Jackson County teams get ready for sub-state, regionals
Postseason competition for high school volleyball and cross country teams around Kansas will start this weekend, with squads aiming to keep their seasons alive.
For both Holton and Royal Valley volleyball, that will be a tough task as they enter competition in arguably two of the toughest sub-state tournaments in Class 4A-Division II.
Both are one of three ranked teams in their respective sub-state tournaments, while only one (Columbus) of the other six sub-states can boast multiple ranked teams in the competitive fields.
Holton heads west to Chapman on Saturday, where the fifth-ranked Lady Wildcats (21-12) earned the three seed in the field and will open competition against the KVA’s fourth-ranked team in 4A-DII and number two seed, Rock Creek (23-12).
If the Wildcats get past the Mustangs, then they will likely be looking at a rematch with the top-ranked Tigers of Clay Center (34-5). Holton would be looking to avenge a loss earlier in the season, as well as one in last year’s sub-state championship game.
Clay Center will face Chapman (8-23) to start the tournament at 2 p.m. on Saturday, while the match-up between Holton and Rock Creek will follow roughly 20 minutes after the first before the two winners meet up in the championship match.
Royal Valley will make a short trip to Meriden for its sub-state tournament and will see a familiar opponent to start postseason competition.
The 10th-ranked Panthers (21-14) will open up competition against the second-ranked Tigers of Jeff West (25-10), who will be hosting the tournament. The teams faced off in league play and tournament action earlier this season and Jeff West has yet to drop a set to Royal Valley, though the majority have been extremely close.
Also in the field is sixth-ranked Atchison (28-9), who earned the top side and will start off the tournament against Kanssas City Bishop Ward (14-18) at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The match-up between Royal Valley and Jeff West will follow that before the winners meet to compete for a berth in the 4A-DII state tournament.
Jackson Heights (10-24) will compete in a Class 2A sub-state tournament in Washington and will certainly have its hands full on Saturday in a field that includes the fourth-ranked team in Class 2A (Washington County) as well as NEKL champion Valley Falls.
In fact, the Cobras will face off against league foe and second-seeded Valley Falls to start tournament play after earning the seventh seed in the sub-state bracket. Tournament play in Washington will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday with top seed Washington County (31-4) taking on eighth-seeded Onaga (9-24).
Matches will be staggered and each following match will start approximately 20 minutes after the previous one. Jackson Heights will be playing in the third match of the opening, quarterfinal round.
Other teams in the sub-state include #4 Troy (15-17), #5 Wakefield (9-13), #3 JCN (19-18) and #6 Republic County (12-21).
Meanwhile, the Jackson County cross country teams will head back into some tough regional competition, starting with both Holton and Royal Valley heading over to Wyandotte County Park in Bonner Springs.
There, the Panthers and Wildcats will go up against some traditionally strong programs like De Soto and Wamego, along with the likes of Atchison, Basehor-Linwood, Bonner Springs, KC Bishop Ward, KC Piper, KC Sumner, Jeff West, Perry-Lecompton, Bishop Miege, Rock Creek, Tonganoxie and Hayden.
The girls race will start at 2 p.m., while the boys race is set to start at approximately 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Jackson Heights will also head to Washington for regional cross country this weekend and it will get some stiff competition from some familiar teams, like Jefferson County North and Washington County.
Other teams in the regional at Washington include Northern Heights, Republic County, Burlingame, Mission Valley, Bishop Seabury, Lyndon, McLouth, Onaga, Troy, Valley Falls and Wabaunsee. Races will start with the girls competing at 2 p.m. on Saturday with the boys to follow at approximately 2:30 p.m.