It’s that time of year again folks, the 18th Annual Kickapoo Shootout begins this afternoon at the Chief’s soccer facility. Let’s not mince words here – this is the best high school soccer tournament in the region. If you consider yourself a fan of the game, the weather and the schedule are all working in your favor. Thank heavens, as my body still shivers thinking about the weather the ladies played in last April.
There are two brackets, the Brown Division and the Gold Division, with 8 teams each. The Brown Division includes 5 Class 3 teams ranked in the Top 14 along with Catholic, #5 in Class 1 in the State Coaches Poll, including both Glendale and Kickapoo. The Gold Division features 5 regional teams who will be competing against #16 Eureka, Liberty (KC) and Rockwood Summit.
The top-ranked program is Vianney, recently ranked #15 nationally by ESPN and currently #2 in St Louis behind CBC. The Golden Griffins will open the tournament at 6:30 pm Friday at Springfield Catholic. Irish Coach Joe Kofron, a Vianney alum, was instrumental in bringing the Griffins to Springfield. The Fightin’ Irish will be facing a team that is 14-2-1 and has outscored their opponents 39-14. The only blemishes have come in Metro Catholic play, losing to CBC and SLUH.
The Griffins have multiple targets, with Johnny Roeckle (11 G, 8 A) the most prolific. Roeckle, along with Steven McCannany (1/6) and Chris Garavaglia (4/2) play for the Scott Gallagher US Development Academy team, along with Kickapoo’s Skyler Russell. The Griffin’s will face either Glendale or Lee’s Summit West on Saturday at 11:30 am, with their final game at 5:15 pm, against Kickapoo if things progress as the tournament host hopes.
#7 ranked Kickapoo will face traditional Class 1 power Pembroke Hill (KC) at 6:00 pm Friday. Pembroke is only 3-8-1 this year, including a loss to Catholic in early September. Ross Payne (7) and Ben Keeton (5) are the top goal scorers.
The Chiefs, recently ranked #37 Nationally by ESPN should advance to face #14 Blue Springs (KC) at 11:30 am Saturday. Blue Springs (10-4) is on a bit of a role, winning their last three games by shutout including wins over Raymore-Peculiar and Liberty, who are Top 10 teams in KC. Matt Beaver (11), James Bledsoe (11) and Christian Delgadillo (7) account for 29 of the 49 goals scored this season. The winner moves onto the Championship game at 5:15 pm Saturday, against Vianney, Glendale or Lee’s Summit West.
The toughest result to predict will be #9 Glendale against #10 Lee’s Summit West on Friday night at 7:30 pm. The winner gets Vianney (sorry Irish fans) and the opportunity to play in the Championship. Lee’s Summit West (11-2-1) is led by TJ Moore (13) and Pat Foglio (12) with a defense that has only given up 9 goals en route to 9 shut out wins. Losses were against Lee’s Summit and Raymore-Peculiar, teams ranked just ahead of them in KC.
Glendale will counter with Devon Newport (22/11), Patrick Baltz (10/7), Graham Basecke (6/8) and Alec Martinez (5/4) and Ian Newport (4/5). 61 goals for, 12 against and six shutouts. Probably THE GAME of the evening.
The best game in the Gold Division Friday evening will come just prior to the Glendale vs Lee Summit West game as the Parkview Vikings will take on the Liberty Jays at 6:00 pm. The Jay’s are ranked #9 in the Western Region and are 7-6-1 but have a strong 35 GF/15 GA average. Both teams will be looking to make some noise in this tournament and a win offers dreams of a title on Saturday.
#16 ranked Eureka will play against Waynesville at 6:30 pm Friday, at Cooper, and the winner of this game will be favored to make it to the Championship game on Saturday against Parkview or Liberty I’m guessing.
Here’s the full schedule for the weekend. I’ve highlighted a few games for you to consider.
Friday’s Schedule (all games at Kickapo0 HS unless noted)
4:30 pm – Nixa vs. Rockwood Summitt
4:30 pm – Ozark vs. Marshfield
6:00 pm – Kickapoo vs. Pembroke Hill
6:00 pm – Parkview vs. Liberty
6:30 pm – Eureka vs Waynesville @ Cooper
6:30 pm – Catholic vs Vianney @ Catholic
7:30 pm – Glendale vs. Lee’s Summitt West
7:30 pm – Blue Springs vs Francis Howell
8:30 am – Ozark/Marshfield vs Eureka/Waynesville @ Harrison Stadium
10:00 am – Liberty/Parkview vs Rockwood Summit/Nixa @ Harrison Stadium
8:30 am – Lee’s Summit West/Glendale vs Catholic/Vianney
8:30 am – Pembroke Hill/Kickapoo vs Francis Howell/Blue Springs
10:00 am – Ozark/Marshfield vs Eureka/Waynesville
10:00 am – Liberty/Parkview vs Rockwood Summit/Nixa
11:30 am – Kickapoo/Pembroke Hill winner vs Blue Springs/Francis Howell winner
11:30 am – Glendale/Lee’s Summit West winner vs Vianney/Catholic winner
12:00 pm – 7th Place, Brown Division @ Harrison Stadium
1:00 pm – 5th Place, Gold Division
1:00 pm – 7th Place, Gold Division
2:00 pm – 5th Place Brown Division @ Harrison Stadium
3:30 pm – 3rd Place, Gold Division
3:30 pm – Championship, Gold Division
5:15 pm – 3rd Place, Brown Division
5:15 pm – Championship, Brown Division