The area high school spring sports postseason road begins next week with Missouri boys golf district tournaments and continues through early June. Here is a preview of individuals and teams to watch in the spotlight, from A to Z:
A is for Anglerne Annelus, arguably the top female track athlete in Missouri. She is a Grandview senior who already owns six state championships. She has run the fastest time in the state this season in the 100-meter dash (11.76 seconds) and 200-meter dash (23.78 seconds). She recorded both those times last week at the Gary Parker Invitational.
B is for the undefeated and nationally ranked Blue Valley Northwest girls soccer team. The Kansas Class 6A two-time defending state champion Huskies are third in the latest Top Drawer Soccer poll, have allowed just 45 shots and have outscored opponents 45-9 in 12 matches.
C is for classification, which has experienced some changes on the Missouri side. Track has increased from four to five classifications this season, and girls soccer has added a fourth classification.
D is for draft prospects Marquise Doherty and Greyson Jenista, who have caught the eyes of Major League Baseball scouts this spring. Doherty, an outfielder for Winnetonka, is ranked among the top 100 high school baseball players in the nation, but he has signed with Missouri to play baseball and football. Jenista plays first base for De Soto, the Kansas Class 4A defending state champion.
E is for Eastern Kansas League golf leader James Henderson of Blue Valley West, who has a score of 143 and a nine-stroke lead through the first two rounds of the three-round league tournament. He was The Star’s 2014 All-Metro boys golfer of the year.
F is for (Lawrence) Free State senior swimmer Courtney Caldwell, who will try to add to her nine Kansas Class 6A state titles. She has won the 50 freestyle all three years and is a two-time defending champion in the 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relays.
G is for Johnny Goodwin, the Texas-bound Kansas City Christian tennis player. He led the Panthers to their first Kansas Class 3-2-1A state tournament in 2014 and won his second singles state title in the process. He is the top Kansas prospect in his class, according to the Head Recruiting List.
H is for hurdles, and look no further than Liberty North senior Andrew Madison, who has posted the top time in Missouri this season in the 110 hurdles (14.09 seconds). And his best 300 hurdles time (37.89 seconds) this spring surpasses his mark from last season. He won a state title in both events in 2014.
I is for Isaiah Simmons, who is the Kansas Class 6A defending long jump state champion from Olathe North. He won the Kansas Relays title with a career-best leap of 23 feet, 21/2 inches, which was more than four feet past his state title mark.
J is for Jack Santilli, who will attempt to lead the Shawnee Mission East boys tennis team to a fourth straight state title. He is ranked first in the state in his class on the Head Recruiting list and is a three-star prospect, according to the Tennis Recruiting Network.
K is for Knights, as in the Barstow Knights tennis team, which coach Tom O’Brien says is the “strongest, most talented” team in program history. A lineup of Fletcher Scott, Bradley Frye, Steven Ketchmark and Ben Abbas lends credibility to that assertion. Scott won the Blue Valley North Invitational singles bracket last week, defeating Frye in the championship match.
L is for Lauren Harrell of Maranatha Christian, who is a five-time individual state champion in Kansas Class 2A track and field. She led the Eagles to a second straight cross country state title in the fall and is trying to lead the team to a fourth straight track title.
M is for May 4, which marks the beginning of the spring sports postseason. It gets underway Monday with Missouri boys golf district tournaments.
N is for new tennis courts at the College Boulevard Activity Center in Olathe, which will play host to the Kansas Class 6A state tennis tournament on May 15 and 16. There are 12 courts with lights and bleachers at the new facility.
O is for Orrick, a small school with a bigtime athlete. Senior Samantha Fulte is the Missouri Class 1 long jump defending champion, but she has emerged as a top threat to also win the triple jump. She finished sixth at the Kansas Relays in the triple jump.
P is for perfect, a description used for Park Hill South senior Jake Purl on April 1. Purl fired a perfect game in a 4-0 win against Platte County, when he struck out 14 batters.
Q is for Queen, as in Summit Christian Academy sophomore Carlie Queen, who recorded a high jump of 5 feet, 9 inches, earlier this spring — the best mark in Missouri. Queen is the Missouri Class 2 defending champion in the event.
R is for the Rockhurst Hawklets, who are the Missouri Class 2 defending state tennis champions. Jack Evans and Joe O’Connor won the Missouri Class 2 state doubles championship last spring, and the tandem won the Blue Valley North Invitational last week.
S is for sisters Cailey and Cassie Grunhard, who are leading the Bishop Miege girls swim team. Cailey, a sophomore, is the Kansas Class 5-1A defending champion in the 100 butterfly and will contend for a title in the 200 IM. Freshman Cassie will be a force in the 200 freestyle and 500 freestyle.
T is for the Twin Terrors, a moniker Blue Springs seniors Carlos and Khalil Davis have appropriately taken on. Carlos recorded a discus toss of 214 feet, 4 inches last weekend — the top throw in the nation this season. He accomplished the same feat last spring. Khalil won the shot put at the Gary Parker Invitational last week.
U is for under par, a feat only North Kansas City’s Cole Gage was able to accomplish at the Suburban White Conference tournament Monday. Gage fired a 1-under 71 at Paradise Pointe Golf Complex to win the conference event by 8 strokes.
V is for victories, and Olathe East softball pitcher Hayley McGhee has plenty of them. The 2014 Sunflower League Utility Player of the Year has a 10-3 record with a 2.50 ERA and league-best 93 strikeouts for the first-place Hawks.
W is for Willie Morrison, a Leavenworth senior thrower and three-time state champion. He has won the last two discus state titles in Kansas Class 5A and is the defending champion in shot put.
X is for the 10th, as in St. Pius X, whose girls soccer program is ranked eighth in Missouri Class 2. The Warriors are 11-4 and have posted 10 shutouts in 11 victories.
Y is for youth women’s national soccer teams, which Blue Valley North senior Parker Roberts and St. Teresa’s senior Dorian Bailey have joined this spring. Roberts has signed with Kansas, and Bailey with North Carolina.
Z is for Zack Penrod, a Raytown senior runner who owns the top times in the Suburban White Conference this season in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter races. Penrod has signed with Wichita State.