Kansas Sports Journalists Predict High School Football Playoffs


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Playoff football is back. The next five weeks can bring a lot of heartache and excitement to teams and communities across Kansas.

Sports reporters from CherryRoad Media and Gannett teamed up and created a medium for each division and predicted how that would play out.

These installments were submitted prior to the start of the Thursday games of Week 9 and the picks will not be changed during the playoffs. If you’ve ever completed a parenthesis for NCAA March Madness, it’s the same concept, but with Kansas high school football.

Here you will find the links to each journalist’s support on Google Sheets. Then, under the links, there are the different football classes and the choices of the champion, the second, the last four and the eight elites of the journalist.

Expert support

Greg Williams – Wellington Daily News

Billy Watson – The Hutchinson News

Charles Chaney – Butler County Times-Gazette

Dylan Sherwood – Salina’s Diary

Seth Kinker – Topeka Capital-Journal

Class 6A

Williams

  • Champion: Derby
  • Finalist: Blue Valley Northwest
  • Final Four: Blue Valley Northwest, Blue Valley, Derby, Manhattan
  • Elite 8: Blue Valley Northwest, Olathe North, Blue Valley, Olathe West, Derby, Washburn Rural, Manhattan, Lawrence

Watson

  • Champion: Derby
  • Finalist: Blue Valley
  • Final Four: Blue Valley Northwest, Blue Valley, Derby, Junction City
  • Elite 8: Blue Valley Northwest, Olathe North, Blue Valley, Olathe West, Derby, Washburn Rural, Manhattan, Junction City

Chaney

  • Champion: Derby
  • Finalist: Blue Valley
  • Final Four: Blue Valley Northwest, Blue Valley, Derby, Manhattan
  • Elite 8: Blue Valley Northwest, Olathe North, Blue Valley, Olathe West, Derby, Washburn Rural, Manhattan, Lawrence

Sherwood

  • Champion: Derby
  • Finalist: Blue Valley Northwest
  • Final Four: Blue Valley Northwest, Blue Valley, Derby, Manhattan
  • Elite 8: Blue Valley Northwest, Olathe North, Blue Valley, Olathe W, Derby, Washburn Rural, Manhattan, Junction City

Kinker

  • Champion: Derby
  • Finalist: Blue Valley
  • Final Four: Blue Valley Northwest, Blue Valley, Derby, Junction City
  • Elite 8: Blue Valley Northwest, Olathe Northwest, Blue Valley, Olathe West, Derby, Washburn Rural, Manhattan, Junction City

Class 5A

Williams

  • Champion: Kapaun Mont Carmel
  • Finalist: Mill Valley
  • Final Four: Mill Valley, Spring Hill, Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Hays
  • Elite 8: Mill Valley, Topeka-Seaman, Spring Hill, De Soto, Wichita Northwest, Hays, Bishop Carroll

Watson

  • Champion: Kapaun Mont Carmel
  • Finalist: Mill Valley
  • Final Four: Mill Valley, Spring Hill, Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Bishop Carroll
  • Elite 8: Mill Valley, Topeka-Seaman, Spring Hill, Pittsburg, Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Wichita Northwest, Hays, Bishop Carroll

Chaney

  • Champion: Mill Valley
  • Finalist: Kapaun Mt. Carmel
  • Final Four: Mill Valley, De Soto, Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Hays
  • Elite 8: Mill Valley, Topeka-Seaman, Shawnee Heights, De Soto, Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Wichita Northwest, Hays, Bishop Carroll

Sherwood

  • Champion: Mill Valley
  • Finalist: Kapaun Mt. Carmel
  • Final Four: Mill Valley, Spring Hill, Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Bishop Carroll
  • Elite 8: Mill Valley, Topeka-Seaman, Spring Hill, Pittsburg, Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Wichita Northwest, Andover, Bishop Carroll

Kinker

  • Champion: Mill Valley
  • Finalist: Kapaun Mt. Carmel
  • Final Four: Mill Valley, Pittsburg, Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Andover
  • Elite 8: Mill Valley, Topeka-Seaman, Shawnee Heights, Pittsburg, Kapaun Mt. Carmel, Wichita Northwest, Andover, Bishop Carroll

Class 4A

Williams

  • Champion: Basehor-Linwood
  • Finalist: Buhler
  • Final Four: Basehor-Linwood, Bishop Miege, Buhler, Andover Central
  • Elite 8: Basehor-Linwood, Piper, Bishop Miege, Atchinson, Buhler, Mulvane, Wamego, Andover Central

