Playoff classifications and district assignments revealed ahead of jamborees

Photo by Dustin Ward, staff
Malden's Drew Blankinship (left) is chased by Portageville's No. 3 Josh Adams Friday at the Malden Football Jamboree at Malden High School.

A few hours before preseason jamborees got underway Friday night some schools in the Missouri Bootheel learned they will be battling new opponents when the state playoffs begin later this fall.

The Missouri High School Activities Association released 2019 class and district assignments for most fall sports Friday.


FOOTBALL PLAYOFF ASSIGNMENTS

One of the biggest playoff shakeups involves schools trading spots in Class 1 and Class 2 football.

Malden and Charleston are dropping from Class 2, District 1 to Class 1, District 1. They will join the six teams remaining in Class 1, District 1 from last season - defending state champion Hayti, traditional powerhouse Valle Catholic, Chaffee, Crystal City, Portageville, and St. Vincent. Brentwood and Scott City will no longer compete in Class 1, District 1.

“It was a bit of a surprise we moved down to Class 1,” Malden football coach Justin Peden said. “But things like this happen at smaller schools. Our new district will be incredibly competitive with Hayti and Valle Catholic in it. I feel we can be competitive in this district now and in the future. We look forward to the new challenge.”

Scott City and Herculaneum are the two newcomers replacing Charleston and Malden in Class 2, District 1. They join defending district championship Caruthersville, New Madrid County Central, East Prairie, Jefferson, Kelly, and St. Pius X of Festus.

There are no changes to Class 3, District 1. Defending district champion Kennett remains in the district along with Park Hills Central, Dexter, Doniphan, Fredericktown, Perryville, Potosi, and Ste. Genevieve.

Kennett football coach Joel Wyatt is hopeful his regular-season schedule, which includes half the teams in Class 3, District 1, will prepare his squad for another postseason run.

“We’ve got a really tough schedule for a Class 3 school,” Wyatt said. “If we can weather the storm and survive the injury bug it will get us battle-tested and ready like it did last year when we had to play Potosi and Park Hills in the district. You need games that will get you ready for a war. You cannot just wait until Week 10 or Week 11. You need good tests early and I’m glad we’ve got teams like Sikeston, North County, and Gosnell as non-conference opponents in the regular season.”

Cape Central, DeSoto, Farmington, Festus, Hillsboro, North County, and Sikeston remain in Class 4, District 1. Windsor is the only team leaving the district. West Plains replaces them.

Class 5, District 1 has been reduced from five to four teams. Fox, Jackson, Poplar Bluff, and Seckman remain in the district with Oakville moving to Class 5, District 2.


VOLLEYBALL PLAYOFF ASSIGNMENTS

There are no changes to Class 1, District 1 in girls volleyball. Defending district champion Holcomb remains in District 1 along with Cooter, Delta C-7, Hayti, North Pemiscot, South Pemiscot, and Southland.

“District 1 looks wide open to me,” Holcomb volleyball coach Matt Casper said. “Any team in the district is capable of winning it just like last season. I feel if our girls continue to progress throughout the season and play to the best of their ability they could have as good of a shot as any team to win it.”

Class 1, District 2 has a slew of changes. Defending district champion Bernie along with Campbell, Clarkton, Gideon, and Richland remain in Class 1, District 2. Oran and Bell City are moving from District 2 to Class 1, District 3 where they join defending state champion Advance, Leopold, Marquand-Zion, Meadow Heights, and Zalma. Risco, which did not have a team last season, is joining Class 1, District 2. Bloomfield, which advanced to the Class 2 state quarterfinals last season, is also moving to Class 1, District 2.

“We’ve been in District 2 all four years I’ve been here,” Campbell volleyball coach Gentry Vancil said. “All of the northern volleyball schools are always very talented and have a tradition of winning. It’s always a tough district but I do think the southern schools are becoming more competitive. Clarkton and Gideon had a great showing in District 2 last season. I think the southern schools are getting to where we need to be to compete in District 2.”

Defending district champion Malden, Caruthersville, New Madrid County Central, Portageville, Senath-Hornersville, and Twin Rivers remain in Class 2, District 1. East Prairie, which is starting volleyball this season, is joining Class 2, District 1. Charleston is moving from District 1 to Class 2, District 2 where they join Clearwater, Greenville, Puxico, Saxony Lutheran, Scott City, and Woodland.

“We know Caruthersville and NMCC have had some really strong young athletes the past couple years so we are going to try our best and prepare for those intense battles,” Malden volleyball coach Brittany Crane said. “Also, Twin Rivers coach Whitney Edington is back and I know she does great things with their volleyball program. Portageville also has a history of a strong program and will have a new coaching staff this year. We are preparing for everyone and not underestimating anyone in the district.”

Dexter, Doniphan, Fredericktown, Kennett, Notre Dame, and Perryville remain in Class 3, District 1. Defending District 1 champion Ste. Genevieve is relocating to Class 3, District 2 and joining Park Hills Central, DeSoto, Festus, Herculaneum, North County, and Potosi.

“Last year I thought we competed better than we were expected to compete in our Class 3 district,” Kennett volleyball coach Taylor Miller said. “Hopefully, this year we can put together another strong performance. We are looking forward to the district. Hopefully, we will get voted to host the district and that will give us the upper hand.”

There are no changes to Class 4, District 1. Defending district champion Farmington, Cape Central, Hillsboro, Jackson, Poplar Bluff, and Sikeston remain in Class 4, District 1.


GIRLS TENNIS PLAYOFF ASSIGNMENTS

Defending district champion Kennett remains in Class 1, District 1 along with Caruthersville, Charleston, Dexter, and Sikeston. Notre Dame is moving to Class 1, District 2 and joining Arcadia Valley, Fredericktown, North County, Potosi, and Saxony Lutheran.

John Burroughs, which has beaten Kennett in a Class 1 girls tennis state quarterfinal each of the last five seasons, is moving to Class 1, District 5. As a result, Kennett would not square off against John Burroughs in the playoffs unless both teams reached the state final four.

“I’m shocked Notre Dame was moved to District 2,” Kennett girls tennis coach Janet Hilburn said. “I liked the rivalry between the two teams. It made my team compete really hard. Notre Dame has always had a good team and I have enjoyed playing them in the district in the past.”

Cape Central, Farmington, Jackson, Mehlville, Oakville, and Poplar Bluff remain in Class 2, District 1.

Editor’s Note: Cross country class and district assignments will be released by MSHSAA at a later date.

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