points. It’s not often you see a one loss team sitting at home but a six team district gives that a possibility.
Herington sits at home with a 7-2 record this season as Burlingame won their district (9-0, 6-0) and Clifton Clyde (8-1, 5-1) took district runner-up. Herington only losses this season came to Clifton-Clyde (50-36) and Burlinggame (46-0) on Thursday.
Logan-Palco & Victoria
The Trojans finished at 7-2 but their 3-2 district record has them sitting at home during this years 8M-I playoffs. Logan-Palco lost to Osborne and Solomon, who both moved onto the playoffs out of the district. Logan-Palco and Solomon both had same district record and tied on the tiebreaker points at 21 but a head to head win by Solomon gave Solomon the winning spot. Victoria, last years 8M-II champ, is sitting at home this year, after a 3-2 district record and a 5-4 record overall. The Knights had 20 district points. This was a close race in 8M-I District 4 for that runner-up spot to the 8M-I Playoffs.
Other 8M-I Teams with Winning Records not in the playoffs: Hoxie (6-3), Leoti-Wichita Co. (6-4), Satanta (5-4), Goessel (5-4), Rural Vista (5-4), Cedar Vale Dexter (5-4)
Hartford is the district champion with a 5-0 district record and Hutchinson Central Christian took runner-up with a 4-1 record in this 8M-II District II. Caldwell two district losses were their only losses this season and along with Norwich (5-4, 2-3) are two teams in this district sitting at home with a winning record. Caldwell lost to Hartford in week seven in a shoot out (56-42) but what ultimately controlled while they are sitting at home is their 58-12 loss to Central Christian on Thursday.
Rock Hills sits at home with a 7-2 overall record after going 3-2 in district play while Pike Valley went undefeated in district (8-1 overall) and St. Johns-Tipton took runner-up spot with a 4-1 district record. It was close for a spot for Rock Hills, who lost to district runner-up St. Johns-Tipton 34-32 on Thursday.
Otis-Bison & Hodgeman County
We knew this district would be brutal and Dighton is a team that impressed everyone coming out with a 5-0 district record to take the championship and Sharon Springs taking runner-up with a 4-1 record. This left Otis-Bison (3-2) and Hodgeman County (2-3) both out of the playoffs. Otis Bison didn’t have a bad loss all year in fact they lost a close one to Central Plains who pulled away late in week three of regular season and the district losses to Sharon Springs (8 points) and Dihgton (6 points) had the Cougars a few plays away from being district champs and they are sitting at home. Hodgeman County may have not been the caliber as the top three teams but they sit at home after dropping their last three district games of the season, but still finished with a 5-4 record.
Other 8M-II Teams with Winning Records not in the playoffs: Pretty Prairie (6-3), Moscow (5-4), Sylvan-Lucas (6-3), Wilson (5-4), Frankfort (5-4), Norwich (5-4)
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