By Fred Liggett
Liberty North at Lee’s Summit North (LS Tribune Game of the Week)
These two teams keep opening up a new season with a game and it’s a big game thanks to both teams having made trips to the state title game the last couple of years. Last season the Broncos traveled up to Liberty and fell 17-7 on their way to a 12-2 season and a state runner up finish in Class 6. This year at home the Broncos will do what’s necessary to ensure a different outcome on their own field. Broncos open 2023 at 1-0 with a hard fought victory here.
Blue Springs South at Lee’s Summit (Pat’s Pick)
Lee’s Summit opens 2023 at home against Blue Springs South, looking to start a bounce back season with a win. They’ve got a lot of young talent getting playing time for the first time. The same can be said of Blue Springs South though, coming off of such a bounce back season, winning seven games in 2022 after going a combined 1-20 the two seasons prior. I think it’s more likely the Jaguars play off of that momentum and win this one, though Lee’s Summit should get better as the year progresses.
LS West at Liberty
Last season these two teams played a defensive battle which ended in a 10-7 Titans loss. Expect more points to be scored in this one but the result will be the same a narrow win for the host Blue Jays.
St. Michael’s at Summit Christian (Game at Harrisonville – 8 p.m. kickoff)
The Guardians are coming into this season opener off from an eight win season and having their signal caller in Cam Zaun back. The host Eagles have moved the game to Harrisonville due to field conditions at SCA. Summit Christian is being led by first year head coach Justin Giger. The Guardians experience will guide them to a season opening win over the Eagles on this night.
Ray-Pec at Rockhurst
Rockhurst finished 5-5 a year ago under head coach Kelly Donahue which is not acceptable at the Rock. Donahue has been building for this season and it will show in this season opener where Ray-Pec offers some stiff competition. Expect a wild one here but in the end host Hawklets earn the victory.
Raytown South at Truman
Ray South head Coach William Harris is back for a second season at his alma mater and opens the season at Truman a place the coach knows well. Harris coached at Van Horn before coming to Ray South and knows the Truman area well. Expect the Cardinals to be the better prepared team and earn a season opening win.
Smithville at Raytown
Raytown opens up at home against a perennial power in the Show Me State in the Warriors from Smithville. The Blue Jays enjoyed a winning season a year ago under new head coach Mike Hedrick. The Blue Jays accomplished that feat after dropping a 16 point decision to Smithville. Expect a repeat here as Raytown opens with a tough loss to the Warriors.
Staley at Blue Springs
The Wildcats coming off from an encouraging finish to a 3-7 season a year ago open at home against the Staley Falcons. The Wildcats lost by 20 to the Falcons last year and will keep it closer this time but will see a similar result, a season opening loss.
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