Seven Points

(KMAland) -- The eighth week of the 2021-22 sports calendar year is here, and business is about to pick up. Seven Points Monday:

Point 1: Gauging the races in area districts 

Let’s take a gander at each area district and how things currently stand as teams chase playoff spots.

8P District 9: Lenox (5-0) and Fremont-Mills (5-0) will meet for the district championship this week. The loser will be the runner-up. The third position is also up for grabs this week with East Mills (3-2) and Stanton-Essex (3-2) battling for the final automatic spot. 

8P District 10: CAM (5-0) has clinched at least a share of the district championship and will be the No. 1 seed regardless of this week’s result. Audubon (4-1) is the No. 2, and the third spot is going to belong to either Boyer Valley (3-2) or Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton (2-3). If Exira/EHK beats Coon Rapids-Bayard this week, they will need CAM to beat BV to clinch the playoff spot. If Boyer Valley upsets CAM, they’re in.

8P District 8: Martensdale-St. Marys (5-0) has the share locked up and the No. 1 seed locked up. Southeast Warren (4-1) is in, but they’ve got Lamoni (3-2) this week with hopes of nabbing the No. 2. The Demons can clinch a spot of their own and move to the No. 2 if they beat the Warhawks this week. Murray (2-3) is a big SEW fan, as they will need a win over Moravia (1-4) and a Lamoni loss to have a chance. Mormon Trail (3-3) cannot make up enough ground in points, but a three-way tie (Murray win, Lamoni loss) would precipitate the points system. Lamoni is currently +20 while Murray is a -1 (Mormon Trail is -6 if you’re wondering). So, Murray would need to make up 21 points to get the playoff spot. Get it?

*Note: The three-way tie would go to points due to the three teams splitting their games against one another.

8P District 7: Montezuma (5-0) is the No. 1 seed and clinched at least a share of the district title with their win over Baxter (4-1) this past Friday. Baxter has also clinched one of the playoff spots. The third position is down to BGM (3-2) and Melcher-Dallas (2-3) while Grand View Christian (3-3) cannot make up the points to take the spot. BGM is a +17 for the season while Melcher-Dallas is -7 and Grand View Christian is -10. If Melcher-Dallas wins, they will need to make up 24 points (win by 12 or more).

8P District 1: Remsen St. Mary’s (5-0) has the No. 1 seed on lock and has clinched at least a share of the district championship. Newell-Fonda (4-1), Kingsley-Pierson (3-2) and Ar-We-Va (3-2) will fill in the final two automatic spots. If Ar-We-Va beats Newell-Fonda, and Kingsley-Pierson takes down Siouxland Christian (0-5) it would bring points into play. Newell-Fonda is +41, Kingsley-Pierson is +27 and Ar-We-Va is +14. If Newell-Fonda beats Ar-We-Va, they’re in as the No. 2, and Kingsley-Pierson would lock up the No. 3 with or without a win over Siouxland Christian. 

A District 8: Both Woodbury Central (4-1), Logan-Magnolia (4-1) and IKM-Manning (4-2) are in. Tri-Center (3-2) and Westwood (2-3) will sort out the final spot. If Woodbury Central beats Missouri Valley (0-5) they would be the No. 1. If not, Lo-Ma could clinch No. 1 with a win over Lawton-Bronson (1-4). The final spot in the playoffs will go to the winner of Tri-Center and Westwood. If Woodbury Central and Logan-Magnolia both get upset and T-C beats Westwood, there would be a four-way tie at 4-2. In the unlikely event that all that happens, you will want to know points at the moment: Woodbury Central (+53), Logan-Magnolia (+51), IKM-Manning (+25) and Tri-Center (+15).

A District 7: Southwest Valley (5-0) and Mount Ayr (4-1) are in and will play this week with the No. 1 seed on the line. Earlham (3-2) and Riverside (3-2) also play for a playoff spot. Meanwhile, AHSTW (2-3) will be rooting for Earlham in that matchup because — in that event — they would clinch a spot in the playoffs IF they beat St. Albert (1-4) thanks to their head-to-head over Riverside. If the Bulldogs beat Earlham both teams would be in, and Riverside could jump up to No. 2 if SWV beats Mount Ayr.

A District 6: Lynnville-Sully (5-0) and Belle Plaine (5-0) play for all the marbles this week, although they’re both in the playoffs and in the top two spots regardless. Ogden (3-3) has also locked up a spot in the playoffs. The final position could belong to Madrid (2-3). If they beat North Mahaska (1-4), they would be in. Colfax-Mingo (2-3) simply can’t make up the points to win a three-way tie. Now, if Madrid loses and Colfax-Mingo wins over Wayne (0-5) then Colfax-Mingo would jump over Ogden due to head-to-head and grab the No. 3 seed. If anyone is wondering about a three-way tie at 2-4 between Madrid, Colfax-Mingo and North Mahaska, then Madrid would go on points.

