(KMAland) -- KMA Sports’ coverage of KMAland – a wide swath of land that extends throughout Southwest Iowa, Northwest Missouri and Southeast Nebraska – was even bigger, even broader and even better than ever before during the 2018-19 sports year.
So, instead of the usual top 10 team countdown that we’ve done every year since the 2009-10 sports year, we decided to turn it up a bit. Over the next 15 days, during our regular sports feature times (5:50 and 9:15 AM, 1:45 and 6:20 PM), we will be counting down the top 25(!) teams of the 2018-19 sports year.
Schools that are eligible simply include those that we covered at the state level this year. In this top 25, you’ll find 13 state champions, two state runners-up and at least 24 that finished in the top four of their respective class.
Without further ado, let the countdown begin.
No. 25: Underwood Wrestling
The Eagles finished fourth at the traditional state wrestling tournament, landing nine state qualifiers, three finalists, four top three finishes and 97.5 total points.
Stevie Barnes (106 lbs), Logan James (132) and Nick Hamilton (138) all finished second at their respective weight classes while Blake Thomsen (145) was third, Michael Baker (160) took fifth and Tanner Owens (152) came in eighth.
Westin Allen (120), Zane Ziegler (126) and Chris Gardner (220) also qualified for the state tournament.
Here are three stories from our coverage of Underwood this season:
No. 24: Shenandoah Girls Tennis
The Fillies equaled their highest finish in school history, bringing home a third-place trophy with a dominant 5-0 win over Wahlert Catholic to finish out the season.
Shenandoah girl’s tennis has been a fixture at the state level over the last several years, qualifying for state four times in five seasons and the Final Four in two of the past three.
This year’s team was headlined by junior twin sisters and Nichole and Natalie Gilbert, which placed third in state doubles. Seniors Mariah Munsinger, Alexis McGinnis and Donivan Kinghorn and freshman Le Yuan Sun provided depth for the Hawkeye Ten runner-up.
Here are three stories from our coverage of Shenandoah this season:
No. 23: Red Oak Boys Bowling
This is the first of 13 state champions among the top 25 this year. The Tigers didn’t exactly have a dominant regular season, finishing with a dual record of 7-8. However, they started to really pick things up late in the year.
Red Oak finished second at the Hawkeye Ten Conference Tournament, won their state qualifying meet and then won the whole dang thing at state. The Tigers, a four-time state runner-up, brought home the big trophy behind a runner-up finish from Noah Westerlund.
The rest of the competitors at state: Derek Baucom, Nate Ernst, Caden Hall, Jon Piper and Austin Wilkins. It’s a group that helped to combine on a monster 243 Baker score – the highest number in the 1A tournament this year.
Here are three stories from our coverage of Red Oak this season:
Listen to today’s sports feature below.
Top 25 Teams of 2018-19
25. Underwood Wrestling
24. Shenandoah Girls Tennis
23. Red Oak Boys Bowling
22-20: Tuesday, July 30th
19-17: Wednesday, July 31st
16-14: Thursday, August 1st
13-11: Friday, August 2nd
10: Monday, August 5th
9: Tuesday, August 6th
8: Wednesday, August 7th
7: Thursday, August 8th
6: Friday, August 9th
5: Monday, August 12th
4: Tuesday, August 13th
3: Wednesday, August 14th
2: Thursday, August 15th
1: Friday, August 16th