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O zark i l l u s t r at e d January-February 2012

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LETTER Ozark EDITOR

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Editor-In-Chief

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bshive@ozarkpreps.com

Dear Readers,

O zark i l l u s t r at e d

Happy New Year (and Valentine’s Day), Ozark Preps Illustrated readers! If you paid close attention to the cover, then you probably noticed that this is the January-February 2012 issue, rather than the January issue. That is because going forward Ozark Preps Illustrated will be published bi-monthly, effective with this issue. So, instead of a January AND February issue, there is one January-February issue. We will then publish March-April, May-June, September-October, and November-December issues for a total of five issues for 2012.

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P r a i r i e Wa r b l e r Publishing, LLC

P.O. Box 777 Bolivar, MO 65613 417.770.0003

The good news for prospective advertisers (our only source of revenue for this FREE magazine) is that our Advertising Rates have remained the same as they were under the previous monthly format. That means potential savings of 50%, since the ad would now be on newsstands and “out in the public” for a two-month period, as opposed to just one month under the previous format. For example, if an advertiser wanted to run an ad for both March and April (at let’s say $250.00 per month), then said advertiser would have paid a total of $500.00 for running the ad under the previous format ($250 per month x two months). However, since the ad rates have remained the same under the new bi-monthly format, that same ad would cost just $250.00 in the March-April issue. That’s a savings of 50%!

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Publisher/Editor-In-Chief Byron Shive Art Director Ty DeClue Graphic Designer Kale Harbaugh Contributing Writers Jeni Hopkins Ken “Joboo” Pollreisz Dr. J.P. Simanis Contributing Photographers Christine Cuthbertson, Chuck Nickle Photography, Kerry Scott, Dawn Shields Photography

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Our cover story in this issue features one of the most impressive young men I have had the pleasure to meet: Reeds Spring senior wrestler Tyler White. White, who was an undefeated state champion last season at 152 pounds, is headed to West Point next year after committing to wrestle for the Black Knights. However, he still has his senior season to finish, and with an unbeaten record and top-ranking in the state this season at 160 pounds, White will be the favorite to capture a second-straight state title. The popular REWIND section also returns, and in this issue it features the Springfield Catholic Lady Irish basketball teams from 1989-94, which advanced to five Final Fours and captured three Class 2A state championships in 1990, 1992 and 1993. You will also find the usual columns and departments in this issue, including Time Out, Milestones and On The DL, which features another sports medicine column by Dr. J.P. Simanis. Of course, Joboo’s ever popular and entertaining End Zone column can be found in its customary spot inside the back cover. Hillcrest girls basketball coach Jeni Hopkins provides this month’s Chalk Talk column.

Distribution Sterling Roberts Brock Toler

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Be sure to check out OPI’s Facebook page, which includes the recent addition of 10 photo albums, which include over 750 full-color action photos. You will find a wrap-up of the fall sports, as well as albums for wrestling, and boys and girls basketball. There is also extensive coverage of the annual Blue & Gold Tournament, from first round action all the way through both the Blue and Gold championship games. Follow OPI on Twitter (@OzarkPreps) for the latest in scores and prep sports news from around the region.

a z O t illus k r a z O at e d r t s illu a z O t illus Printer

Shweiki Media 4954 Space Center Dr. San Antonio, TX 78218

On the Cover Reeds Spring’s Tyler White captures a state title at 152 pounds at the 2011 MSHSAA State Wrestling Championships. (Photo courtesy of Cherry White)

As always, thank you for reading Ozark Preps Illustrated! Sincerely,

Ozark Preps Illustrated (OPI) is published monthly by Prairie Warbler Publishing LLC. Reproductions in whole or in part without permission are prohibited. OPI is not responsible for the return of unsolicited artwork, photography, or manuscripts, and will not be responsible for holding fees or similar charges. All digital submissions and correspondence will be become property of OPI.

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CHECK US OUT ONLINE Follow OPI on Twitter @OzarkPreps “Like” OPI on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ozarkpreps www.ozarkpreps.com 2 OPI

Editorial Disclaimer All rights reserved. For editorial matters, please contact the editors. The views of contributing writers do not necessarily reflect the policies of OPI, nor that of the publisher.

Advertising Disclaimer All rights reserved. The views and opinions of OPI advertisers do not reflect those of OPI.

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OPI has a clear commitment to inviting and publishing corrections of fact and clarifying errors of context. Corrections of errors and mistakes are a necessity in obtaining credibility in the magazine.


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k r a z O at e d r t s STARTING llu k iLINEUP r a k z r O ted a r zsa d t e s illu t r at k r O a z d e O t 20 Big a Bad Wolf r ill t k illus r a z ed O t a r t k illus r a k z r O at e d r zsa d t e s t u ill tra k r O a 24 Go z d Hard or Go Home e O t a il tr k illus r a z O at e d r t s k illu r a k z r O ted a a r z d t e s at illu ustr k DEPARTMENTS r a z O at e d r t s k illu r a z O at e d r t 4 Milestones s k illu r a k z r O a at e d r d t e s 10 Olz t Chalk Talk u a ill ustr k r a z ed O t a r t k illus r a z O at e d r t s u k ill r 11r a Time Out k z O a at e r z t d s e O r at illu l l u s t 12 On The DL ark z O at e d r t s u k ill r a z O at e d r t s illu r a k z r O a 13 Photo at Finish r z d t e s O t u a r ill llust k 28 End Zone zare d O r at t s u l k il r a kd z ed O t a r t illus r a k z r O a z t r at d s e O t u a l l r i t k illus r a z ed O t a r t llus k Reeds Spring’s Tyler White and Republic’s Kerik Crouse (Staff Photo)

Reeds Spring senior wrestler Tyler White, who will attend West Point on a wrestling scholarship in the fall, is seeking a second-straight state championship this month after capping an unbeaten 39-0 season last year with a Class 2 state title.

REWIND

The Springfield Catholic Lady Irish enjoyed a sustained run of success in the early 1990’s which included five trips to the Class 2A Final Four in six years. Catholic captured three state championships during the run in 1990, 1992, and 1993.

Hillcrest girls basketball coach Jeni Hopkins writes about how each player is motivated differently, the importance of motivation, and the different techniques her program uses to motivate its student-athletes.

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Dr. J.P. Simanis writes about how a pedometer can help you with your fitness goals, suggestions on how to increase the number of steps you take per day, and the benefits of walking as part of a balanced fitness regimen.

Fair Grove’s Jayden Happel (#14) and C r a n e ’s B a il y Moore (#13) (Staff Photo)

Republic’s Brooke Dutton (#21) and Mt. Vernon’s Sally Cowherd (#2) (Staff Photo)

Nixa’s Kameron Bundy (L) and Logan-Rogersville’s Dylan Cole (R) (Staff Photo)

Joboo writes about his love of pure basketball, the magic and allure of it all, and how the next memorable moment can happen in any gym on any given night across the Ozarks.

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MILESTONES

BOYS SOCCER Joel Adams, Republic—Class 2 2nd-Team AllDistrict 9 (D) Turner Adams, Kickapoo—HM All-Ozark Conference (D) Jacob Agee, Ozark—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) Timothy Armstrong, Bolivar—MSHSSCA Class 2 HM ALL-STATE (F); 1st-Team All-District 9 (F) Evin Barber, Parkview—HM All-Ozark Conference (GK) Elisha Bean, Republic—Class 2 1st-Team AllDistrict 9 (MF) Kyle Bolton, Bolivar—Class 2 2nd-Team AllDistrict 9 (D) Caleb Boston, Hillcrest—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (GK); Class 2 2nd-Team All-District 9 BOLIVAR—Class 2 Sectional Champion; District 9 Champion Tucker Brown, Logan-Rogersville—Class 2 1stTeam All-District 9 (F); 2nd-Team All-COC (Small) Matt Call, Glendale—HM All-Ozark Conference (D) Corey Cann, Nixa—1st-Team All-COC (Large) CASSVILLE—Class 2 District 10 Champion Josh Condren, Bolivar—Class 2 2nd-Team AllDistrict 9 (F) Josh Crabtree, Hillcrest—Class 2 2nd-Team AllDistrict 9 (F) Evan Craig, Springfield Catholic—MSHSSCA Class 1 1st-Team ALL-STATE (MF); 1st-Team All-COC (Small) Charlie Deeds, Logan-Rogersville—Class 2 1stTeam All-District 9 (D); 2nd-Team All-COC (Small) John Delatorre, Willard—HM All-COC (Large) Hugo Donjuan, Republic—Class 2 1st-Team AllDistrict 9 (D); 2nd-Team All-COC (Large) Miguel Donjuan, Hillcrest—Class 2 2nd-Team All-District 9 (F) Hunter Durham, Kickapoo—Ozark Conference Co-Offensive Most Valuable Player; 1st-Team AllOzark Conference (F) Evan Garrad, Glendale—HM All-Ozark Conference (MF) Avery Genovese, Bolivar—Class 2 1st-Team AllDistrict 9 (D) Reid Harbach, Springfield Catholic—MSHSSCA Class 1 Player of the Year; 1st-Team ALL-STATE (MF); 1st-Team All-COC (Small) Reilly Harbach, Springfield Catholic—1st-Team All-COC (Small) Christian Harden, Marshfield—Class 2 2nd-Team All-District 9 (D); 2nd-Team All-COC (Small) Nicholas Harden, Marshfield—Class 2 2nd-Team All-District 9 (D) Austin Hart, Glendale—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (MF) Mitchell Heinzler, Republic—HM All-COC (Large) Patrick Hubbard, Branson—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) Brayden Hutfless, Kickapoo—HM All-Ozark Conference (GK)

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Burke James, Springfield Catholic—MSHSSCA Class 1 HM ALL-STATE (D); 1st-Team All-COC (Small) Koty Jones, Marshfield—Class 2 1st-Team AllDistrict 9 (MF); 1st-Team All-COC (Small) Matt Jones, Willard—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) T.J. Joy, Parkview—HM All-Ozark Conference (D) Sam Knetzer, Glendale—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (D) Josh McCutcheon, Kickapoo—HM All-Ozark Conference (MF) Ryan McDermott, Hillcrest—HM All-Ozark Conference (D); Class 2 2nd-Team All-District 9 Nick McDowell, Branson—HM All-COC (Large) Jameson McFadden, Nixa—HM All-COC (Large) Jordan McFarlen, Bolivar—Class 2 1st-Team AllDistrict 9 (MF) Curt McHenry, Logan-Rogersville—MSHSSCA Class 2 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (F); 1st-Team AllDistrict 9; 1st-Team All-COC (Small) Carlos Mena, Branson—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) Mitchell Moncada, Springfield Catholic—MSHSSCA Class 1 Co-Offensive Player of the Year; 1stTeam ALL-STATE (F); 1st-Team All-COC (Small) Luke Moore, Nixa—MSHSSCA Class 3 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (D); 1st-Team All-COC (Large) Dallas Moses, Springfield Catholic—MSHSSCA Class 1 1st-Team ALL-STATE (MF); 1st-Team AllCOC (Small) Robert Neathery, Nixa—1st-Team All-COC (Large) Jake Nedoma, Kickapoo—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (MF) Jacob Neidig, Ozark—1st-Team All-COC (Large) NIXA—Class 3 Sectional Champion; District 11 Champion; COC (Large) Champion Josh Nixon, Logan-Rogersville—Class 2 2nd-Team All-District 9 (D) Manny Ofori-Yeboah, Bolivar—Class 2 1st-Team All-District 9 (D); 2nd-Team All-COC (Small) Jimmy Oslica, Ozark—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) Robbie Oslica, Ozark—1st-Team All-COC (Large) Brian Otradovec, Parkview—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (F) Nathan Pool, Republic—Class 2 2nd-Team AllDistrict 9 (D) Taylor Presson, Marshfield—Class 2 2nd-Team All-District 9 (MF) Levi Pueppke, Parkview—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (D) Jaxn Rogers, Willard—1st-Team All-COC (Large) Dane Roggeri, Kickapoo—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (D) Andrew Schenck, Nixa—HM All-COC (Large) Devan Selsor, Kickapoo—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (MF) Eric Simon, Logan-Rogersville—Class 2 2nd-Team All-District 9 (MF) Spencer Smith, Willard—HM All-COC (Large) SPRINGFIELD CATHOLIC—CLASS 1 STATE CHAMPIONS; Sectional Champion; District 10 Champion; COC (Small) Champion Scott Sterling, Nixa—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) Ty Stevens, Logan-Rogersville—Class 2 2nd-Team All-District 9 (MF) Conner Stillwagon, Bolivar—Class 2 1st-Team All-District 9 (GK) Austin Strait, Hillcrest—HM All-Ozark Confer-

