PITTSBURG -- The coaches in the Crawford-Neosho-Cherokee League have selected St. Mary's-Colgan baseball and Frontenac softball as the favorites to win the circuit championships according to the polls by The Ticket -- 99.1 ESPN Radio announced at the second annual Southeast Kansas High School Baseball/Softball Media Luncheon Monday afternoon (March 5) at the Watco Companies Conference Room.
The SMC Panthers won a close vote in the baseball poll, earning three of a possible six first-place votes (one school did not submit a ballot and coaches could not vote for their own school) and 37 points -- one point ahead of the runner-up Frontenac Raiders.
The Panthers were 22-4 in 2011 and finished as the Class 2-1A runner-up last season, but will be competing in Class 3A this season.
FHS (15-11 in 2011) had two first-place votes with 36 points after placing third in Class 3A the previous season, with the Riverton Rams (12-7 in 2011) claiming the other two first-place votes and scoring 28 points.
Three points seperated places four through six in the survey. Baxter Springs (18-3 in 2011) claimed the No. 4 slot with 24 points after being the third-place squad at Class 4A state, while Galena (6-14 in 2011) was fifth (23 points) and Girard (8-11 in 2011) placed sixth (21 points).
The Frontenac softball team earned five of the six available first-place votes (like baseball, one school did not submit a ballot) and collected 41 of a possible 42 points in the poll. The Raiders were the Class 3A runner-up in 2011 and finished with a 21-4 record.
The Girard Trojans (24-2 in 2011) picked up the other two remaining first-place votes and placed second with 37 points. Girard finished fourth in the Class 4A state tournament.
Baxter Springs (12-7 in 2011) placed third in the poll with 30 points, two ahead of St. Mary's-Colgan (9-12 in 2011).