HC Win SNC Title, But Vanatta Says No More “Off” Weeks For Hawks

By Jim Wieners

Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 24-26 is the ninth and final week of High School Football prior to the start of District Playoffs in a “Win or Go Home” format and Suburban North teams battle in games involving Class Six teams versus Class Five teams.

Friday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. McCluer North (Class Five) is at Pattonville (Class Six) while on Saturday at 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. (if high school seniors are taking ACT tests) Hazelwood Central (Class Six) is at McCluer (Class Five), Hazelwood West (Class Six) is at Hazelwood East (Class Five) and Ritenour (Class Six) is at Riverview Gardens (Class Five).

Hazelwood Central, 6-0 SNC, 8-0 overall, clinched the Suburban North Conference title last weekend with a 34-14 home win over Riverview Gardens and a 36-33 Hazelwood East win at Ritenour. That gave Hazelwood Central a two-game lead in the Suburban North over 6-2 Ritenour, 5-3 Hazelwood East and 5-3 McCluer North, all 4-2 in the SNC. Despite winning the title for the second year in a row the Hawks did not celebrate after the game “and we should be more excited than we are” said head coach Van Vanatta.

Hazelwood Central won over Riverview without running back Kevin Batt who Vanatta said was banged up (the type of injury and when it occurred was not mentioned). Batt was to have and MRI this week and those results, if done before Thursday (Oct. 24) were unavailable. Nonetheless the Hawks have all but locked up the top seed in Class Six, District Two and would likely host 2-6 Francis Howell North Nov. 2.

However, “There are more no off weeks, I guarantee that,” said Vanatta. “We’re going to be prepared.”

MORE ON CLASS SIX, DISTRICT TWO — CBC (6-2) and Ritenour are battling for the second seed and CBC plays Friday, 7 p.m. at Francis Howell, the top seed in Class Six, District Three. The District Two winner plays the District Three winner Nov. 22 (Nov. 23 if it is at Hazelwood Central or Hazelwood West).

DeSmet (4-4) is in the driver’s seat for the fourth seed and plays Vashon Friday while St. Louis University High (3-4 going into Friday’s game against Oakville), Hazelwood West and Pattonville (both 3-5) are battling for seeds five-seven. All first round games except for Howell North at Hazelwood Central will be played Nov. 1. Districts in Classes One-Five will open Oct. 31 or more likely Nov. 1, not Nov. 2.

CLASS FIVE, DISTRICT TWO — Barring an upset by University City Thursday afternoon defending Class Five State Champion Kirkwood (6-1) appears to lock up the top seed and gets a first round bye. Webster Groves (5-2), who plays Friday against Parkway North, and Hazelwood East are batting for the number two seed but Webster is in the driver’s seat. If Hazelwood East ends up third and McCluer North is fourth in the district standings McCluer North can file an appeal with the Missouri State High School Activities Association based in the Stars 31-30 win over the Spartans Oct. 5.

Chaminade, who takes their 4-4 record to Friday’s game against Poplar Bluff, Riverview Gardens, 3-5, and McCluer, 1-7 will start districts on the road with McCluer to play at the number two seed. Hazelwood East and/or McCluer North would be at home for a school day afternoon game against a Suburban North team but East or North would have to find a neutral site if one of them plays Chaminade.

Hazelwood East won over Ritenour Oct. 18 on Jay Kirks’ third touchdown pass with 27 seconds left to Ahmad Huddleston, his third score of the game. McCluer North won Oct. 19 over Ferguson-Florissant School District rival McCluer, 14-6.

CLASS THREE, DISTRICT FIVE — Trinity Catholic (3-5) is home Friday, 7 p.m. against 6-1 McCluer South-Berkeley but the Titans will likely be on the road Oct. 31 or Nov. 1 as Trinity battles 4-4 Wright City, who plays Brentwood (8-0) on Friday, and 2-5 Sumner, who plays Soldan-International Studies on Saturday, for seeds five-seven. McCluer South-Berkeley will likely be seeded second to 7-1 Duchesne (who visits Westminster Christian Saturday) because Duchesne played seven Class Four teams while MS-Berkeley, who will need to rend lights or play on a neutral site for the first round, played six.

CLASS TWO, DISTRICT TWO — Lutheran North (4-4) plays Friday, 7 p.m. at St. Mary’s on a four-game win streak after a 0-4 start and will host a first round game if they rent lights or play on a neutral site. Eight of the nine teams Lutheran North played are higher than Class Two, with six in Class Four. The Crusaders fourth win in a row was a high-scoring game, 55-52 at Trinity Catholic Oct. 18.

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