ence (D) James Straus, Springfield Catholic—MSHSSCA Class 1 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (GK); 1st-Team AllCOC (Small) Luke Straus, Springfield Catholic—MSHSSCA Class 1 1st-Team ALL-STATE (MF); 1st-Team AllCOC (Small) Aaron Strunk, Kickapoo—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (F) Cody Tapken, Logan-Rogersville—Class 2 1stTeam All-District 9 (D) Louis Taylor, Parkview—HM All-Ozark Conference (MF) Drake Trease, Nixa—MSHSSCA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (MF); 1st-Team All-COC (Large) Mitchell Waters, Bolivar—MSHSSCA Class 2 1st-Team ALL-STATE (MF); 1st-Team All-District 9; 1st-Team All-COC (Small) Elliot Williams, Kickapoo—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (MF) Jared Wilkinson, Hillcrest—Class 2 1st-Team All-District 9 (F); 2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (MF) Alex Wolfram, Glendale—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (GK) Mason Young, Nixa—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) FOOTBALL Eric Adams, Kickapoo—HM All-Ozark Conference (OL) Seth Adams, Strafford—2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (OG); HM All-Conference (ILB) Aaron Allen, Bolivar—1st-Team All-COC (Small) (OLB) Colten Allen, Fair Grove—2nd-Team All-MidLakes Conference (DE); HM All- Conference (RB) Kyle Allison, Kickapoo—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (LB) Aaron Allphin, Reeds Spring—MFCA Class 3 Academic ALL-STATE; 2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (WR) Logan Allred, Ash Grove—2nd-Team All-MidLakes Conference (RB/KR); HM All-Conference (ILB) Stuart Andress, Hillcrest—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (RB) Cristian Antal, Hillcrest—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (DL) Devin Archer, Bolivar—2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (OLB) Jeremy Armstrong, Glendale—2nd-Team AllOzark Conference (RB); HM All-Conference (P) Caleb Asbill, Reeds Spring—MFCA Class 3 Academic ALL-STATE Cory Baker, Strafford—1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (OT/DT) Garrett Barnes, Cassville—MFCA Class 3 1stTeam ALL-STATE (K); MSSA Class 3 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (K) Everett Basham, Aurora—MSSA Class 3 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (LB); MFCA Class 3 3rd-Team ALLSTATE (LB) Logan Bauer, Glendale—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (OL) Brandon Beavers, Parkview—HM All-Ozark Conference (DB) John Beckham, Hillcrest—Ozark Conference Coach of the Year; SMFCA Class 4 Co-Coach of


the Year Rudy Beltran, Parkview—HM All-Ozark Conference (DB) Brandon Benn, Marionville—1st-Team All-MidLakes Conference (RB/KR) Zach Bennett, Skyline—2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (NG); HM All-Conference (RB) Austin Berry, Logan-Rogersville—MFCA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (OL); MSSA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (OL); 1st-Team All-COC (Small) (C) Nolan Bettlach, Glendale—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (DB) Blake Bishop, Strafford—2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (NG) Brendan Black, Greenfield—MFCA Class 1 Academic ALL-STATE Garrett Blain, Kickapoo—HM All-Ozark Conference (DL) Tommy Blair, Hillcrest—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (DB) Kurran Blamey, Monett—MFCA Class 3 3rd-Team ALL-STATE (WR) BOLIVAR—Central Ozarks Conference (Small) Champion Dakota Brake, Glendale—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (DL) Kyle Brattin, Cassville—MFCA Class 3 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (RB) Jake Brents, Kickapoo—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (DB) Michael Brooks, Strafford—HM All-Mid Lakes Conference (DT) Colton Brown, Branson—MFCA Class 5 Academic ALL-STATE Josh Brown, Skyline—HM All-Mid-Lakes Conference (WR) Richard Brown, Ash Grove—MFCA Class 2 Academic ALL-STATE Logan Bryan, Skyline—1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (RB) Kyle Burger, Fair Grove—MFCA Class 2 3rd-Team ALL-STATE (RB); Mid-Lakes Conference Offensive Player of the Year; 1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (RB); 2nd-Team All- Conference (DB); HM All-Conference (P) Austin Burke, Branson—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) (DB) Shane Burkhart, Nixa—MFCA Class 5 1st-Team ALL-STATE (DE); MFCA Class 5 Academic ALLSTATE; 1st-Team All-COC (Large) (DE) Gus Carter, Republic—MFCA Class 4 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (OL); MSSA Class 4 2nd-Team ALLSTATE (OL); 2nd-Team All-COC (Large) (OL) Nic Cashio, Ash Grove—HM All-Mid-Lakes Conference (TE/DE) Alex Castillo, Strafford—1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (K) CASSVILLE—Class 3 Sectional Champion; District 11 Champion; Big 8 Conference Champion Zac Cherry, Kickapoo—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (WR) Tim Clark, Glendale—HM All-Ozark Conference (LB) Aaron Cleeton, Fair Grove—2nd-Team All-MidLakes Conference (TE); HM All-Conference (DE) Colten Coffey, Skyline—2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (ILB) Dylan Cole, Logan-Rogersville—MFCA Class 3 Offensive Player of the Year; 1st-Team ALL-STATE (RB); MSSA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (RB); COC (Small) Co-Offensive Player of the Year; 1st-Team All-COC (Small) (DB/RB); SMFCA Class 3 Offensive Player of the Year Brady Collier, Strafford—2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (WR); HM All-Conference (DB) A.J. Cook, Fair Grove—HM All-Mid Lakes Confer-

ence (OT) Camry Cowan, Republic—MFCA Class 4 Academic ALL-STATE Austin Craven, Hillcrest—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (DB) Tyler Curts, Skyline—MFCA Class 1 1st-Team ALLSTATE (LB); MSSA Class 1 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (LB); SMFCA Class 1 Defensive Player of the Year; 1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (TE/ILB) Greg Dalton, Logan-Rogersville—MFCA Class 3 Academic ALL-STATE Malachi Daniels, Branson—MFCA Class 5 2ndTeam ALL-STATE (RB); MSSA Class 5 1st-Team ALL-STATE (RB); 1st-Team All-COC (Large) (RB) Cody Davis, Pleasant Hope—2nd-Team All-MidLakes Conference (WR) Trevor Dean, Osceola—MFCA Class 1 Academic ALL-STATE Dean Deetz, Nixa—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) (RB) Jacob de Ronde, Nixa—MFCA Class 5 Academic ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-COC (Large) (OL) Dylon Demster, Miller—MSSA Class 1 1st-Team ALL-STATE (OL); MFCA Class 1 2nd-Team ALLSTATE (OL) Gabe Dickinson, Branson—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) (DE) Carlo Duaban, Springfield Catholic—MFCA Class 3 3rd-Team ALL-STATE (OL); MFCA Class 3 Academic ALL-STATE; 2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (C) Caleb Edwards, Osceola—MFCA Class 1 3rd-Team ALL-STATE (OL) Jon Ehrmann, Stockton—HM All-Mid Lakes Conference (NG) EL DORADO SPRINGS—Class 2 District 8 Champion Derrick Estell, Miller—MFCA Class 1 Academic ALL-STATE Josh Evans, Pleasant Hope—HM All-Mid Lakes Conference (QB) FAIR GROVE—Class 2 District 6 Champion; MidLakes Conference Champion Matt Fender, Fair Grove—1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (DB); 2nd-Team All- Conference (RB) Utah Findley, Marshfield—1st-Team All-COC (Small) (WR) Brady Fitch, Willard—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) (OL) Mike Flowers, Kickapoo—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (TE/P) Brandon Foley, Strafford—HM All-Mid-Lakes Conference (WR) Kolby Follis, Bolivar—2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (RB) Jared Freddie, Skyline—MSSA Class 1 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (R/E); MFCA Class 1 3rd-Team ALLSTATE (WR); 1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (WR) Dalton Freeze, Stockton—MSSA Class 2 2ndTeam ALL-STATE (R/E); 1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (WR); 2nd-Team All-Conference (DB) John Fuchs, Kickapoo—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (RB) Matt Futrell, Hillcrest—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (QB) Jesse Galloway, Aurora—MFCA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (DL) Nick Gann, Hillcrest—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (LB) Tommy Geisendorfer, Marionville—2nd-Team AllMid-Lakes Conference (OG) Tim Gerwel, Springfield Catholic—MFCA Class 3 Academic ALL-STATE; 2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (DE) Jacob Gettle, Pleasant Hope—HM All-Mid Lakes Conference (DB)

Tommy Giesendorfer, Marionville—MFCA Class 1 Academic ALL-STATE Sam Gipson, Glendale—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (LB) GLENDALE—Class 5 District 7 Champion Grant Godfrey, Ozark—MSSA Class 5 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (DB); MFCA Class 5 Academic ALLSTATE J. R. Gonzalez, Fair Grove—HM All-Mid Lakes Conference (OG) Nick Gori, Springfield Catholic—MSSA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (K); MFCA Class 3 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (K); 3rd-Team ALL-STATE (LB); MFCA Class 3 Academic ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-COC (Small) (ILB/K); 2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (RB) Augie Gracia, Marionville—2nd-Team All-MidLakes Conference (DT); HM All-Conference (C) James Grass, Strafford—2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (DE) Taylor Grass, Strafford—1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (RB) Willie Gray, Ozark—MFCA Class 5 Academic ALL-STATE Dorial Green-Beckham, Hillcrest—MFCA Class 4 Offensive Player of the Year; 1st-Team ALL-STATE (WR); MSSA Class 4 1st-Team ALL-STATE (R/E); Ozark Conference Offensive Player of the Year; 1st-Team All-Conference (WR); SMFCA Class 4 Offensive Player of the Year GREENFIELD—Class 1 District 4 Champion Lance Gregory, Republic—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) (OL) Ryan Grismer, Nixa—MFCA Class 5 Academic ALL-STATE Evan Gruener, Logan-Rogersville—MFCA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (QB); 2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (QB) Dalton Gulick, Miller—MFCA Class 1 Academic ALL-STATE Austin Hadley, Marionville—1st-Team All-MidLakes Conference (DE) Caleb Haeffner, Kickapoo—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (LB) Chandler Hall, Branson—MFCA Class 5 Academic ALL-STATE Wes Hannaford, Fair Grove—HM All-Mid-Lakes Conference (WR) Hart Hansen, Logan-Rogersville—MFCA Class 3 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (DL); 1st-Team All-COC (Small) (DT) Derrick Harris, Buffalo—2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (OT) Shelby Harris, Nixa—MFCA Class 5 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (K); MFCA Class 5 Academic ALLSTATE; 1st-Team All-COC (Large) (PK) Joel Heman, Glendale—SMFCA Class 5 Coach of the Year Austin Henley, Branson—MFCA Class 5 Academic ALL-STATE; 2nd-Team All-COC (Large) (OL) Zach Herman, Logan-Rogersville—2nd-Team AllCOC (Small) (DB) Jonah Hill, Hillcrest—MFCA Class 4 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (TE); 1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (TE) Nate Hill, Marionville—MSSA Class 1 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (P); MFCA Class 1 3rd-Team ALLSTATE (P); 1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (P); HM All-Conference (DE) HILLCREST—Class 4 State Quarterfinalist; Sectional Champion; District 10 Champion; Ozark Conference Champion Brennan Holt, Skyline—1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (QB) Jared Hood, Glendale—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (WR) C.J. Hubbard, Hillcrest— HM All-Ozark ConferOPI 5


