The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


November 3, 2008

Kansas high school football playoffs get under way tonight

By Jim Fryar

Competition in the rugged CNC league should be adequate preparation for the Kansas prep football playoffs.

That’s the belief of Beau Sarwinski, who leads Galena into the Class 3A playoffs tonight at undefeated Cherryvale.

“The CNC is tougher than it’s ever been,” Sarwinski said. “We’ve played a lot of good teams in our conference. We’ve played in a lot of big football games this season and it prepares us for this (playoffs). It’s a physical league.”

Cory White, at Riverton, and Southeast’s Bryan Burdette are quick to second Sarwinski’s belief about the CNC.

“That’s the way we do things (physical nature of play),” White said.

Echoed Burdette: “Our style of play is pretty physical.”

Either Riverton or Southeast won’t get past tonight’s opener between conference rivals at Riverton.

First-round games in Class 4A tonight include a pair of rematches between Southeast Kansas League members: Independence at Columbus and Labette County at Coffeyville.

Two more SEK teams qualified for the playoffs. Chanute entertains Louisburg and Iola visits Paola.

In Class 2-1A, St. Mary’s-Colgan begins the playoffs with a home game against Sedan.

The highlights:

Galena at Cherryvale

Galena’s Bulldogs had a playoff-like challenge just to qualify second in a District 3A-1 game. Galena had a showdown of 6-2 teams with a final-week visit to Caney Valley. The Bulldogs romped to a 42-8 victory.

“We’ve kind of developed a tradition,” Sarwinski said of Galena’s sixth straight postseason trip. “Our kids expect to be in the playoffs come the end of October. We put a lot of pressure on the coaches and kids to get there. And we don’t expect to come into the playoffs and just show up.”

Galena’s opening task is a big one. Cherryvale (9-0) has outscored its opponents by an average margin of 39-9.

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