Watson

  • Champion: Bühler
  • Finalist: Bishop Miege
  • Final Four: Basehor-Linwood, Bishop Miege, Buhler, Andover Central
  • Elite 8: Basehor-Linwood, Piper, Bishop Miege, Atchinson, Buhler, Mulvane, El Dorado, Andover Central

Chaney

  • Champion: Basehor-Linwood
  • Finalist: Andover Central
  • Final Four: Basehor-Linwood, Bishop Miege, Buhler, Andover Central
  • Elite 8: Basheor-Linwood, Paola, Bishop Miege, Eudora, Buhler, Mulvane, Wamego, Andover Central

Sherwood

  • Champion: Bühler
  • Finalist: Bishop Miege
  • Final Four: Basehor-Linwood, Bishop Miege, Buhler, Andover Central
  • Elite 8: Basehor-Linwood, Paola, Bishop Miege, Eudora, Buhler, Mulvane, Wamego, Andover Central

Kinker

  • Champion: Bishop Miege
  • Finalist: Circle
  • Final Four: Basehor-Linwood, Bishop Miege, Buhler, Circle
  • Elite 8: Basehor-Linwood, Paola, Bishop Miege, Eudora, Buhler, McPherson, Wamego, Circle

Class 3A

Williams

  • Champion: Andale
  • Finalist: Holton
  • Final Four: Topeka-Hayden, Holton, Andale, SE de Saline
  • Elite 8: Galena, Topeka-Hayden, Girard, Holton, County Riley, Andale, SE de Saline, Cheney

Watson

  • Champion: Andale
  • Finalist: Girard
  • Final Four: Topeka-Hayden, Girard, Andale, Cheney
  • Elite 8: Galena, Topeka-Hayden, Girard, Holton, County Riley, Andale, SE de Saline, Cheney

Chaney

  • Champion: Andale
  • Finalist: Topeka-Hayden
  • Final Four: Topeka-Hayden, Perry-Lecompton, Andale, Cheney
  • Elite 8: Galena, Topeka-Hayden, Girard, Perry-Lecompton, County Riley, Andale, SE de Saline, Cheney

Sherwood

  • Champion: SE de Saline
  • Finalist: Holton
  • Final Four: Topeka-Hayden, Holton, Andale, SE de Saline,
  • Elite 8: Galena, Topeka-Hayden, Girard, Holton, County Riley, Andale, SE de Saline, Cheney

Kinker

  • Champion: Andale
  • Finalist: Galène
  • Final Four: Galena, Girard, Andale, Cheney
  • Elite 8: Galena, Topeka-Hayden, Girard, Perry-Lecompton, County Riley, Andale, SE de Saline, Cheney

Class 2A

Williams

  • Champion: Rossville
  • Finalist: Hoisington
  • Final Four: Rossville, Wellsville, Hillsboro, Hoisington
  • Elite 8: Osage City, Rossville, Wellsville, Silver Lake, Hillsboro, Cimarron, Kingman, Hoisington

Watson

  • Champion: Wellsville
  • Finalist: Kingman
  • Final Four: Rossville, Wellsville, Hillsboro, Kingman
  • Elite 8: Riverton, Rossville, Wellsville, Silver Lake, Hillsboro, Cimarron, Kingman, Hoisington

Chaney

  • Champion: Rossville
  • Finalist: Hoisington
  • Final Four: Rossville, Silver Lake. Hillsboro, Hoisington
  • Elite 8: Osage City, Rossville, Wellsville, Silver Lake, Hillsboro, Beloit, Garden Plain, Hoisington

Sherwood

  • Champion: Rossville
  • Finalist: Hoisington
  • Final Four: Rossville, Wellsville, Cimarron, Hoisington
  • Elite 8: Osage City, Rossville, Wellsville, Silver Lake, Hillsboro, Cimarron, Kingman, Hoisington

Kinker

  • Champion: Rossville
  • Finalist: Kingman
  • Final Four: Rossville, Silver Lake, Cimarron, Kingman
  • Elite 8: Osage City, Rossville, Wellsville, Silver Lake, Marion, Cimarron, Kingman, Hoisington

Class 1A

Williams

  • Champion: Olpé
  • Finalist: Inman
  • Final Four: Olpe, Centralia, Inman, Sedgwick
  • Elite 8: Olpe, North Jefferson County, Centralia, Wabaunsee, Inman, Conway Springs, Sedgwick, Smith Center