ence (DL) Mykalen Huntoon, Parkview—2nd-Team AllOzark Conference (OL) Austin Hurrelbrink, Strafford—2nd-Team All-MidLakes Conference (C) Austin Hurst, Ash Grove—HM All-Mid Lakes Conference (RB) Jonathan Inman, Branson—MFCA Class 5 Academic ALL-STATE Cody Jacobs, Glendale—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (WR) Cole Jenkins, Parkview—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (RB) Gunner Johanson, Ash Grove—MFCA Class 2 Academic ALL-STATE Cameron Johnson, Glendale—MSSA Class 5 2ndTeam ALL-STATE (R/E); MFCA Class 5 3rd-Team ALL-STATE (TE); 1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (WR) Craig Johnson, Stockton—HM All-Mid Lakes Conference (QB) Jamar Johnson, Willard—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) (DE) Juwan Johnson, Hillcrest—HM All-Ozark Conference (KR) Reese Johnson, Strafford—1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (ILB) Matt Jones, Marionville—HM All-Mid-Lakes Conference (TE) Antonio Juarez, Hillcrest—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (DB) Jake Justis, Ash Grove—MFCA Class 2 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (OL); MSSA Class 2 2nd-Team ALLSTATE (OL); 1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (OT); HM All-Conference (NG) Kirk Kaczmarek, Springfield Catholic—MFCA Class 3 Academic ALL-STATE Adam Kingston, Skyline—2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (C) Donovan Kramer, Buffalo—2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (OLB) Zach Landis, Ash Grove—HM All-Mid Lakes Conference (ILB) Josh Lannum, Cassville—MFCA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (OL) Jake Larwell, Republic—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) (LB) Alex Lawson, Kickapoo—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (QB) Bruce Leali, Glendale—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (LB) Cody Lindsey, Ozark—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) (RB) LOGAN-ROGERSVILLE—Class 3 STATE CHAMPION; Sectional Champion; District 9 Champion Dalton Long, Fair Grove—1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (ILB) Josh Long, Logan-Rogersville—MFCA Class 3 1stTeam ALL-STATE (OL); 1st-Team All-COC (Small) (OG) Levi Looney, Skyline—1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (OG); HM All-Conference (DT) Jacob Lundquist, Miller—MFCA Class 1 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (DE) Sam Maples, Marionville—MFCA Class 1 Academic ALL-STATE; HM All-Mid Lakes Conference (OT) Donovan Mathis, Hillcrest—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (LB) Anthony Maxwell, Parkview—2nd-Team AllOzark Conference (LB) Dustin Mayfield, Fair Grove—MFCA Class 2 3rdTeam ALL-STATE (LB); 2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (ILB) Andrew Mazurkiewicz, Hillcrest—2nd-Team All-

6 OPI

Ozark Conference (OL) Chad McBride, Springfield Catholic—MFCA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (P); MSSA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (P); 1st-Team All-COC (Small) (P) Michael McClimans, Osceola—MFCA Class 1 Academic ALL-STATE Travis McMillion, Logan-Rogersville—MFCA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (DB); 2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (DB) Troy McPherson, Ozark—MFCA Class 5 Academic ALL-STATE Connor Menown, Glendale—HM All-Ozark Conference (OL) Justin Messenger, Logan-Rogersville—2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (OG) Andrew Michalak, Parkview—MSSA Class 5 2ndTeam ALL-STATE (DB); MFCA Class 5 3rd-Team ALL-STATE (DB); 1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (DB) Taylor Middlebrooks, Parkview—MSSA Class 5 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (K); 2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (K) MILLER—Class 1 District 3 Champion; Spring River Valley Conference Champion Anthony Miller, Fair Grove—MFCA Class 2 1stTeam ALL-STATE (DL); MSSA Class 2 1st-Team ALL-STATE (DL); Mid-Lakes Conference Defensive Player of the Year; 1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes (OG/DT) Clayton Miller, Bolivar—MFCA Class 4 1st-Team ALL-STATE (DL); 1st-Team All-COC (Small) (DT/ OT) Devin Miller, Parkview—HM All-Ozark Conference (DL) Jacob Miller, Marionville—1st-Team All-MidLakes Conference (NG) Sheldon Moeller, Hillcrest—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (DB) Taylor Moore, Hillcrest—HM All-Ozark Conference (OL) Karter Moran, Ash Grove—HM All-Mid-Lakes Conference (WR) Sean Mulkey, Ash Grove—HM All-Mid Lakes Conference (K) Josh Murray, Bolivar—1st-Team All-COC (Small) (DB) Nick Nedoma, Kickapoo—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (RB) Ricky Nichols, Cassville—MFCA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (ATH); MSSA Class 3 2nd-Team ALLSTATE (AP) NIXA—Class 5 Sectional Champion; District 8 Champion Baxter Noel, Marshfield—1st-Team All-COC (Small) (OT) Matt Oliver, Logan-Rogersville—MFCA Class 3 Academic ALL-STATE Jason O’Neal, Fair Grove—Mid-Lakes Conference Coach of the Year Aaron Orchard, Logan-Rogersville—MFCA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (DE); MSSA Class 3 1stTeam ALL-STATE (DL); 1st-Team All-COC (Small) (DE); 2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (WR) OSCEOLA—Class 1 District 7 Champion Hunter Pack, Kickapoo—MSSA Class 5 1st-Team ALL-STATE (DB); 1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (DB) Sawyer Padgett, Fair Grove—1st-Team All-MidLakes Conference (C); HM All-Conference (DT) Stewart Parnell, Miller—MSSA Class 1 1st-Team ALL-STATE (DB); MFCA Class 1 2nd-Team ALLSTATE (DB) Kramer Patterson, Ozark—MFCA Class 5 Academic ALL-STATE; 2nd-Team All-COC (Large) (TE) J.D. Payne, Nixa—1st-Team All-COC (Large) (DT)

Rafe Peavey, Bolivar—1st-Team All-COC (Small) (QB) Nick Perryman, Springfield Catholic—2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (OG) Justin Pflug, Cassville—MFCA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (DE); MSSA Class 3 1st-Team ALLSTATE (DL); MFCA Class 3 Academic ALL-STATE Kyle Phipps, Ozark—MFCA Class 5 Academic ALL-STATE Skyler Plemones, Logan-Rogersville—2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (TE) Caleb Pope, Buffalo—2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (DB) Zach Porter, Ozark—MFCA Class 5 Academic ALL-STATE Rhett Proctor, Ash Grove—HM All-Mid Lakes Conference (QB) Korey Pryer, Mt. Vernon—MFCA Class 3 Academic ALL-STATE Hayden Puckett, Republic—MFCA Class 4 Academic ALL-STATE David Randall, Glendale—HM All-Ozark Conference (DL) Dillon Rapp, Marionville— MFCA Class 1 Academic ALL-STATE; 2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (RB) Wyatt Rapp, Marionville—MFCA Class 1 Academic ALL-STATE Sam Rehagen, Nixa—MFCA Class 5 1st-Team ALL-STATE (DB); MSSA Class 5 1st-Team ALLSTATE (DB); 2nd-Team All-COC (Large) (QB) Matt Reynolds, Willard—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) (DB) Anthony Richison, Skyline—2nd-Team All-MidLakes Conference (OT) Justin Roberts, Kickapoo—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (OL) Quiandre Robinson, Hillcrest—HM All-Ozark Conference (DL) Dominick Rodriguez, Hillcrest—2nd-Team AllOzark Conference (OL) Jarrett Rogers, Ozark—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) (DT) Will Rogers, Glendale—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (QB) Trey Rose, Cassville—MFCA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (DB); MSSA Class 3 2nd-Team ALLSTATE (DB) Landon Ruff, Parkview—MFCA Class 5 Academic ALL-STATE Isaac Samek, Bolivar—MFCA Class 4 1st-Team ALL-STATE (LB); MSSA Class 4 1st-Team ALLSTATE (LB); COC (Small) Co-Defensive Player of the Year; 1st-Team All-COC (Small) (ILB) Trevor Sayre, Strafford—HM All-Mid Lakes Conference (DB) Ethan Schlesener, Logan-Rogersville—1st-Team All-COC (Small) (OLB) Robert Schroff, Kickapoo—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (OL) Chandler Scott, Kickapoo—HM All-Ozark Conference (DL) Riley Shantz, Glendale—MFCA Class 5 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (OL); MSSA Class 5 2nd-Team ALLSTATE (OL); 1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (OL) Steven Shay, Osceola—MFCA Class 1 3rd-Team ALL-STATE (DL) Brandon Shelby, Skyline—SMFCA Class 1 Coach of the Year Jobe Shirk, Pleasant Hope—HM All-Mid Lakes Conference (DE) Jacob Shoemaker, Strafford—1st-Team All-MidLakes Conference (DE); 2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (P) Kevin Shrauger, Nixa—MFCA Class 5 2nd-Team


ALL-STATE (LB); MSSA Class 5 2nd-Team ALLSTATE (LB); 1st-Team All-COC (Large) (LB); SMFCA Class 5 Co-Defensive Player of the Year Collin Sigrest, Pleasant Hope—2nd-Team All-MidLakes Conference (RB) Logan Silvey, Kickapoo—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (DB) Chase Simmerman, Ash Grove—MFCA Class 2 Academic ALL-STATE; HM All-Mid Lakes Conference (OG/DT) Logan Sisco, Kickapoo—HM All-Ozark Conference (WR) Levi Skinner, Hillcrest—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (WR) SKYLINE—Class 1 Sectional Champion Doug Smith, Logan-Rogersville—MFCA Class 3 Coach of the Year; MSSA Class 3 Coach of the Year; SMFCA Class 3 Coach of the Year Scott Smith, Hillcrest—MFCA Class 4 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (LB); MSSA Class 4 2nd-Team ALLSTATE (LB); Ozark Conference Defensive Player of the Year; 1st-Team All-Conference (LB) Matt Snodgrass, Springfield Catholic—2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (DT) Luke Snyder, Ash Grove—2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (DB); HM All-Conference (RB) Kyle Spain, Glendale—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (DB) SPRINGFIELD CATHOLIC—Class 3 District 10 Champion Jacob Stewart, Osceola—MFCA Class 1 3rd-Team ALL-STATE (DB) Stanton Stringer, Cassville—MFCA Class 3 2ndTeam ALL-STATE (LB) Dalton Taylor, Strafford—2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (DB); HM All-Conference (WR/KR) John Taylor, Hillcrest—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (LB) Michael Thomas, Fair Grove—2nd-Team All-MidLakes Conference (QB); HM All-Conference (DB) Ryan Thornhill, Kickapoo—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (DB) Travis Timmerman, Skyline—1st-Team All-MidLakes Conference (DB) Tyler Triggs, Kickapoo—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (DL) Dalyn Trippe, Skyline—2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (WR/DB) Juan Trujillo, Pleasant Hope—2nd-Team All-MidLakes Conference (K) Levi Tucker, Ozark—MFCA Class 5 Academic ALL-STATE Trevor Vaughn, Glendale—MFCA Class 5 1stTeam ALL-STATE (KR); 2nd-Team ALL-STATE (RB); MSSA Class 5 1st-Team ALL-STATE (RB); 1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (RB/KR); SMFCA Class 5 Offensive Player of the Year Adam Vigil, Hillcrest—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (OL) Jacob Wade, Strafford—HM All-Mid Lakes Conference (QB) Calvin Wakefield, Hollister—2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (C) Darnell Walker, Bolivar—MFCA Class 4 1st-Team ALL-STATE (DB/KR); MSSA Class 4 1st-Team ALLSTATE (DB); COC (Small) Co-Defensive Player of the Year; 1st-Team All-COC (Small) (DB/WR); SMFCA Class 4 Co-Defensive Player of the Year Sean Wallace, Marshfield—2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (DB) Ryan Westmoreland, Bolivar—MFCA Class 4 2ndTeam ALL-STATE (OL); 1st-Team All-COC (Small) (OG); 2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (DT) Davante Wheeler, Fair Grove—HM All-Mid Lakes Conference (NG) Ryan White, Marionville—HM All-Mid Lakes

