The 2019 sports season has come to an end. The Royals had another 100-loss season. The Chiefs are still battling to make the end of the year a success. KU and Kansas State spent the year learning about their new coaches and the MU program is starting all over again.
The KU basketball team has been its usual, but the NCAA investigation is still looming large. Kansas State and MU basketball have started at a real slow pace with both teams hoping to have a better showing in the new year.
High school football powerhouses saw the retirement of coaching legends Tony Severino and Kelly Donohoe. However, life is not about looking backward; it is all about what lies ahead.
The year 2020 will be a most interesting year, to say the least. With the presidential election in November, sports may be the only outlet people have to come together on a positive note.
Starting with the Royals, the team looks like they have the everyday player nucleus to show some improvement. The new owner and new manager will bring some much-needed interest back to the team. A new TV contract and young developing players should also generate interest in the 2020 season.
The Royals need the starting rotation and the bullpen to show improvement. The team appears to be trying to rebuild the pitching with young arms getting a lot of work at the minor league level. Until the pitching problems are addressed, the Royals will still be looking at losing 90-plus, but the young talent is there. If a couple young arms develop, the roster could approach 75-80 wins in the new year.
The 2020 Chiefs will hopefully continue to dominate the AFC West as they have in recent years. The 2019 draft was excellent, and if the team can hit pay dirt in the 2020 draft, the team could have several years of great football for Kansas City.
Hopefully the organization can sign present stars and still give Patrick Mahomes the money he needs to stay with the Chiefs for a long time. The financial balance and making all the right contract extensions is a key to remaining good in the NFL.
The local college Division I football programs are in a new phase of building. Kansas State got a jump start in 2019 and their recruiting class looks solid for 2020. KU has signed one of their best recruiting classes in the past decade. MU is starting all over with a new coach and a loss of four scholarships in this year’s recruiting class. Mizzou, however, has done a good job with the players they recruited in the 2020 class.
College basketball and the NCAA championship is up for grabs in 2020. There have already been five teams ranked No. 1 at the end of 2019. KU has the talent to be a Final Four team. Kansas State and MU look like two teams just trying to get competitive at a high level.
Division II schools in the MIAA will continue to be national powers both in football and basketball.
The changes in high school football in 2020 will be very interesting to watch. The 2019 Kansas City high school football teams were not as good as in past years. Hopefully the pendulum will turn back to area teams as a threat for the state championship.
Local high school softball has been dominant and will hopefully continue that trend in 2020.
So, I guess at this point we all just “wait until next year.” The year has the potential to be one of the most historic years in recent memory. Area sports should be no exception. Happy New Year to every sports fan in the area!
• The quote of the week comes from Pro Football Hall of Famer and four-time Super Bowl champion “Mean” Joe Greene: “Have respect for yourself. Love yourself and realize that whatever you attempt to achieve in life is a direct reflection of you. Be proud.”
– Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 6 p.m. every Monday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.