Omaha Westside vs. Omaha Creighton Prep.
When it comes to high school rivalries, little more needs to be said.
Those teams will square off at 6 p.m. Saturday for the American Legion Class A state championship. KB Building Services (Westside) will play at PI Midwest (Prep) after the teams survived the two divisional brackets of the 16-team state tournament.
“It should be fun,” PI Midwest coach Pat Mooney said. “Our boys are excited to play because Westside has been the best team this season.”
Westside won the spring varsity title and KB posted a 41-10 mark this summer. Coach Bob Greco’s squad prevailed in the American Division, defeating Union Bank (Lincoln Pius X) 9-0 Friday to claim the title.
While that portion of the tournament was delayed two days by rain, PI Midwest (47-10) captured the National Division crown Wednesday night with a 4-3 win against T. Hurt Construction (Omaha Burke). Mooney’s squad will enter the state title game with added rest, though the coach said he wasn’t certain who would start Saturday night.
“We’ve got a lot of fresh arms,” he said. “We’ll need them because that team can really swing, run and pitch.”
One option for PI Midwest is Jeff Albrecht, who was dynamic in his one National Division start. The Creighton recruit struck out a career-high 18 in a 4-1 win over Roof Tech (Millard West) last Sunday night.
The rain delays in the American Division tournament will put Greco in more of a pitching bind. Two of his top hurlers, Jake Meyers and Matt Waldron, threw the past two games and probably will be unavailable Saturday night.
“I’m not exactly sure what we’re going to do,” Greco said. “But we’ve still got some options and I know our guys will come ready to play.”
The team from Westside is seeking to sweep the varsity title and the Legion crown, a feat Prep accomplished last season.
“That’s not easy to do,” Greco said. “The kids can become complacent during the heat of summer so you’ve really got to stay focused.”
The players from Prep have their own motivation after missing the varsity tournament in the spring for just the second time since 1992.
“We’re not really thinking about the past,” Mooney said. “We just want to play our best Saturday night and then move on from there.”
Both teams will advance to the eight-team Central Plains Regional that begins Thursday in Fargo, N.D.