Conference (DB) Jordan Whitworth, Parkview—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (TE) Omar Wijahat, Glendale—1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (DL) Zack Wilkerson, Skyline—2nd-Team All-MidLakes Conference (DT) Shane Williams, Mt. Vernon—MFCA Class 3 3rdTeam ALL-STATE (DB) Austin Willis, Fair Grove—MFCA Class 2 3rdTeam ALL-STATE (OL); MFCA Class 2 Academic ALL-STATE; 2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (OT) Dylan Wimmer, Pleasant Hope—2nd-Team AllMid-Lakes Conference (ILB) Sean Winder, Fair Grove—MSSA Class 2 2ndTeam ALL-STATE (DB); 1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (WR/DB) Kelly Winfiel, Bolivar—2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (OT) Peter Wittl, Hollister—2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (ILB) Brad Wolf, Bolivar—2nd-Team All-COC (Small) (DE) Jack Wolfe, Springfield Catholic—MFCA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (TE); 1st-Team All-COC (Small) (TE) Josh Woodiel, Parkview—MFCA Class 5 Academic ALL-STATE Ben Woods, Bolivar—1st-Team All-COC (Small) (DE) Michael York, Ozark—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) (LB) Corbin Young, Nixa—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) (OL) Jon Zanaboni, Marionville— MFCA Class 1 Academic ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes Conference (DB); HM All-Conference (WR) Joe Zimmer, Logan-Rogersville—MFCA Class 3 Defensive Player of the Year; 1st-Team ALL-STATE (LB); MSSA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE (LB); MFCA Class 3 Academic ALL-STATE; COC (Small) Co-Offensive Player of the Year; 1st-Team AllCOC (Small) (ILB/RB); SMFCA Class 3 Defensive Player of the Year SOFTBALL Payton Appleberry, Republic—COC (Large) CoPlayer of the Year; 1st-Team All-COC (Large) Anna Bledsoe, Ozark—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) Sam Dexter, Ozark—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) Brooke Dutton, Republic—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) Stephanie Eckhoff, Republic—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) Hannah Johnson, Branson—1st-Team All-COC (Large) Emily King, Nixa—1st-Team All-COC (Large) Alex Leonhart, Nixa—2nd-Team All-COC (Large) Emily Lutton, Ozark—HM All-COC (Large) Christine Nevins, Branson—HM All-COC (Large) Krystine Sechler, Willard—HM All-COC (Large) Danielle Shelton, Republic—HM All-COC (Large) Amanda Smith, Willard—1st-Team All-COC (Large) Hailee Vigneaux, Ozark—1st-Team All-COC (Large) VOLLEYBALL Zoe Allen, Kickapoo—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (S) Taylor Alumbaugh, El Dorado Springs—Class 2 HM All-Southwest Region Erica Atkinson, Willard—Class 4 HM All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-District 12; 1st-Team All-COC Large

Glendale’s Trevor Vaughn (Staff Photo)

Shelby Ballard, Hollister—Class 2 2nd-Team AllDistrict 10 Bailey Baumann, Clever—MHSVCA Class 2 2nd-Team ALL-STATE; HM All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-District 10; 1st-Team All-SWCL Maddie Baumann, Clever—MHSVCA Class 2 1stTeam ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-District 10; 1st-Team All-SWCL Maris Below, Kickapoo—MHSVCA Class 4 HM ALL-STATE; 2nd-Team All-Southwest Region; 1stTeam All-Ozark Conference (OH) Taylor Bills, Forsyth—HM All-SWCL Courtney Bishop, Spokane—2nd-Team All-SWCL Sabra Boes, Reeds Spring—MHSVCA Class 3 2ndTeam ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-COC Small Lauren Boone, Branson—1st-Team All-COC Large Alexis Botkin, Republic—Class 4 2nd-Team AllDistrict 12 MaKayla Bowers, Buffalo—2nd-Team All-COC Small Ashli Burton, Stockton—Class 2 1st-Team AllDistrict 12; 1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes (S) Garrett Burton, Stockton—HM All-Mid-Lakes (MH) Kayleigh Chapman, Spokane—HM All-SWCL CLEVER—3rd-place, Class 2 Kaleigh Cole, Nixa—Class 4 HM All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-District 12; 2nd-Team AllCOC Large Presley Cozort, Forsyth—Class 2 2nd-Team AllDistrict 10; HM All-SWCL Micah Cribbs, Bolivar—MHSVCA Class 3 1stTeam ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-COC Small Karina Critten, Ash Grove— Class 2 HM AllSouthwest Region; 2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes (MH) Danielle Curnes, Reeds Spring—2nd-Team AllCOC Small Emilyn Dearman, Stockton—Class 2 1st-Team AllDistrict 12; HM All-Mid-Lakes (OH) Allie Dunton, Logan-Rogersville—2nd-Team AllSouthwest Region; 2nd-Team All-COC Small Sarah Evans, Clever—Class 2 2nd-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-District 10; 1st-Team All-SWCL Kayla Fischer, Hillcrest—HM All-Ozark Conference (OH) Breanne Freeman, Logan-Rogersville—2nd-Team OPI 7


All-Southwest Region; 2nd-Team All-COC Small Jackie Fugate, Ozark—MHSVCA Class 4 HM ALL-STATE; HM All-Southwest Region; 2nd-Team All-COC Large Briana Goforth, Republic—Class 4 2nd-Team AllDistrict 12; 2nd-Team All-COC Large Danielle Goodman, Mt. Vernon—MHSVCA Class 3 HM ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region Payton Graves, Glendale—Class 4 1st-Team AllSouthwest Region; 1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (OH) Kenna Greenway, Galena—2nd-Team All-SWCL Lakin Grimes, Sparta—HM All-SWCL Imani Hairston, Osceola—MHSVCA Class 1 1st-Team ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Central/South Central Region Nicole Hallam, Republic—MHSVCA Class 4 HM ALL-STATE; 2nd-Team All-Southwest Region; 1stTeam All-District 12; 2nd-Team All-COC Large Payton Hallford, El Dorado Springs—Class 2 HM All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-District 12 Meagan Hamilton, Clever—Class 2 HM All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-District 10; 2nd-Team All-SWCL Michaela Hanafin, Clever—MHSVCA Class 2 1stTeam ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-District 10; 1st-Team All-SWCL Teresa Hanafin, Clever—SWCL Coach of the Year Mikalah Hardcastle, Sparta—Class 1 HM AllSouthwest Region; HM All-SWCL Savannah Harter, Billings—Class 1 HM All-Southwest Region; 2nd-Team All-SWCL Kelsey Hedrick, Billings—Class 1 HM All-Southwest Region; HM All-SWCL Tamlaya Henderson, Mt. Vernon—Class 3 2ndTeam All-Southwest Region Samantha Hendrickson, Willard—HM All-COC Large Paige Herbert, Bolivar—1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-COC Small Kayla Hickey, Blue Eye—Class 2 2nd-Team All-Southwest Region; 2nd-Team All-District 10; 1st-Team All-SWCL Jonna Hyatt, Sparta—Class 1 2nd-Team All-Southwest Region; 2nd-Team All-SWCL Ashlee Jackson, Strafford—1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes (OH) Sara Jennings, El Dorado Springs—Class 2 2ndTeam All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-District 12 Becca Jones, Pleasant Hope—HM All-Mid-Lakes (OH) Bridget Justis, Ozark—MHSVCA Class 4 HM ALLSTATE; 2nd-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-COC Large Morgan Kensinger, Fair Grove—MHSVCA Class 2 HM ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes (MH) Dani Kepler, Fair Grove—MHSVCA Class 2 2ndTeam ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes (S) Kirsten Kolb, Forsyth—Class 2 2nd-Team AllDistrict 10 Sarah Kreul, Republic—MHSVCA Class 4 2ndTeam ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-District 12; 1st-Team All-COC Large Libbie Lawson, Marshfield—2nd-Team All-COC Small Rachel Lee, Glendale—HM All-Ozark Conference (L) Katie Linson, Blue Eye—HM All-SWCL Tressa Linson, Blue Eye—Class 2 2nd-Team AllDistrict 10 Taylor Lower, Springfield Catholic—MHSVCA Class 2 HM ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-COC Small 8 OPI

Callie Lowry, Ozark—HM All-COC Large Andonae Magdziarz, Fair Grove—HM All-MidLakes (MH) Anna Maria Maples, Marionville—HM All-MidLakes (MH) Jessye Mauer, Kickapoo—Class 4 2nd-Team AllSouthwest Region; 1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (OH) Jamie Mauss, Ash Grove—2nd-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes (S) Kinsey McCarter, Kickapoo—MHSVCA Class 4 2nd-Team ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (S) Maggie McMenamy, Crane—HM All-SWCL Laken Minge, Marionville—Class 2 2nd-Team AllDistrict 10; 2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes (OH) Alexis Mitchell, Blue Eye—MHSVCA Class 2 HM ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1stTeam All-District 10; 1st-Team All-SWCL Brooke Mitchell, Marionville—HM All-Mid-Lakes (S) Danielle Mostrom, Parkview—Class 4 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (S/MH) Gabi Mostrom, Parkview—Class 4 HM All-Southwest Region; 2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (OH) Elise Munroe, Glendale—MHSVCA Class 4 2ndTeam ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (MH) Emily Oberbeck, Strafford—2nd-Team All-Southwest Region; 2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes (OH) Alix Opfer, Glendale—Class 4 2nd-Team AllSouthwest Region; 1st-Team All-Ozark Conference (OH) OZARK—3rd-place, Class 4 Alyson Payne, Skyline—1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes (OH) Tonya Peck, Fair Grove—Mid-Lakes Conference Coach of the Year Regan Peltier, Nixa—MHSVCA Class 4 1st-Team ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1stTeam All-District 12; 1st-Team All-COC Large Jordan Pierce, Hollister—Class 2 2nd-Team AllDistrict 10 Taylor Pierce, Hollister—Class 2 1st-Team AllSouthwest Region; 1st-Team All-District 10; 1stTeam All-COC Small Alex Pyles, Strafford—2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes (L) Claire Quinn, Glendale—2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (OH) Jessenia Quintero, Skyline—HM All-Mid-Lakes (S) Tara Randles, Billings—Class 1 2nd-Team AllSouthwest Region; 2nd-Team All-SWCL Katie Renkoski, Springfield Catholic—2nd-Team All-Southwest Region; HM All-COC Small Erin Roebuck, Springfield Catholic— Class 2 HM All-Southwest Region; 2nd-Team All-COC Small Rachel Sanders, Cassville—Class 3 2nd-Team AllSouthwest Region Maddie Schmidt, Monett—Class 3 2nd-Team AllSouthwest Region Kaitlyn Schrock, Osceola—MHSVCA Class 1 2nd-Team ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Central/South Central Region Sam Sellers, Fair Grove—2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes (DS) Kate Sibley, El Dorado Springs—Class 2 1st-Team All-District 12 Kaylie Simmons, El Dorado Springs—MHSVCA Class 2 HM ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-District 12 Callie Smith, Logan-Rogersville—MHSVCA Class 3 1st-Team ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-COC Small Morgan Smith, Nixa—Class 4 HM All-Southwest