1A District 6: Sigourney-Keota (4-0) is the No. 1 seed and has at least a share of the district championship. Pella Christian (3-1) is also in and will lock up No. 2 with a win over Central Decatur (2-2). If the Eagles lose to Central Decatur, and Cardinal falls to Pleasantville (1-3) then CD is the No. 2. If Cardinal beats Pleasantville in that scenario then Pella Christian is the No. 2 regardless of points. The 3 and 4 would go to CD (-16) and Cardinal (0) based points. If Cardinal wins, they are in. If Pleasantville wins and CD loses, then the 3 and 4 spots again go to points. Pleasantville (-7) could find themselves in a favorable situation in that scenario.

1A District 7: Van Meter (4-0) and ACGC (4-0) will play for the district championship and top seed on Friday. The loser is the No. 2. Both Interstate 35 (2-2) and Nodaway Valley (1-3) clinch playoff positions with respective wins over West Central Valley (1-3) and Panorama (0-4). If West Central Valley wins, they could get in with a Nodaway Valley loss or by making up enough points in a three-way tie with I-35 and NV. Points as it stands now: I-35 (-11), WCV (-25) and Nodaway Valley (-43).

1A District 8: Underwood (4-0) is in the playoffs and will clinch the No. 1 seed with a win over Kuemper Catholic (3-1) on Friday. Treynor (3-1) is also in and can clinch No. 2 if they beat MVAOCOU (1-3). Kuemper is also in. If they can upset Underwood, and Treynor beats MVAOCOU then points come into play to decide the order. Underwood is +68, Treynor is +31 and Kuemper is +21 right now. The only chance the Knights have off being the No. 1 seed is by beating Underwood and hoping for a Treynor upset loss. Finally, we have the amazing No. 4 spot in this district. West Monona (1-3), MVAOCOU (1-3) and East Sac County (0-4) are all alive! West Monona gets in with a win over East Sac County. If East Sac wins then you’ll want to know that East Sac is -38, West Monona is -34 and MVAOCOU is -48. As you can see, MVAOCOU can’t catch the winning team, so they will need an upset of Treynor and an East Sac County win over West Monona.

2A District 8: Greene County (4-0) is the No. 1 seed and has clinched a share of the district title. Clarinda (3-1) is also into the playoffs and can grab the No. 2 if they beat Red Oak (2-2) on Friday. If Clarinda loses then Red Oak could climb to No. 2 with a Greene County win over Clarke (2-2). Des Moines Christian (1-3) could also find their way into the playoffs if they beat Shenandoah (0-4), and Clarinda and Greene County both keep up their winning ways. In that scenario, the final couple spots would come down to points. Clarke is a +5, Red Oak is a -11 and Des Moines Christian is a -28. There will be plenty of scoreboard watching here.

Class 3A, 4A and 5A all have two weeks of regular season action remaining. we will look at all relevant playoff matchups and the playoff scenarios for 3A and 4A districts in this spot next week. 

Point 2: The volleyball conference lowdown 

Here’s the “lowdown” on all of the area volleyball conferences, and how they shaped up this year versus my preseason predictions. 

Hawkeye Ten: Glenwood (9-0) has a share of the conference championship locked up and can clinch it outright with a win over Lewis Central this week. If the Titans can give them a little help, Red Oak (7-1) grab their own share with wins over Atlantic (4-4) and Shenandoah (1-7). 

My preseason prediction for Kuemper (7-3) to win the league was a bit of a miss, although I did have Glenwood and Red Oak in the next two spots. (0/1)

Corner: Sidney (4-0) won the Corner Conference Tournament championship and have a share of the regular season title locked up. They can clinch it outright if they beat Griswold (2-2) later this week. Stanton (3-1) still has a fighting chance if the Tigers can pull an upset and if the Viqueens can beat Essex (0-4). 

My preseason prediction guessed Stanton and East Mills (3-2) in the 1-2 spots. I was off on Sidney, crediting a third-place finish for the Cowgirls. Whoops. (0/2)

Western Iowa: Another conference championship for Treynor (8-0), which will chase the sweep this week in the conference tournament. 