Watson

  • Champion: Inman
  • Finalist: Olpe
  • Final Four: Olpe, Centralia, Inman, Sedgwick
  • Elite 8: Olpe, North Jefferson County, Centralia, Lyndon, Inman, Plainville, Sedgwick, Smith Center

Chaney

  • Champion: Inman
  • Finalist: Olpe
  • Final Four: Olpe, Lyndon, Inman, Sedgwick
  • Elite 8: Olpe, North Jefferson County, Centralia, Lyndon, Inman, Conway Springs, Sedgwick, Smith Center

Sherwood

  • Champion: Olpé
  • Finalist: Inman
  • Final Four: Olpe, Centralia, Inman, Sedgwick
  • Elite 8: Olpe, North Jefferson County, Centralia, Lyndon, Inman, Conway Springs, Sedgwick, Smith Center

Kinker

  • Champion: Inman
  • Finalist: Wabaunsee
  • Final Four: Olpe, Wabaunsee, Inman, Smith Center
  • Elite 8: Olpe, Uniontown, Centralia, Wabaunsee, Inman, Plainville, Sedgwick, Smith Center

Class 8-Man Div. I

Williams

  • Champion: Petite Rivière
  • Finalist: Meade
  • Final Four: Canton-Galva, Little River, Meade, Hill City
  • Elite 8: Chase County, Canton-Galva, Madison, Little River, Goessel, Meade, Argonia / Attica, Hill City

Watson

  • Champion: Petite Rivière
  • Finalist: Meade
  • Final Four: Sedan, Little River, Meade, Argonia / Attica
  • Elite 8: Sedan, Canton-Galva, Madison, Little River, Goessel, Meade, Argonia / Attica, Hill City

Chaney

  • Champion: Madison
  • Finalist: Meade
  • Final Four: Canton-Galva, Madison, Meade, Hill City
  • Elite 8: Chase County, Canton-Galva, Madison, Little River, Goessel, Meade, Argonia / Attica, Hill City

Sherwood

  • Champion: Petite Rivière
  • Finalist: Meade
  • Final Four: Canton-Galva, Little River, Meade, Hill City
  • Elite 8: Chase County, Canton-Galva, Madison, Little River, Goessel, Meade, Argonia / Attica, Hill City

Kinker

  • Champion: WaKeeney-Trego
  • Finalist: Yates Center
  • Final Four: Yates Center, Madison, WaKeeney-Trego, Hill City
  • Elite 8: Yates Center, Canton-Galva, Madison, Little River, Goessel, WaKeeney-Trego, Argonia / Attica, Hill City

Class 8-Man Div. II

Williams

  • Champion: Thunder Ridge
  • Finalist: Wheatland / Grinnell
  • Final Four: Axtell, Thunder Ridge, Dighton, Wheatland / Grinnell
  • Elite 8: Waverly, Axtell, Lebo, Thunder Ridge, Victoria, Dighton, South Barber, Wheatland / Grinnell

Watson

  • Champion: Thunder Ridge
  • Finalist: Victoria
  • Final Four: Axtell, Thunder Ridge, Victoria, Wheatland / Grinnell
  • Elite 8: Waverly, Axtell, Lebo, Thunder Ridge, Victoria, Quinter, South Barber, Wheatland / Grinnell

Chaney

  • Champion: Thunder Ridge
  • Finalist: Victoria
  • Final Four: Axtell, Thunder Ridge, Victoria, Wheatland / Grinnell
  • Elite 8: Waverly, Axtell, Lebo, Thunder Ridge, Victoria, Quinter, South Barber, Wheatland / Grinnell

Sherwood

  • Champion: Axtell
  • Finalist: Victoria
  • Final Four: Axtell, Thunder Ridge, Victoria, Bucklin
  • Elite 8: Waverly, Axtell, Lebo, Thunder Ridge, Victoria, Dighton, South Barber, Bucklin

Kinker

  • Champion: Axtell
  • Finalist: Dighton
  • Final Four: Axtell, Thunder Ridge, Dighton, Bucklin
  • Elite 8: Waverly, Axtell, Lebo, Thunder Ridge, Victoria, Dighton, South Barber, Bucklin

Greg Williams has been a reporter for the Wellington Daily News and the Butler County Times-Gazette since May 2021. You can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter at @ GregWilliams28.


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