DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES GALORE—The playoffs are in full swing, as most softball districts wrap up Friday afternoon (weather permitting, of course). For a complete list of who, what, when and where, see


KIRKWOOD AT UNIVERSITY CITY, 7 P.M.—A state semifinalist a year ago, Kirkwood High School appears to be even better this year. The Pioneers are running roughshod over their Suburban South Conference opponents and have shown no signs of slowing down. With standout wide receiver and Northwest recruit Mike McHugh and do-everything quarterback B.J. Buckner, Kirkwood has the look of a team that could give Webster Groves High School all it wants later in the season with a trip to the state title on the line.



PRIORY AT WHITFIELD, 4:15 P.M.—The best team in St. Louis, bar none, takes on its regional rival. St. Louis Priory School has absolutely dominated every opponent so far this fall. The Rebels, as of last week, allowed one goal through 11 games. Whitfield, which is right down the street from Priory, has taken its lumps this season. A younger team, the Warriors are still trying to find the right combination to be at their best come playoff time. This is just another monster game in Whitfield’s masochistic schedule. As of right now, it doesn’t get tougher than taking on Priory.



NERINX HALL AT JOHN BURROUGHS, 4 P.M.—The defending champions host the would-be champions. Through the six weeks of the season it would be easy to argue that John Burroughs School and Nerinx Hall have been the two best teams in the region. Toss in Cor Jesu Academy and those are the three best teams in some order. The Markers, who knocked off St. Joseph’s Academy last week for the first time in a long time, have the makings of a special group. This should be an outstanding match, one we could possibly see again come playoff time.


DE SMET AT CBC, 6 P.M.—Two of the nation’s best coaches pit their teams against one another in a classic MCC knock down, drag out match. De Smet Jesuit is among the elite teams in the state with its depth, skill and grit. Coach Greg Vitello always has his team playing its best at the end of the season. Terry Michler’s CBC squad has been through some bumpy stretches in the early going. They have yet to win a tournament they’ve entered, which is stunning. The Cadets pride themselves on collecting championships throughout the season so, come the end of the season, they’ll have that experience to lean on. These two teams will more than likely meet once more in the playoffs. These two powerhouses share a district and only one will advance in the postseason.



O’FALLON AT SLUH, 6 P.M.—The recently crowned CYC/Bob Guelker Memorial Tournament champions from O’Fallon Township High School will cross the Mississippi River to take on a SLUH team that has rebounded from a sluggish opening to the season at the CBC Tournament. O’Fallon, led by standout Tyler Collico, brings a boatload of seniors and size to the pitch every night. SLUH is no slouch and has its share of physical players with no fear. This should be an absolutely dynamite ball game.


ST. JOE AT NERINX HALL, 4:30 P.M.—What we have here is two teams with big dreams. St. Joe is the defending Class 4 champion but has been decimated by injuries. Despite their losses, the Angels have continued to grind their way through their season. Nerinx Hall opened the season with 12 wins in their first 13 matches. The Markers appear poised to break through to places their program hasn’t seen in a long time, if ever. It would be a significant moment for Nerinx Hall to find its way past its heated rival.