My preseason prediction went to Missouri Valley (6-2). And just like in the Corner, I didn’t even pick the actual conference champ to finish second. I picked Tri-Center (6-2). Then I guessed Treynor. Another miss. (0/3)

Pride of Iowa: This isn’t done yet. We will find out by the end of Tuesday how my prognostication of Southeast Warren would play out. I guess we actually can give myself credit for going Southeast Warren (4-0) and Southwest Valley (4-0) in the top two spots. They are, after all, the top two seeds in the tournament. (1/4)

Rolling Valley: It is coming right down to the wire. Woodbine (7-1), Boyer Valley (6-1) and CAM (6-1) all have one loss. The good news for Woodbine is that they are done in the league, so they will have at least a share. They will also become fans of Exira/EHK (3-3), which is set to play Boyer Valley on Tuesday, and of Glidden-Ralston (5-2), which plays CAM the very same night. 

In my preseason look, I picked CAM and Boyer Valley to finish 1-2. However, I didn’t pick Woodbine until the No. 5 spot. I did write this, though: “Another that I feel will make a major improvement from last season.” So, this was probably the best that I did to this point. (2/5)

Missouri River: Sergeant Bluff-Luton (6-0) has at least a share of the conference championship. They can clinch the outright title with a win over Heelan (4-2) on Tuesday. Sioux City East (5-1) would be the benefit of an upset if they can handle Sioux City West (2-4).

I predicted Sergeant Bluff-Luton and Sioux City East as the top two finishers in the conference. Chalk another one up. (3/6)

Bluegrass: Ankeny Christian Academy has handled business with an undefeated record in the conference, including a win over one-loss Lamoni. Who this one coming? Not me. I had ACA as the No. 6 team in the league, and my pick — Lamoni — was the easy preseason favorite. (3/7)

That’s 3 out of 7 correctly picked. You know what they say, if you go three for every seven you step to the plate they will mark you a Hall of Famer. Or something like that.

Point 3: A look at area regional volleyball pairings 

The Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union dropped the regional pairings on Thursday. Here’s my review of how things line up in each region.

1A Region 2: No. 8 St. Albert has the bye and is the favorite to advance back to the state tournament. However, the Saintes will have several tough tests before Cedar Rapids with a potential regional semifinal against Sidney or Stanton (without any upsets) and a regional final against one of No. 14 Tri-Center, East Mills, Riverside, Woodbine or Boyer Valley. The bottom half of that region actually seems pretty fun, especially round two when Tri-Center could visit East Mills.

1A Region 3: No. 11 Gladbrook-Reinbeck and No. 15 BCLUW are on the bottom half of the bracket here, but No. 6 Ankeny Christian Academy is the top-ranked team on the top half. ACA has a road of Coon Rapids-Bayard, either Exira/EHK or Audubon and then likely either Glidden-Ralston, Ar-We-Va or CAM.

1A Region 4: Paton-Churdan is in this thing, and there three state-ranked teams in the mix here. No. 7 Newell-Fonda, No. 9 Janesville and No. 10 Dunkerton are all in the bracket. Newell-Fonda has a bye and is on top of the bracket while Janesville and Dunkerton are on the bottom half and slated for a regional semifinal. Paton-Churdan opens on the road with St. Edmond, and then would have Newell-Fonda in round two if they are able to advance.

1A Region 6: We’re watching Twin Cedars and Melcher-Dallas here, but they are both on the road — at Montezuma and at North Mahaska, respectively — to start the bracket. No. 4 Lisbon has a bye and is a heavy favorite to be in a regional final with (likely) No. 12 North Tama.

1A Region 8: Plenty of eastern KMAland here with all of them lined up on the bottom half of the bracket with No. 5 Holy Trinity Catholic at the top. Lamoni and Southeast Warren are the probables to square off in a regional semifinal at Lamoni. Again, it’ll be pretty tough for anyone from the area to get out of here because Holy Trinity is a beast. However, toss it up there and see what happens.

2A Region 2: Well, any time you’re in a bracket with Western Christian it’s not the best. They’re ranked No. 5 this year, but make no mistake, they are a state championship contender. They are every year. No. 12 Treynor has a bye and will get either AHSTW or Logan-Magnolia first before a regional semifinal showdown with No. 14 Missouri Valley or Underwood. Regardless of how the regional final turns out, there are going to be some fun matches here.

2A Region 3: Southwest Valley got some love up in here with chances to host a regional quarterfinal and a regional semifinal. No. 3 South Hardin, though, awaits at the top of the bracket. The ACGC/Nodaway Valley regional quarterfinal should also be pretty competitive. 