Region; 2nd-Team All-District 12; HM All-COC Large Meghan Stacy, Ozark—MHSVCA Class 4 1stTeam ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-COC Large Brooke Stafford, Fair Grove—2nd-Team AllSouthwest Region; 1st-Team All-Mid-Lakes (L) Sam Stiles, Logan-Rogersville—MHSVCA Class 3 2nd-Team ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-COC Small Katelyn Stracke, Strafford—2nd-Team All-MidLakes (MH) Tessa Tavener, Logan-Rogersville—Class 3 HM All-Southwest Region Emily Thater, Kickapoo—Class 4 HM All-Southwest Region; 2nd-Team All-Ozark Conference (MH) Haley Thompson, Nixa—MHSVCA Class 4 HM ALL-STATE; 1st-Team All-Southwest Region; 1stTeam All-COC Large Tessa Thornton, Willard—Class 4 HM All-Southwest Region; 2nd-Team All-COC Large Darian Treacy, Bolivar—2nd-Team All-Southwest Region; 2nd-Team All-COC Small Myla Vanlandingham, Parkview—HM All-Ozark Conference (S/MH) Whitney Vermillion, Marshfield—2nd-Team AllSouthwest Region; 1st-Team All-COC Small Kendra Vernatti, Spokane—2nd-Team All-SWCL Austin Welch, Hollister—Class 2 HM All-Southwest Region; 2nd-Team All-COC Small Sara Werland, Pleasant Hope—HM All-Mid-Lakes (L) Brooke Wilson, Osceola—Class 1 HM All-Central/ South Central Region Madison Wood, Skyline—2nd-Team All-Mid-Lakes (MH) Jenna Yaggy, Sparta—Class 1 2nd-Team All-Southwest Region; 1st-Team All-SWCL MISCELLANEOUS • New Covenant Academy’s Casey Askins scored a school record 41 points in the Lady Warriors’ 63-26 win over Lutie on Dec. 19. Askins then tied her record by scoring 41 in a 68-57 loss to Bradleyville on Jan. 9. • Hurley’s Justice Bennett recorded a triple double in the Lady Tigers’ 56-46 win over New Covenant Academy on Nov. 29. Bennett scored 22 points, grabbed 18 rebounds, and recorded 14 steals to lead the Lady Tigers. • Hollister’s Lanie Bishop surpassed the 1,500-point scoring plateau and became Hollister’s all-time leading scorer in the Lady Tigers’ 50-36 loss to Cassville on Jan. 3. • Stockton’s Garrett Burton surpassed 1,000 points for her career in the Lady Tigers’ 65-35 win over Clinton on Dec. 12. • Verona’s Tristan Carrasquillo surpassed the 1,500-point career scoring plateau on Dec. 8. With over 1,700 points currently, the senior has a chance to reach 2,000 career points before the end of the season. • Willard’s Brook Duncan surpassed the 1,000-point career plateau after she scored 29 points in a 63-53 loss to Ozark on Jan. 9. • Billings’ Austin Essick scored the 1,000th point of his career as the state-ranked Wildcats had five players in double figures in an 83-50 win over Forsyth on Jan. 20. • Clever’s Jordan Farmer surpassed 1,000 points for her career after scoring 22 points in the Lady Bluejays’ 47-41 overtime victory over Marionville on Jan. 5. • Hurley’s Josh Flood recorded an impressive double-double with a 23-point, 20-rebound effort in an 83-74 overtime loss to Greenfield


on Jan. 10. • The Glendale boys basketball team picked up the 900th win in program history with an 81-64 victory over Lebanon on Jan. 17. The win upped the Falcons’ all-time record to 900-379, a .704 winning percentage. • Hillcrest’s Dorial Green-Beckham continues to cap the greatest prep football career in the annals of Ozarks prep sports by piling up postseason awards from all across the country. DGB caught 119 passes for 2,233 yards and 24 touchdowns last fall, and finished his career with a national record 6,353 receiving yards. In addition to the many local and state honors and awards (see above), DGB has also garnered the following national recognition: o The Sporting News High School Athlete of the Year o USA Today National Offensive Player of the Year o 1st-Team USA Today All-American o 1st-Team ESPNHS All-American

o 1st-Team MaxPreps All-American

o 1st-Team Rivals.com All-American

o 1st-Team Sports Illustrated All-American

o 1st-Team PARADE Magazine All-American o PARADE Magazine Player of the Year o U.S. Army All-American

o U.S. Army Player of the Year (Ken Hall Trophy) o Co-MVP—U.S. Army All-American Game • Marshfield’s Jared Greenlee scored the 1,000th point of his career after scoring 23 points in the Jays’ 73-43 victory over Ava on Jan. 20. • Osceola’s Imani Hairston has been a rebounding machine this season for the Lady Indians.

The senior has recorded several double-digit rebound games, including the following: o 18 rebounds v. Lakeland (12/6)

o 17 rebounds v. Fair Play (12/12) o 16 rebounds v. Kingsville (1/9) o 16 rebonds v. Leeton (1/14)

• Clever’s Michaela Hanafin scored the 1,000th point of her career after scoring 23 points in the Lady Bluejays’ 65-46 win over Hollister on Dec. 5. • Blue Eye’s Kayla Hickey scored the 1,000th point of her career in the Lady Bulldogs’ 46-32 win over Cassville on Jan. 5. • Chadwick’s Dakota Johnson recorded an impressive double-double by scoring 30 points and pulling down 16 rebounds in the Cardinals’ 70-64 win over Hurley on Dec. 19. • Fair Grove’s Morgan Kensinger pulled down 16 rebounds and blocked eight shots in the Lady Eagles’ 45-24 win over Warsaw at the Skyline Tournament on Jan. 7. • Verona’s Wesley Kissinger surpassed 1,000 points for his career in a 57-35 victory over Marionville during play at the Walnut Grove Holiday Tournament on Dec. 27. • Greenwood’s Tim Looney went over the 1,000-career point plateau after scoring 10 points in the Bluejays’ 49-27 loss to eventual Gold Division champion Republic in the opening round of the Blue & Gold Tournament on Dec. 26. • Verona’s Seth Losack continues to stake his claim as one of the area’s best point guards. The Wildcat has several double-digit assist games already this season, including the following: o 11 assists v. Sarcoxie (12/3) o 10 assists v. Exeter (12/6)

o 10 assists v. Wheaton (12/9)

o 11 assists v. Southwest (1/10) o 11 assists v. McAuley (1/13) o 13 assists v. Blue Eye (1/17)

• Morrisville’s Brandon Martinsen scored 42 points on 10 of 11 accuracy from behind the three-point line in the Panthers’ 87-56 victory over Buffalo on Dec. 6. Martinsen’s .909 percentage is the second best single game 3-point shooting percentage in state history. The senior also surpassed 1,000 points for his career after scoring 28 points to lead the Panthers’ 51-42 upset of third-seeded Willard in the Blue Division of the Blue & Gold Tournament on Dec. 27. • Clever’s Clark Petrochilos nailed 10 threepointers (on 10-of-13 accuracy) in the Bluejays’ 87-49 victory over Bradleyville on Jan. 6. • Kickapoo’s Ryan Rippee scored the 1,000th point of his career with 29 points against St. Louis Sumner in the Chiefs’ 77-45 victory on Dec. 20. • Humansville’s Lyndie Routh scored the 1,000th point of her career in the Lady Tigers’ 44-38 win over Lockwood on Jan. 5. • Reeds Springs’ Austin Selby is having a standout senior season, complete with some impressive statistical feats. Selby pulled down 19 rebounds in a Dec. 1 game against Carl Junction, and grabbed another 19 boards in a victory over Mountain Grove in the consolation bracket of the Blue & Gold Tournament on Dec. 27. Selby followed that effort up with nine blocked shots against Hartville in the consolation bracket semifinals of the Blue & Gold on Dec. 28. • The Springfield Catholic boys basketball team notched the 1,000th win in program history with a season-opening 55-36 win over Mountain Grove in the Strafford Tournament.

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CT

CHALK TALK

This player is motivated by positive reinforcement. That player is motivated by anger. This one is motivated in games, but not in practice. That one is motivated in practices, but freezes during games. This player is motivated physically, but doesn’t play with intelligence. That one is smart, but her body does not mind her brain. All athletes in every sport and gender are motivated differently. Today, high school athletes have a lot of pressure on them, but so did yesterday’s athletes and tomorrow’s will, too. The pressures may change, but they are still there. How they cope, how they deal with adversity and overcome challenges on and off the court will determine their character in life. As coaches, we must try and guide them into using their natural instincts and their natural motivations to encourage them to reach their highest potential. Some coaches say you have to coach all players the same and they must adjust to your style. I believe part of that is true, but each and every one of our athletes is motivated differently. As coaches, we try to find that “trigger” and use it to pull out the best of them. Treat them fairly, but not all will receive the same style, it is just not possible. Some need to be yelled at and motivated by angering them. Some need positive encouragement to be motivated. Whatever the trigger, the coach needs to find a way to get to know their athletes and inspire them the best they can. This is tough. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes a coach stepping out of the X’s and O’s for a moment and saying they

Jeni Hopkins Head Coach, Hillcrest Lady Hornets Basketball

are going to coach the person and not just the player. Some of the techniques we use to motivate vary from individual conferences to pre-game visualization to checking on them academically to having leadership meetings throughout the season. We have individual conferences several times a season. We make sure players are clear on their role. We make sure they understand our expectations on and off the court. Pre-game visualization has been a strong motivator for our players, too. Before each game, we take moments to relax the physical body and use the “mind’s eye” to visualize their play in certain areas. They see themselves playing defense and handling the ball and shooting. With all of the distractions in their world, it is a time where we focus and concentrate on the game in front of us in order to be prepared. This technique takes a mature athlete, some get it and some do not, but when used the correct way athletes are focused and energized to take the floor. We also use music during this time. Music is a powerful motivator. Student-athletes are held accountable for turnovers, fouls, and poor efforts on the court and are rewarded for points, assists, steals, and rebounds. Academically, players need to be held accountable for their grades and behavior in the classroom. Often times, the two go hand in hand and the coach has a big influence on motivating them to be successful in the classroom, as well as on the court. Leadership meetings are also a great

motivator for your juniors and seniors. Upperclassmen have more on the line, their clock is ticking and, for most, this will be the last two years to ever play an organized sport. During our leadership meetings, we discuss what kind of leaders they want to be and how they want to be remembered by their teammates after they graduate. We talk about peer motivation and we discuss vocal leaders and action leaders. We talk about selfish leaders and selfless leaders. Being positive with your peers on the court is so important. Players need to let the coaches coach and the players play. Being an upperclassman on an athletic team is a great opportunity to be a productive leader and instill work ethic and strong traditions in your program. Knowing how to motivate high school student-athletes is only part of the battle. This is a training ground. These players will not always have college professors or bosses in their careers that will care how they are motivated, they just want them to perform to their highest ability. We do not want to just motivate, but the critical part is when they leave your program, they know how to self-motivate themselves through positive times and in times of adversity to get the job done. Self-motivation rarely comes naturally, so as coaches, we have a great opportunity to teach them through sports how to do this so that they are productive wives, husbands, parents, workers, and citizens. Being a champion is not a part-time gig—all areas of an athlete’s life need to demand excellence.

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10 OPI

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TIME OUT

Desktop Publishing (My coach is my teacher!)

Monopoly

To decide which college I am going to attend.

Over 500.

Outgoing and the gorilla.

Science

Monopoly

To get better at all of my sports.

I don’t have a Facebook page.

Fun to hang out with.

Megan Obert

Science

Monopoly

To win Districts.

Like 500, I think.

Crazy.

Zach Kearney

History

Life

To win a state title.

Like 515 or so.

A self-deprecating stud.

Cat Evans

PE.. It’s the only one I’m very good in.

Sorry

To get better at softball and win State.

I have no idea.

Fast, I guess.

Adam Huntley

Art

Chess

To win Districts.

I don’t have a Facebook page.

I have no idea.

Kaitlin Zeugin

Math

Monopoly

To win 15 games this season.

I don’t know... Like over 600.

Funny.

Lunch

Sorry

To gain about 30 pounds after wrestling season.

About 800.

Good-looking.

