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November 26, 2009
Showcase focuses on state title games
It's state championship weekend in both Kansas and Missouri and Rivals.com has teamed up with All Star Video Sports in this week's edition of the High School Spotlight to breakdown Kansas City's chances on both sides of the state line.
Every week, AllStarVideoSports.com will release the week's show, hosted by Nick McCabe of Sports Radio 810 WHB and Rivals.com national recruiting editor Jeremy Crabtree.
The first segment of the show starts on the Missouri side where Blue Springs battles Hazelwood Central in the Class 6A state title game.
The Wildcats are led by three of the state's most dynamic players in receiver Keeston Terry, quarterback Jared Lanpher and junior running back Darrian Miller. Miller's junior season play has helped spark the Wildcats in the championship game, where they'll face defending state champion Hazelwood Central.
In the 5A game, Missouri commit E.J. Gaines' monster season has sparked Fort Osage into the state championship game against Webster Groves. Groves has several talented junior prospects in linebacker Jason Meehan, receiver/defensive back Marquis Clemons and offensive lineman Jackson Roberts, but will they be enough to stop Gaines?
Kansas City is also represent in the Class 4A game with 12-2 Kearney facing defending state champion Jefferson City Helias. Kearney shocked a lot of people with a 38-13 victory in the state semifinals over previously undefeated Webb City.
Over on the Kansas side, Kansas City also has three chances to grab titles.
The Class 6A game features power Olathe North against surging Wichita Heights. North is led by talented running back James Franklin, who is the likely winner of the Simone Award as the top player in Kansas City, but Kansas State bound linebacker Tre Walker's big play has also helped spark the Eagles. Walker had several critical plays for Olathe North in the state semifinal victory over Blue Valley.
The 5A game is the one that has generated the most buzz as five-time defending state champion Hutchinson will battle a fast-rising Gardner Edgerton program. The game will also feature several of the state's top prospects in four-star defensive end and Kansas commitment Geneo Grissom at Hutch and star junior quarterback Bubba Starling at GE.
Running back Josh Smith could also be a key factor in the game as his play has been a huge reason why Hutch has continued to roll this season and his recruiting stock is about to heat up.
The 4A state playoffs so far has been a showcase for Oklahoma-bound receiver Justin McCay of Bishop Miege.
McCay had four first half touchdown receptions last week in a victory over Paola and Topeka Hayden is going to have a tough time matching up against the speedy and physical McCay. He has 23 touchdowns as a senior and Miege is playing for its first state championship since 1977.
The second segment of the show focuses on how the speculation surrounding Mark Mangino's future at Kansas has hurt the Jayhawks on the recruiting front.
Kansas hasn't officially lost any commitments at this point, but there are several players on the brink of making a different decision with Mangino's future up in the air.