2A Region 4: No. 1 Dike-New Hartford is at the top of the bracket. Central Decatur will have a chance to host to open the region against Interstate 35. If they win, they would go to Van Meter. If they can win that, it would be either Earlham or West Central Valley. But again, Dike-New Hartford is on top.

2A Region 5: No. 11 Kuemper Catholic has a bye and has hopes of returning to Cedar Rapids. They will open with either Emmetsburg or North Union before another home match with either South Central Calhoun or Manson-NW Webster. No. 7 Denver is the favorite at the top of the bracket. I think the Knights should feel pretty good about this bracket, mostly because Dike and Western Christian aren’t in it.

3A Region 1: Tough draw here for Red Oak. The Tigers get a plucky opponent at home in Atlantic to start the bracket before a lengthy trip to No. 8 Sergeant Bluff-Luton. No. 13 West Lyon is on the bottom half of the bracket, so Red Oak would have to travel again if they’re able to upset SBL. I will say this: I don’t think it’s impossible.

3A Region 4: Clarinda hosts Shenandoah to open the bracket. The winner would make a trek to No. 4 Des Moines Christian. No. 12 Roland-Story is also on the bottom of the bracket.

4A Region 1: This is the Glenwood bracket. The Rams are No. 7 in the state and bit protected here and won’t have to leave home to get to state. They’ll get either Lewis Central or LeMars in match one before a tough regional final with (likely) Bishop Heelan Catholic. Not ranked but more than capable.

4A Region 2: Creston is in this region with their first round matchup meaning a trip to ADM. If they win, No. 8 Bondurant-Farrar is next. No. 9 North Polk is the featured team on the bottom half of the bracket.

5A Region 1: Thomas Jefferson takes a trip to No. 5 Dowling Catholic to open their region. Sioux City North hosts Sioux City West with the winner getting No. 12 Sioux City East in a semifinal. 

5A Region 2: Abraham Lincoln travels No. 10 WDM Valley, and this is nothing new for the Lynx this year. They’ve seemingly played anyone and everyone under the sun. No. 7 Urbandale is the bye team at the top and would be the likely regional final opponent. 

All in all, I see at least two KMAland teams getting to the state tournament this year. I will go ahead and predict three in Cedar Rapids.

Point 4: The week in cross country 

Here’s a look at one highlight from each of the cross country meets involving KMAland teams from this past week:

INDIVIDUAL

-Ellie Baker, Martensdale-St. Marys: 5th place finish at Nodaway Valley (10/4).

-Jager Barnes, Louisville: Listed as an 8th grader & finished 9th at NCC meet (10/7).

-Doug Berg, Nodaway Valley: Champion at home meet in 17:58 (10/4). Top area finisher at Atlantic with a fourth place run (10/7).

-Natalie Briggs, Plattsmouth: Runner-up finish at Trailblazer Conference (10/7).

-Marie Dea, Kuemper Catholic: Sixth place run at South Central Calhoun (10/5).

-Kaia Downs, Sioux City East: Fifth place run at a huge Fort Dodge meet (10/7).

-Rylee Dunkin, Twin Cedars: Championship at Centerville in 19:26 (10/5).

-Mariah Falkena, Boyer Valley: Champion at Woodbine & RVC meet in 22:22.11 (10/4).

-Emily Frey, Palmyra: ECNC champion at Malcolm in 21:17.89 (10/5).

-Filmon Gebra, Sioux City West: Fifth place at West Sioux (10/7).

-William Gillis, Central Decatur: Third place run at Centerville (10/5).

-Patrick Heffernan, Boyer Valley: Another championship at Woodbine & RVC Meet in 17:45.30 (10/4) & at his home meet in 17:37.50 (10/7).

-Cole Jorgenson, Sidney: Finished runner-up at Mound City meet (10/5).

-Caden Keller, IKM-Manning: Champion at home meet (no time listed) (10/4).

-Carter Moss, Plattsmouth: Runner-up at Trailblazer Conference meet (10/7).

-Drew Moyer, Palmyra: Runner-up finish at ECNC meet (10/5).

-Gabe Nash, Sioux City North: Runner-up finish at loaded Fort Dodge meet (10/7).

-Trace Obbink, LeMars: 12th place finish at Cherokee (10/5).

-Kayte Pankau, Mound City: Placed fifth at home meet (10/5).

-Danie Parriott, Conestoga: Runner-up at Nebraska Capitol Conference meet (10/7).

-Alejandra Payes, Sioux xCity West: Placed fifth at West Sioux (10/7).

-Michael Pottebaum, Kuemper Catholic: Championship at South Central Calhoun in 17:29.00 (10/5).