History

Scrabble

To read the Bible all the way through.

Like 400.

Quiet.

Emily Daniel Basketball Greenfield

Eli Hungerford Wrestling Marshfield

Basketball Dadeville

Wrestling Reeds Spring

Basketball Pleasant Hope

Wrestling Buffalo

Basketball Fairplay

Marshall Phelan Wrestling Nixa

Hannah Wisdom Basketball Skyline

OPI 11


On the

DL

On the

DISABLED LIST

One Step at a Time Walking with a pedometer makes it easier to stay on a healthy path

I return from my morning walk and pick up the newspaper: “Baby boomers losing battle of the bulge,” the headline glares at me. “Tell me about it,” I mutter. At age 47, with a slowing metabolism, I have to move more and eat less to maintain fitness. I glance at my little lowtech fitness friend clipped to my pants—my pedometer. It shows 3,919 steps. A good start to the day. “Walking is a wonderful way to improve one’s health and physical fitness,” says Juris Simanis, M.D., board certified physician with CMH Sports and Occupational Medicine Clinic. “You are going to get a lot of benefit by doing 30 minutes of brisk walking most days of the week.” Just how much benefit? Here are the highlights for your heart: lower blood pressure levels, lower heart-disease risk, lower risk for blood clots, and increased levels of the heartprotective cholesterol called HDL. At work, I avoid parking close to the entrance. That’s 560 extra steps a day. Later, I walk to Starbucks instead of drive: 1,800 steps (and one decaf, no cream or sugar, please). How would I know all this without my pedometer? Simply and accurately, it shows progress toward my walking goal. Pedometers are proven motivators, says Mark Fenton, author of “The Complete Guide to Walking for Health, Weight Loss and Fitness” and host of America’s Walking on PBS. People who wear pedometers take about 2,500 more steps a day, one study found. (A mile is about 2,000 steps.) To get started, here’s all you need, Fenton says: a pedometer, a pencil and some paper.

12 OPI

Dr. J.P. Simanis M.D., MPH, MSPH, FAAFP

How to Choose Your New Walking Partner Pedometer prices and functions vary, so check online reviews. Fenton recommends a basic, easy-to-use pedometer in the $20 range. Just use it to count steps, he says. Don’t obsess over steps per mile, calories expended or even distance. Clip the pedometer to the waist of your pants so that it’s in line with your knee and not off to the side. A yield sign: Although most people can simply start walking, Simanis says to see a doctor if during walking you start to feel shortness of breath or notice an irregular heartbeat or chest pain. And anyone with high-risk factors for heart problems should check in with a physician before undertaking strenuous exercise. “See a doctor if you begin experiencing knee, ankle or other joint pain that continues or even worsens,” says Simanis. “I would expect some sore muscle/joints initially for people who are sedentary and then decide to increase their physical activity. However, this should gradually improve and resolve as they get used to the increased level of activity. Pain should not continue to persist and may be a sign of other medical conditions that may need to be addressed or treated.” Find Your Baseline, Then Boost By 20% You first need to know your current activity level. For a week, wear your pedometer each day from rising to going to bed. “Do what you normally do. This is very important,” Fenton says. Keep a log of your daily steps. At the end of the week, divide the total steps by seven. This is your baseline. Now boost that total by 20 percent in week two. For example, if your baseline is 4,000, then aim for 4,800 steps in week two. Take that total and increase it 20 percent in week three (5,760 steps in the example), and so on until

you average 10,000 steps a day, which meets the national activity guidelines. The walk must be brisk. “Walk like you’ve got someplace to go,” Simanis says. To reach your goal, look for “conscious exercise” opportunities, Fenton says, especially foregoing a car when possible. Some ideas to add steps to your day: • Take public transportation and get off a stop or two early. • Walk or ride a bike to do errands (and to help count “steps” while bicycling, tie your pedometer to your shoelaces). • Instead of driving kids to school, walk with them. • Volunteer at a dog shelter and walk the pooches. • Do your own yard work and wash your own car.

Members o pregame pl in the Gold on Dec. 27 bases Trinit

Keep Working at It It’s one of those days. I skip my walk and sit at my computer all day. In the evening, I flop on the couch. My pedometer tells no lies: only 4,570 steps all day. “People think they are furiously busy,” says Fenton. “But what are they doing? Sitting at a computer, in a meeting. That’s what a pedometer shines a light on.” In a 2010 study, Americans averaged 5,117 steps a day, several thousand fewer than adults in Australia (9,695), Japan (7,168) and Switzerland (9,650). My commitment renewed, the next day I mow the back lawn after work. My trusty pedometer shows 3,477 steps. My heart is pumping! Gotta keep moving. My heart is counting on it. 2 for 1 For every 60 minutes of vigorous exercise, your life span may increase by two hours.

Cassville 58-52 los


SPIRIT

PF Members of the Republic cheerleading squad get the Tiger faithful fired up during pregame player introductions prior to Republic’s 62-32 victory over Fair Grove in the Gold Division quarterfinals of the 66th Annual Blue & Gold Tournament on Dec. 27 at JQH Arena. Those pictured include Britteney Taylor (top/flyer) and bases Trinity Minshall, Brittney Owrey and Ericka Dye. (Staff Photo)

Hillcrest cheerleader Kalynn Kelley is all smiles in the Hornets’ 55-43 victory over St. Rita’s (Chicago) in the consolation semifinals of the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions on Jan. 13 at JQH Arena. (Staff Photo)

Cassidy Parker (L) and Aaron Moore (R), members of Kickapoo’s drum line, entertain the crowd at halftime of Glendale’s 72-58 loss to eventual tournament champion Westbury Christian (Houston) in the first round of the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions on Jan. 12 at JQH Arena. (Staff Photo)

Cassville senior cheerleader Adrianna Fine leads the Wildcat crowd in a cheer in Cassville’s 58-52 loss to Carl Junction on Jan. 6. (Photo courtesy of Chuck Nickle Photography)

11

OPI 13


Marshfield’s Utah Findley (#25) fires a three-pointer over the outstretched defense of Ozark’s Garrett Stancer (R). The Tigers defeated the Jays 79-69 in the Gold Division 3rd-place game of the 66th Annual Blue & Gold Tournament on Dec. 29 at JQH Arena. (Staff Photo)

Cassville freshman Raeghan Blisard battles Blue Eye’s Tressa Lin and Maddye Campbell (R) for a loose ball in the Lady Bulldog victory on Jan. 5. (Photo courtesy of Chuck Nickle Photograph

Kickapoo’s Gabby Garrison competes in the 200 individual medley at a meet earlier this season. (Photo by Kerry Scott)

14 OPI


ttles Blue Eye’s Tressa Linson (#23) ball in the Lady Bulldogs’ 46-32 Chuck Nickle Photography)

Branson’s Michael Cuthbertson, who is currently ranked #2 in the state in Class 3 at 152 pounds, takes down Monett’s James Ross in Cuthbertson’s 12-1 win on Nov. 30. (Photo by Christine Cuthbertson)

dual med-

Marion C. Early’s Tyler Beavers (R) drives past Willard’s Grant Williamson (#21) in the #6-seeded Panthers’ 51-42 upset victory over the third-seeded Tigers in the Blue Division quarterfinals of the 66th Annual Blue & Gold Tournament on Dec. 27 at JQH Arena. (Staff Photo)

Reeds Spring’s Ethan Grinder has the upper hand on Bolivar’s Jacob Miles during preliminary action in the 145-pound class at the Bolivar Invitational Tournament on Dec. 3. Grinder, who is ranked #7 in the state in Class 2 at 145, defeated Miles 9-5 en route to capturing 1st-place honors. Miles finished in 4th-place. (Staff Photo)

OPI 15


Glendale’s Thomas Whittaker (L) loses his footing as Westbury Christian’s Julius Mitchell (R) looks on in the Falcons’ 72-58 loss to the eventual tournament champions from Houston in the first round of the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions on Jan. 12 at JQH Arena. (Staff Photo)

Skyline’s Tigers’ 54 Tourname

Central’s Jan. 7 m

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Kickapoo’s Annie Armstrong (L) attempts to drive around the defense of Stockton’s Ashli Burton (#25) in the Lady Chiefs’ 52-34 victory over the Lady Tigers in the 7th-place game of the KTXR Lady Classic on Dec. 29 at the O’Reilly Family Events Center. (Staff Photo) Skyline’s Ashley Bishop (#22) defends against West Plains’ Cassidy Johnson (#10) in the Lady Tigers’ 54-39 loss to the Lady Zizzers in the championship game of the 39th Annual Pink & White Tournament on Dec. 29 at JQH Arena. (Staff Photo)

Billings’ Chad Yeokum (#15) and Lane Truman (#30) attempt to block the shot of Purdy’s Cody Hall, as the Wildcats’ Austin Essick (#21) looks on, in Billings’ 64-41 victory over the Eagles in the 3rdplace game of the Southwest Tournament on Dec. 29. (Photo courtesy of Chuck Nickle Photography)

Central’s Sierra Shields competes in the breaststroke event in a Jan. 7 meet. (Photo courtesy of Dawn Shields Photography)

OPI 17


Willard’s Brook Duncan puts up a jumper as Mt. Vernon’s Amelia Bramer defends in the Lady Tigers’ 47-40 victory over the Lady Mountaineers in the 3rd-place game of the 39th Annual Pink & White Tournament on Dec. 29 at JQH Arena. (Staff Photo)

Kickapoo’s Chris Ward (# handed shot over the defe Middleton, as the Eagles’ J on in the Blue Division cha the 66th Annual Blue & G Dec. 29 at JQH Arena. The defeated the second-seed capture their second straigh (Staff Photo)

Hillcrest’s Austin Petry (R) looks to get past the defense of Republic’s Nick Yocum (L) in the Gold Division championship game of the 66th Annual Blue & Gold Tournament on Dec. 29 at JQH Arena. The third-seeded Tigers upset the top-seeded Hornets 43-41 in an overtime thriller to capture their first Blue & Gold title since 1992. (Staff Photo)

18 OPI

Hillcrest’s Juwan Johnson lays in two points against the defense of (San Diego) Lincoln’s Corey Whipple (L) and Steve Martin (#5) during first round action of the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions on Jan. 12 at JQH Arena. Hillcrest lost the game 52-49 to the eventual tourney runner-up, and went on to finish in 6th-place. (Staff Photo)


kapoo’s Chris Ward (#15) puts up a onended shot over the defense of Nixa’s Wes ddleton, as the Eagles’ Jalen Norman looks in the Blue Division championship game of 66th Annual Blue & Gold Tournament on c. 29 at JQH Arena. The top-seeded Eagles eated the second-seeded Chiefs 75-65 to pture their second straight Blue & Gold title. aff Photo)

(San Diego) Lincoln’s tion of the Bass Pro he game 52-49 to the taff Photo)

Monett’s Devon Overall (top) looks to score points during his 12-4 victory at 160 pounds over his Smith-Cotton opponent during preliminary action at the Branson Tournament on Jan. 14. (Staff Photo)

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Purdy’s Drew Williams (#34) drives to the basket between Hollister’s Zack Calovich (#32) and Austin Ballard (R) in the Eagles 56-51 victory over the Tigers in the first round of the Southwest Tournament on Dec. 26. (Photo courtesy of Chuck Nickle Photography)

OPI 19


Feature: Tyler White (R

Reeds Spring senior Tyler White puts his Seneca opponent in a precarious position during White’s victory at the Branson Invitational Tournament on Jan. 14. White, who has not lost a match since the end of his sophomore season, is the state’s #1-ranked wrestler this season at 160 pounds. (Staff Photo)

