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Capacity crowds expected at Glendale as Falcons play host to Class 6 District 5


With Glendale serving as host for Class 6 District 5 boys and girls action next week, fans are warned to expect to be seated elbow-to-elbow.

The Falcons’ seating has been upgraded and expanded in recent years, but still has half the capacity of Class 6 gyms the size of Ozark and Nixa.

Most estimates are Glendale’s gym will seat 700.

“The place will be packed,” Ozark coach Mark Schweitzer said. “It will be crazy.”

“You'll have to get there early to get a seat,” Nixa coach Brock Blansit said.

Ozark played at Glendale in January and lost 82-76 in overtime. Seating for that night was a little more than half filled, but the fans on both sides could certainly be heard.

“It was loud and (District crowds) will probably be times two that. I'm excited for it,” Ozark forward Kylan Pickren said.

Nixa last played at Glendale during the 2020-21 season, when the Eagles beat the Falcons 69-30.

Blansit said over his 21 years at Nixa, the Eagles traditionally have scored in bunches and won at Glendale.

“It's a place that we've normally shot well at," he said.

The last time Glendale served as a District host was in 2017, when the semifinal and championships games were moved to Drury to accommodate more fans.

There are no such plans for next week. All games will be played at Glendale.

The Tigers and Eagles would rather play in front of a packed house rather than half-empty bleachers.

“It feels like there are more people (at Glendale) than there actually are. It’s a better environment,” Pickren said.

“It will be fun,” Schweitzer said. “I don't think it's too small. But it might be too small for casual fans who want to watch. It will be rocking and loud and a good atmosphere.”

The boys seeds have Central at No. 1, followed by Kickapoo at No. 2, Nixa at No. 3, Glendale at No. 4, Republic at No. 5, Ozark at No. 6, Joplin at No. 7 and Neosho at No. 8.

On the girls side, Kickapoo is the No. 1 seed, followed by Republic at No. 2, Nixa at No. 3, Glendale at No. 4, Ozark at No. 5, Lebanon at No. 6, Willard at No. 7 and Central at No. 8.