Kansas City-area teams will compete in five regional tournaments on Saturday, where state qualfiers will be determined.
1. CONTENDERS BUNCHED UP
The Class 6A Shawnee Mission West regional at Indian Creek Recreation Center will feature the top contenders from the previous two state tournaments. Shawnee Mission East is looking for a third straight state title, while Blue Valley North and Blue Valley Northwest — the state runners-up the last two years — will look to knock them off.
2. KENDALL TAKES AIM
For the last two seasons, Shawnee Mission West’s Vinh Pham and Blue Valley North’s Trey Daniel ruled Class 6A singles. Now that they have both graduated, the door has opened for SM East’s Brooks Kendall, who has placed third at the last two state tournaments. Kendall cruised through the Sunflower League tournament last week, dropping just five games before winning the No. 1 singles title.
3. GOODWIN EYES REPEAT
Just like his sister Sara, Kansas City Christian’s Johnny Goodwin has proved himself to be a consistent contender in the Class 3-2-1A state tournament. He won the individual state title his freshman season and was runner-up last year. This year he has been just as dominant and enters regionals with a 21-0 record.
4. EKL SPLIT A PLUS
While the Eastern Kansas League tournament might have been dominated by Class 6A teams, the experience will surely help smaller schools like St. Thomas Aquinas, Bishop Miege and Gardner Edgerton entering Saturday’s regionals. Aquinas’ Patrick Krim drew the toughest first-round opponent in top-seeded Nicolas Riveros of Blue Valley West and lost 8-2 at the league tournament, but Krim held his own on the back side and finished in 10th place. He was followed by teammate Nick D’Adamo in 11th and Cameron Miller of Gardner Edgerton in 12th.
5. DOUBLES SHOWDOWN
In Class 6A, the biggest competition might be in doubles this season. The regional will likely pit the Sunflower League champions from SM East against the Eastern Kansas League champions from Blue Valley North. Although neither team played together last season, they both have some state experience, since Jamie McDonald placed second for the Lancers and Brady Flanagan was third last season for BV North.