BIG≥≥BAD BY BYRON SHIVE

Out of nowhere, he walks up, offers a firm handshake, and says, “Hello, sir, my name is Tyler White.” After speaking with him for a few minutes during a break in action at the Bolivar Invitational on Dec. 3, it is readily apparent that Reeds Spring senior wrestler Tyler White is not your typical high school athlete—and not just because he was an undefeated state champion last year as a junior. Tyler maintains eye contact throughout the brief meeting, and that unwavering focus translates to the mat. To watch Tyler White wrestle is to watch a machine in motion, a methodical combination of speed, power and technique which eventually wears down whichever opponent he might be facing. Combine that with an insatiable desire to improve, and it is easy to see why White has experienced so much success on the wrestling mat. That success, combined with his solid academics and unquestioned character, has earned him a full wrestling scholarship to one of the most prestigious institutions in the country—the United States Military Academy at West Point, where White will wrestle for the Black Knights next season. “I have watched Tyler work himself into the wrestler that he’s become,” said Kevin Huck, White’s coach at Reeds Spring, which currently owns the #7 state ranking in Class 2. “He has a very strong work ethic, a lot of internal drive, and a passion for the sport. He is inquisitive, and is always looking for ways to improve.” 20 OPI


ite (Reeds Spring)

D≥≥WOLF

White is nearing the end of a standout prep career. He has not lost a high school match since his sophomore year in the 2010 state tournament. White, who is the top-ranked wrestler in the state this season at 160 pounds, is currently in the midst of a 63-match winning streak (as of Jan. 14). White’s sophomore season has served as motivation for his current winning ways. White, who was forced to miss the 2009 postseason his freshmen year due to a shoulder injury, entered the state tournament his sophomore season with a 36-4 record at 140 pounds, with three of the losses to Monett’s three-time state champion Ethan Davis, the eventual champ at 140 that season. White advanced to the semifinal round after winning his first two matches, before he was defeated 14-9 by Oak Grove’s Caleb Titus, the eventual state runner-up. The loss to Titus dropped White into a match-up with Carl Junction’s Dalton England, with a third-place state finish still attainable. White was tied with England in the waning seconds of the third and final period, and had England on the ground as overtime loomed. However, after hearing a whistle blow, White thought the match was over, but the whistle had come from a nearby mat. England was awarded a point for an escape and advanced to the next round with the one-point win. White has not lost a match since that heartbreaking finish.

OPI 21


“I’m still devastated,” said White recently of the loss to England. “I had to pick myself right back up and try to get a point with what little time was left. I was still mentally unfocused, though. The thing is we both thought the whistle had blown. I vowed then that that will never happen again.” White won his next match to take 5thplace honors, and has not felt the sting of defeat since the loss to England. White dominated his opponents throughout his junior season last year, and entered the state tournament with a 35-0 record at 152 pounds. After crushing his first three opponents, winning all three matches with first period pins, he defeated Oak Grove’s Chase Wrisinger 3-1 in the state championship match. White was an undefeated (39-0) state champion. “My dad told me to always wrestle everyone like a state champ,” said White. “I never look at the brackets. I warm-up the same way every time, so that I’m always mentally ready. As a sophomore, I was just focused on making it to state and being a hot-shot.” “I still tear up when I think about it,” said Cherry White, Tyler’s mother, of her son’s state championship. “It was something he

really wanted. I could see it in every breath he took.” White and her husband, James, have three boys in all, and all three are (or were) wrestlers. Lee, the oldest at 19, was a twotime state medalist at Reeds Spring before joining the Marines. He is currently stationed in San Diego. At 18, Tyler is the middle child, while 15-year-old Hank is a freshman wrestler for the Wolves this season. “At Districts, I began thinking, ‘Can he really be an undefeated state champion?’” said James of Tyler’s state title run. “It’s kind of hard to believe, so I have to pinch myself. His hard work, work ethic and dedication had paid off. It’s unbelievable. He’s never satisfied. He’s just really hard to beat. “But he’s not just a good wrestler,” added James. “The kid is the Student Council President, he’s in National Honor Society, and he’s always made good grades. We know we’re fortunate. He’s a great role model, especially for his younger brother.” “He’s a really good role model,” echoed Hank of his older brother. “He helps me out with everything. He helps me with wrestling and with my school work. I try to be like him. I work hard and keep my grades up. He’s pretty awesome.” Reeds Spring’s Tyler White competes at the 2011 MSHSAA Class 2 Wrestling State Championships. White capped an unbeaten 39-0 season by winning a state title. Tyler began wrestling at (Photo courtesy of Cherry White) the age of six in the Reeds Spring Wrestling Club, and has been hooked ever since. “I really like the physical and mental challenges it provides,” he said. “I eat, sleep and breathe wrestling. I’ve always been kind of small, so I could be small and still wrestle.” Tyler is currently a chiseled and hulking 160-pounder, so it is hard to imagine him ever being small. Tyler’s wrestling talent was apparent early on to his mother. “It was probably about age 12 when I realized that Tyler had big potential, and that if he kept his head on straight, he could accomplish a lot,” said Cherry. “He changed on the mat. He was not a little kid anymore. He was really learning the sport. It was clicking in his head.” When Tyler was about nine-years-old, he was exposed to the Iowa State University wrestling program, an eight-time national champion and perennial title contender. Longtime Reeds Spring resident John Allen, an Iowa State alum, 22 OPI

convinced head coach Bobby Douglas to bring his Cyclone wrestlers down to Reeds Spring to hold a summer camp, which became a yearly occurrence until Douglas left Iowa State in 2006. At the time, White did not realize how unique and beneficial the camps were that were staged by Douglas. “As I’ve gotten older, I realize how special that was,” said White of the camps. “At the time, it was just, ‘hey, it’s camp, let’s go.’” One of the wrestlers that Douglas brought to the camps was assistant coach Cael Sanderson, arguably the greatest collegiate wrestler of all-time and the only four-time undefeated national champion. Sanderson, who posted a collegiate record of 159-0, also won a Gold Medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and was three-time winner of the Dan Hodge Award, which is awarded annually to the top college wrestler. “Tyler got to wrestle with Cael Sanderson,” said James. “Tyler came up to me and said, ‘Dad, what do I say to him?’ He walks up to Cael and says, ‘Hey, you wanna wrestle?’ When they got on the mat, Cael said, ‘Before we wrestle, you probably wanna tie your shoe.’ Tyler looked down and Cael jumped in there and took him down.” Speaking of shoes, it is easy to spot Tyler White at a wrestling tournament, even with a hundred or so wrestlers walking to and fro. Just look for the pastel-colored shoes, with “matching” pastel socks. “I used to wear tiedyed spandex,” said Tyler of his sense of style on the mat. “I’m me and if you don’t like it, then that’s all right. I wanted something unique. I wanted to kind of stand out from the crowd. I thought the pink went good with the blue.” Despite his fashion sense, or perhaps lack thereof, Tyler’s new colors in the fall will be the black and gold of the Black Knights when he officially enrolls at West Point. Tyler knew that he wanted to wrestle at the next level, but he did not necessarily have his sights set on West Point early on in the recruiting process. “At first, I wanted to go to a top wrestling school,” said Tyler. “I didn’t care about academics. My dad made me really start thinking about my education, though.” Head coach Joe Heskett is in his first year at the helm at Army this season, and was a college teammate of Sanderson’s at Iowa State. He invited Tyler to come up to Army’s summer camp last July, so Tyler made the trek to West Point last summer. “He got to wrestle against college guys,” said James. “He told me, “Dad, I wasn’t winning any matches, but I was holding my own. I was scoring points.’” “I was very impressed by (the cadets’) work ethic,” said Tyler of the camp. “I wanted to go where everyone is working 110% at all times, and not slacking.” Tyler’s talent and work ethic left an indelible impression on the Army coaching staff. Last September, James received a phone call

Reeds Sp Crouse at White, wh state cham wrestling


Reeds Spring’s Tyler White battles Republic’s Kerik Crouse at the Bolivar Invitational Tournament on Dec. 3. White, who is seeking to become a two-time undefeated state champion this season, will attend West Point on a wrestling scholarship in the fall. (Staff Photo)

one evening while sitting in his living room. It was Coach Heskett, who said, “Mr. White, we’d really like to have Tyler come up for a recruiting visit.” Coach Heskett went on to describe Tyler’s work ethic as “unbelievable.” James and Tyler made the trip to West Point for Tyler’s official recruiting visit last fall. Overall, the father and son were blown away by West Point, from its tradition to its facilities to the cadets that call West Point home. “They gave us a tour of the base, and everywhere you look there is something historical,” said James. “It’s amazing to think how many Presidents, generals, CEOs and other leaders that had walked the same paths we were walking. “But it’s the wrestlers that really make your kid want to go there,” he added. “The way the cadets act, the way they treat each other, and the way they treat other people. At the end of the trip, Tyler told me, ‘There’s no question in my mind, this is where I want to go.’” Tyler, who plans to attend medical school in the future, gave Coach Heskett a verbal commitment before heading back to Reeds Spring. He received his official acceptance letter last month after a tedious application process. Once his four-years of wrestling are completed, Tyler will have to fulfill an additional four-year commitment. However, those four years will most likely be spent studying medicine at one of the top medical schools in the country, as the Army has alliances with such institutions as Harvard, Yale, Johns Hopkins, and Duke. “The whole process has been very tedious,” said Cherry of the West Point application procedure. “It’s a multi-step process,

and we’ve had to make sure all the I’s were dotted and all the T’s were crossed. Tyler has been very diligent in getting the information put in that’s required. There are physical exams, and you have to pass this test and that test, and you have to score so high on your ACT. “Tyler is getting to fulfill a dream of wrestling after high school,” added Cherry. “He’s taking full advantage of the opportunity that has been given to him. He has big dreams, and if he puts his mind to it, Tyler can get anything he wants.” “It will be a good fit for Tyler at West Point,” said Allen, the longtime Reeds Spring resident who has seen a few good wrestlers in his day. “He will do well there. He’s straight arrow. The first question Coach Heskett asked me about Tyler was about his character. His character is unblemished.” As a parent, James is appreciative that he does not have to worry about Tyler getting into trouble. “You never have to worry about him partying,” said James. “Actually, it’s just the opposite. He’d rather read a book. His late night runs consist of making midnight runs for tacos at Taco Bell. He makes a lot of friends. His teachers love him. His employers love him. I don’t know if we can ever show how much he’s meant to our family, just because of the role model he’s been to this family, and to others. Hopefully, someday he realizes just how good of a son he’s been.” Tyler is very thankful for his father, too. “I want to say thanks to my Dad, my family, and my coaches for everything, but especially my Dad,” said Tyler. “My Dad really needs to be thanked.” Tyler’s teammates are also appreciative of

his leadership. “I’ve known Tyler since sixth grade,” said Ethan Grinder, a fellow senior wrestler for the Wolves. “He has the best work ethic on the team. In practice, he works his butt off. I don’t know how he does it, but he actually likes to go to practice. He’s a really good leader and a good motivator.” Tyler’s mother is appreciative of the way he treats other people. “As a parent, it is very humbling to see my son react and interact with other people,” said Cherry. “He has a passion for wrestling and a passion for people. The way he interacts with his team, his cousins, his brothers, or someone he just met, it’s all the same. It’s very humbling to hear the comments we are hearing about Tyler.” Tyler is also a coach’s dream. “He put our program on the map,” said Huck of his relatively young Reeds Spring wrestling program. “He’s helped display to the rest of the team that if you are willing to put the time and effort in, you can accomplish big things. Off the mat, Tyler displays good character. His work ethic goes beyond the wrestling mat and into the classroom. He’s a polite and respectful young man.” Before he heads off to West Point, Tyler White still has a senior season to finish on the mat. “I just want to go out and wrestle the best matches of my life,” he said. “The college decision is behind me, so I just want to concentrate on wrestling and have a better season than last year.” It would seem impossible to have a better year than an undefeated state championship season, but if it can be done, then Tyler White will find a way to get it accomplished. OPI 23


