The only thing that may prevent Blue Springs from capturing a fourth consecutive Suburban Big Seven title may be Blue Springs itself.

The only thing that may prevent Blue Springs from capturing a fourth consecutive Suburban Big Seven title may be Blue Springs itself.

The Wildcats, in The Examiner’s poll of the coaches, are a solid choice for a four-peat. Liberty placed second followed by Lee’s Summit, Lee’s Summit North, St. Joseph Central, Blue Springs South and Raymore-Peculiar. Liberty received the other first-place vote because Blue Springs coach Mark Spigarelli could not vote for his own team.

Blue Springs takes a 36-game conference winning streak and three-year record of 73-12 into the new season.

And with letter winners Cee Cee Burris, Tyonna Snow, Jamesia Price, Madison Porter and Marida Lewis returning from a 28-3 team that lost in the state Class 5 finals the winning beat should continue.

“We will have a tremendous amount of talent with our returning players, our freshmen and transfers,” Spigarelli said. “If we can mesh every thing together and maintain good chemistry it should be as very exciting year.”

Six newcomers, freshmen Lizzie Wendell and Trya Bickham, sophomores Karyla Middlebrook and Azia Washington, junior Jenn Wendell and senior Shelby Hartley are others who figure in Spigarelli’s plans.

LIBERTY: New coach Mike Morley takes over one of the conference’s most successful programs.

“We have only one senior and not much size but athletic and quick,” Morley said of this season’s team. “We will rely on defense and speed. We must fine some consistent scoring to have a good year. We have good depth at all sports.”

Nine letter winners return from a 17-10 team.

LEE’S SUMMIT: An eighth consecutive winning season is likely because of letter winners Desiree Smith, Krysten Maddox, Samantha Gilkey, Natalie Branch, Breana Washington, Aly Mosier and Ali Patterson returning from a 14-12  team.

 Rachel Oziomek, a six-foot sophomore newcomer, also is expected to contribute.

“Our team has good team speed and athletic ability,” coach Brian Bubalo said. “We will play an up tempo game with a lot of full court defense and fast break offense. We need to improve our 3-point shooting and our free throw shooting.

“We believe we will be very competitive and should be in contention for the conference and district championships.”

LEE’S SUMMIT NORTH: Prospects are bright the Broncos can rebound from an 11-14 season.

Letter winners are Lauren Dudenhoeffer, Ashley Creason, Codi Fritchie, Gina Lowery, Simone McGautha, McKenzie Kellogg and Meredith Stark. Sophomore newcomer Mollie Williams also figures in coach Tricia Lillygren’s plans.

 “We are returning a lot of experience but will need to fill the point guard and center positions lost to graduation,” Lillygren said. “We will be looking to Dudenhoeffer, who had a a terrific spring/summer and will sign to play for North Dakota Date to fill the center position and to Kellogg to run the point.

“Creason will move to the post position after playing guard for as couple of seasons. We will again have a defensive focus, look to be solid rebounders and have a goal to reduce turnovers.”

ST. JOSEPH CENTRAL: Seven letter winners from a solid 19-8 team will lead the Indians.

“We lost three players to graduation, including two all-league performers,” coach Kevin Kelley said. “Our key to success will be how well we can blend together as a team. We have good size.”

BLUE SPRINGS SOUTH: Coach Fawna Harrison is hopeful the Jaguars can bounce back from a tough 6-20 season.

“We will not have a lot of upper classmen to rely on this year with only one returning senior letter winner in Zakika Smith. “We have some talented young kids who we expect to step up and contribute.

“Probably the biggest help will be Kariel Hutt, who sat out last year with an ACL injury.”

Other letter winners are Kailey Hancock and Jordan McNamara.

RAYMORE-PECULIAR: Former Oak Grove coach Brad Gaines takes over a program that comes off a tough 7-19 season.

Returning letter winners are Allie Beck, Paige Peterson, Symone Davenport, Terrial Collins and Shelby Osborne.

“Being in my first year as the Panthers head coach I am looking to establish an attitude of toughness.” Gaines said.

“Playing in the Suburban Big Seven is a tough task – we were 0-12 last season – and we must begin to believe we can compete with the team teams in the league.

“I love the attitude of the returning players. They want to win and have been very coachable.”