-Daniel Schoening, Ankeny Christian: Another solid 12th place run at North Polk (10/4) and an 11th at Saydel (10/7).

-Lindsey Sonderman, Harlan: Champion at Atlantic in 19:42.20 (10/7).

-Courtney Sporrer, Logan-Magnolia: Champion at Boyer Valley (10/7).

-Madison Sporrer, Logan-Magnolia: Champion at IKM-Manning in 20:00.46 (10/4).

TEAM

-Ankeny Christian Boys: Fifth place team finish at Saydel (10/7).

-Atlantic Boys: Fourth place finish at home meet (10/7).

-Auburn Boys: Runner-up with 49 points at ECNC meet (10/5).

-Central Decatur Boys: Third place at Centerville (10/5).

-Central Decatur Girls: Fifth place at Centerville (10/5).

-Conestoga Girls: Fourth place finish at NCC meet (10/7).

-Harlan Girls: Team championship at Atlantic (10/7).

-IKM-Manning Boys: The Wolves take their home meet by one point over Denison-Schleswig (10/4). 

-Kuemper Catholic Boys: Runner-up at South Central Calhoun (10/5).

-Kuemper Catholic Girls: Fifth place finish at South Central Calhoun (10/5).

-Logan-Magnolia Girls: Another win at IKM-Manning (10/4) & at Boyer Valley (10/7).

-Louisville Boys: Fourth place finish at Nebraska Capitol Conference meet (10/7).

-Missouri Valley Boys: Championship at Boyer Valley (10/7).

-Mound City Boys: Runner-up at home meet (10/5).

-Mount Ayr Girls: Runner-up at Nodaway Valley with 99 points (10/4).

-Nodaway Valley Boys: 2nd place at home meet (10/4).

-North Andrew Girls: Runner-up at Mound City (10/5).

-Palmyra Girls: Team champion at ECNC meet (10/5).

-Plattsmouth Girls & Boys: Swept the Trailblazer Conference championships (10/7).

-Sioux City North Boys: Team championship at loaded Fort Dodge meet (10/7).

-Sioux City West Boys: Runner-up at West Sioux (10/7).

-Woodbine Boys: Won their home meet & RVC meet (10/4).

-Woodbine Girls: Won their home meet & RVC meet (10/4). 

Point 5: Tips of the cap 

Here are your tips of the cap for Monday….

Trevon Diggs: The dude now has six interceptions in five games. Stop throwing at him!

Joint Possession: Tip of the cap to all the people that made good jokes about “joint possession” following the ridiculous call during the Nebraska/Michigan game.

Not apologizing for wins: Tip of the cap to those not apologizing for a win. Iowa probably has some real trouble beating Penn State if Sean Clifford doesn’t get hurt, but there’s no reason to apologize for winning. 

Tory Taylor: The greatest player in Iowa history deserves a tip of the cap. He has somehow turned ultra-conservative Kirk Ferentz into stupid conservative. I don’t mean for this to be a slight, but I just don’t have another word for purposely (and basically) downing away a 3rd and 3 so you can punt. 

The Big Ten: Tip of the cap to the Big Ten Conference for having five top 10 teams. It’s not going to last for much longer, but this league seems to be playing some good football.

Lincoln Riley: Tip of the cap for making the tough call to bench the Heisman frontrunner. He would have had a big L if he hadn’t made the move when he did.

Spencer Brown & the Buffalo Bills: Tip of the cap to the Spencer and the Bills for beating the pants off the Chiefs. That was a complete mismatch and not even as close as the final score indicated. 

Point 6: Week in coverage 

On Tuesday and Thursday, we will have radio and video broadcasts from the Western Iowa Conference volleyball tournament in Treynor. Both broadcasts begin at 5:30. Mr. Trevor Maeder will also be going wild with trips to the Western Iowa Conference (Monday) and Hawkeye Ten Conference (Thursday) cross country meets this week. He had also planned on the Pride of Iowa Conference meet (Tuesday), but he is attending a funeral. We wish him and his family the best.

Finally, it’s going to be a wild Friday night with EIGHT video streams at our website plus Fremont-Mills/Lenox and Clarinda/Red Oak with KMA broadcasts. In addition, we will be at right around 20 other games with reporters on our Red Oak Chrysler Football Connection Show. As always, tune in to AM 960 and FM 99.1 from 6:20 through midnight for all of our week eight coverage.

Extra Point: One quote to get you through your week 

Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t. -Unknown

Send any questions, comments and/or thoughts to dmartin@kmamail.com.

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