Kapaun Mt. Carmel
Bishop Carroll ripped through the City League schedule last year on its way to the No. 1 seed at the Class 5A state tournament. But 2019 might be different. The City League seems to be one of the more up-for-grabs races this season, as the Golden Eagles lost a lot of senior leadership. Carroll should still be the favorite, but rival Kapaun was young last year and should grow into a legitimate contender along with Northwest and Heights.
Like the City League, AVCTL I has no overwhelming favorite. Newton has had an outstanding run of success, but the Railroaders have a lot to replace from last year’s state team. Derby had a losing record last year but brings back much of the same roster. Maize was on the cusp last year and should be even stronger this fall. Health will play a big part in determining the league champion this season.
Top to bottom, AVCTL II appears to be the strongest league in the Wichita area. Andover qualified for state last year and brings back a wealth of All-Metro-caliber talent. Maize South was perhaps the area’s most talented team last year and will lean on its youth to contend again in 2019. And Goddard has been one of the area’s most consistent teams in the past half-decade.
McPherson has had a stranglehold on the AVCTL III title in recent seasons, but in 2019, the Bullpups have about as much to replace as ever. Jaycee Burghart was named the league’s MVP last year, but she is gone. That could leave the door open for the rest of the league, which could portend an open-ended race in 2019.
One of the stronger leagues in the Wichita area, AVCTL II is loaded with some of the area’s most promising teams — like Clearwater, Wellington and Collegiate. But with Rose Hill beginning a rebuild after losing five seniors, the league is Andale’s for the taking. The Indians might have the area’s top team this season.
Central Plains League
Last year, the CPL had a state champion and three state qualifiers ... and probably should have had four, if not for Belle Plaine and Douglass meeting in the sub-state championship. Garden Plain isn’t only the favorite for a league title in 2019, but also another state championship.
Central Kansas League
It is a three-horse race in the CKL. Hesston, Nickerson and Halstead figure to create one of the area’s best league-title races. Hesston finished fourth in Class 3A last year. Nickerson and Halstead were two of the best teams to not reach a state tournament and will be motivated to get there in 2019.
BEHIND OUR REPORTING
The selection process
Preps reporter Hayden Barber selected these players based on questionnaires sent to coaches, last year’s performances and his own personal evaluation and knowledge of Wichita area high school athletics.
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