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REWIND

By Byron Shive

go hard go home

“We don’t rebuild, we reload.” This slogan has become popular of late, especially for college programs that re-stock top-level talent through aggressive recruiting and attrition. It is not so applicable to high school sports programs, where coaches do not get to pick and choose from players all over the country, but compile the best team from returning players and incoming freshmen. However, in the early 1990’s, the slogan was very applicable to the Springfield Catholic Lady Irish basketball teams. When a standout senior (or seniors) graduated, Catholic just plugged a talented underclassman or two into the line-up and continued to dominate. The result was five trips to the Class 2A Final Four from 1989-1994, which included three state titles, a runner-up finish, and a 3rd-place finish. The sustained run of success began in the 1988-89 season, as the Lady Irish carried a 21-game winning streak into the Final Four. After dominating North Platte in the semifinals with a 75-47 win, Catholic advanced to the state championship game against Salisbury. Despite 26 points from junior Courtney Swift and 14 points from Colleen Swift, Courtney’s sophomore younger sister, the Lady Irish lost a 50-48 heartbreaker to finish as the Class 2A state runner-up. In the postgame press conference, Catholic head coach Ken Hopper

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told the media that, “like General MacArthur, we will return.” “I fully expected, and so did the team, to win the state championship once we made it to the finals,” said Courtney Swift (Heman), a junior on the 1989 state runner-up and one of the team’s best players. “Getting second-place was devastating, but it motivated all of us to get back to State and win.” The 1988-89 state runner-up team, with only two seniors on the roster, was dominated by underclassmen. The roster included four juniors, three sophomores, and a talented, six-deep batch of freshmen. In fact, 46 of the 48 points scored by Catholic in the state title game were scored by players that would be returning for the 1989-90 season. Catholic returned four starters from the 1989 state runner-up team in Courtney Swift, Kim Branstetter, Joleen Gray and Colleen Swift. The Lady Irish also added a pair of talented transfers in junior point guard Kendra Elton and sophomore Stephanie Thurman, who excelled at both ends of the floor, and a talented incoming freshmen class. Catholic began the 1989-90 season as the top-ranked team in Class 2A, and as the favorite to win the state title that had eluded the team in 1989. “Losing the state championship game was a big part of the reason for our success (in

1989-90),” said Kristen Baird (Roubal). “It was a huge disappointment.” The Lady Irish began the season with a dominating 87-17 dismantling of Seymour, and the lopsided victories continued, as Catholic won 21 regular season games by an average margin of victory of 36.2 points. Catholic entered District play with a 21-2 record, with both losses coming to Class 3A juggernaut Marshfield, which was in the midst of its staterecord 102-game winning streak. The Lady Irish rolled to a District title, winning three games by an average of 40 points each. Catholic knocked off Marionville 60-53 in the Sectional round, before beating Gainesville 70-63 in the state quarterfinals to advance to the Final Four at the Hammons Student Center on the campus of Southwest Missouri State University. Catholic had little trouble in the state semifinals, using smothering defensive pressure to coast to a 62-28 win over North Callaway. Courtney Swift, looking to end her senior season on a high note, led the way with 26 points. The win advanced Catholic to the state championship game once again for a match-up with 29-3 Brentwood. The Lady Irish jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the first quarter, but Brentwood closed the gap to trail 12-10 at the end of the first. Courtney Swift scored 10 points in the quarter, including a couple of long-range three-pointers. Catholic began to pull away in the second period, and led 24-16 at halftime. The third quar ter belonged to the Lady Irish, who outscored Brentwood 22-9 in the period, with Courtney and Colleen Swift combining for 17 points. The Lady Irish cruised to the 1990 Class 2A state championship with a 53-38 victory. Catholic, which finished the season at 28-2, placed four players in double figures, led by Courtney Swift’s 21 points. Colleen Swift added 12 (and 10 rebounds), while Stephanie Thurman and Kendra Elton each scored 10. “I called a timeout in the last two minutes of the state championship game,” said Hopper, who was named the Class 2A Coach of the

Members of the Springfield Catholic Lady Fightin’ Irish hug each other in jubilation after Catholic defeated Cole Camp 40-31 to win the 1993 24 OPI Class 2A state championship. It marked the third state title for the Lady Irish in four years. (Photo courtesy of Kristen Roubal)


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Year. “We were obviously going to win. I told the girls to look around the Hammons Center and remember that they were going to win a state championship. Relish it.” Hopper was not the only Catholic representative receiving postseason recognition, as both Courtney Swift and Colleen Swift were named 1st-Team All-State. “It was pretty emotional,” said Kristen Baird. “We had worked pretty hard to get back to the state championship game. It was definitely a different emotion from the year before. We had so much talent, but as we learned the year before, talent doesn’t do it. You have to work hard. Just because you have good players doesn’t mean it is going to happen.” Catholic lost standout Courtney Swift to graduation, but returned four starters for the 1990-91 season in seniors McLeod and Elton, and juniors Colleen Swift and Thurman. Catholic also had several talented underclassmen that had been waiting their turn to shine. However, the state title defense did not go as planned in 1991, as Catholic was defeated in the Sectional round 39-35 by arch-nemesis Marionville, which would go on to win the Class 2A state title. “We were playing well going into the Marionville game,” recalled Kristen Baird. “That loss was a huge disappointment.” The season was not a total loss, though, as the highlight of the year was a victory over Marshfield. After losing to the Lady Jays’ in the season opener, Catholic ended Marshfield’s state-record 102-game winning streak with a 73-65 win over the Lady Jays in the Lady Irish Invitational. Catholic had several memorable battles with Marionville and Marshfield throughout the early 1990’s. All three teams were very similar, in that each relied heavily on smothering defense with more than one go-to scorer on the offensive end. “What I remember about Marionville is that they were always very, very good,” said Kristen Baird. “I also remember the crowds for those games. I mean, it was girls basketball and we were playing in sold-out gyms. People were being turned away. Marshfield was the same as Marionville. We had some major battles with Marshfield. They, of course, had the Howard sisters, and we had our own sister combos. I also remember the crowds for those games. We were playing a high level of basketball.” Hopper left Springfield Catholic following the 1990-91 season to become the head girls basketball coach and boys baseball coach at Central. He is currently an assistant football coach and social studies teacher at Glendale. “What stands out the most in my memory was the heart the girls played with,” said Hopper of his four years at the helm. “I received many compliments which included statements like ‘great hustle,’ ‘what intensity,’ and ‘they play like guys.’ I remember a comment from a Marshfield fan after we had defeated them. He said, ‘those girls sure make you look good,’ which was true.” “Coach Hopper was a good coach,” said

Springfield Catholic’s Teresa Baird drives down the court in the Lady Irish’s come-from-behind 52-33 win over Cole Camp in the 1992 Class 2A state semifinals. Catholic, which trailed 31-29 entering the fourth period, opened the quarter with an 18-0 run to put the game away. (Photo courtesy of Kristen Roubal)

Kristen Baird. “He was very caring and knew how to push us hard. He emphasized playing as a team and good communication.” “I connected well with Coach Hopper, because he always expected the best out of me,” said Courtney Swift. “He constantly pushed me and also gave me the feeling that he had a lot of confidence in me. Our team could win because we were prepared, worked hard, and wanted to win.” Springfield Catholic did not have to search very far to locate Hopper’s replacement. Ronda Hubbard, who was an assistant coach for the 1990-91 season, was named the new head coach of the Lady Irish. It was Hubbard’s first head coaching job, which was understandable considering she was, literally, fresh out of college after playing for legendary coach Cheryl Burnett at Southwest Missouri State. “I was intense…always have been, and always will be,” said Hubbard of the benefits (and detriments) of being a young coach who was not much older than the players she was coaching. “I knew the game. Those were the benefits. When you are that young, you don’t know a lot about human behavior and ‘building teams.’ As I grew, I got better at learning

about personalities, learning styles, modal strengths, teaching methods, etc. But early on, it was all about X’s and O’s and winning. “I carried myself very strong and ‘standoffish’ back then, because I was so close to their age,” added Hubbard. “It was important to me then to establish a line of respect, because I was so close to their age. I made a lot of mistakes that I grew from, but I wouldn’t have changed any of it.” “Coach Hubbard was tougher as far as how she acted with the team, but it worked,” said Kristen Baird. “I had major respect for her, because she knew basketball and knew how to play, even though she was young.” Seniors Stephanie Thurman and Kristen Baird were the elder statesmen for the Lady Irish on the 1991-92 team, as the roster contained just two juniors, four sophomores and six freshmen. The primary starting line-up featured Thurman, the leading scorer, as well as Kristen Baird, junior Molly Swift, and a pair of sophomores in defensive stopper Marty Hamilton and Jenny Swift, the team’s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer (and younger sister of Courtney, Colleen and Molly). Freshman Teresa Baird, Kristen’s younger sister, OPI 25


Springfield Catholic’s Stephanie Thurman (L) and Kristen Baird (R) high-five at the end of the Lady Irish’s 50-26 victory over Putnam County in the 1992 Class 2A state championship game. The win marked the final game in a Catholic uniform for both Baird and Thurman. (Photo courtesy of Kristen Roubal)

was one of the key players off the bench. With the Sectional loss to Marionville fresh in their minds, the Lady Irish adopted the motto of “Back in Black” for the 1991-92 season, complete with T-shirts the team wore during warm-ups. The back of the shirts read “Go Hard or Go Home,” and the Lady Irish certainly played with that attitude throughout the 1991-92 season. Thurman and Molly Swift both averaged 14 points per game in the regular season to lead a balanced attack. After a couple of early season losses, Catholic reeled off 14-straight victories and entered a late season match-up with rival Marionville sporting a 19-2 record. The game was as heated as usual between the two rivals, with the Lady Comets defeating Catholic 48-36. The Lady Irish rolled through District play once again, and advanced to the Sectional round where a familiar foe awaited. In both 1990 and 1991, the winner of the Catholic-Marionville Sectional match-up had

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gone on to capture the Class 2A state championship. With Catholic entering the game at McDonald Arena with a 24-3 record and the state’s #3 ranking, and with top-ranked Marionville sporting an unbeaten record (290), many felt the game was the de facto state championship game. Catholic avenged the regular season loss to Marionville by snapping the Lady Comets’ 37-game winning streak with a 39-36 victory. The win sent Catholic to the state quarterfinals, where the Lady Irish trounced Richland 62-36 to advance to the Final Four at the Hearnes Center on the University of Missouri campus. In the state semifinals against Cole Camp, the Lady Bluebirds led 19-12 at halftime. Cole Camp led by eight points midway through the third quarter before Catholic mounted a charge, closing the quarter on a 13-7 run to trail by just two at 31-29 entering the final period. Sophomore Jenny Swift scored on a lay-up to start the fourth quarter to tie the game, and Thurman’s baseline jumper gave Catholic its first lead since midway through the first quarter at 33-31. The Lady Irish defense was smothering throughout the final period, as the Lady Bluebirds did not score a single point until the 1:19 mark, which halted an astounding 18-0 Catholic run to start the quarter. The Lady Irish outscored Cole Camp 23-2 in the pivotal final period (and 40-14 in the second half) to defeat the Lady Bluebirds 52-33, and advance to the 1992 Class 2A state championship game. Molly Swift’s 16 points led Catholic, with Thurman adding 13, as the Lady Irish shot better than 80% in the second half. “That game was a testament to Coach Hubbard,” said Teresa Baird. “She was always drilling us on the importance of defense. She always told us, ‘defense is where it’s at.’ If we play good, hard defense, the points will come at the other end.” In the state championship game against Putnam County, the Lady Irish jumped out to a 23-9 lead at halftime. Catholic was on cruise

control the rest of the way, as Putnam County would get no closer than 12 points. Catholic captured its second state championship in three years with the 50-26 victory. The 26 points scored by Putnam County against Catholic’s aggressive, trapping man-toman defense is the fewest points ever scored in a Class 2A final, and the second fewest points in all classes. The state championship also meant that four Swift sisters—Courtney (a 1990 graduate), Colleen (1991), junior Molly, and sophomore Jenny—had played for state title teams at Catholic, as had both of the Baird sisters (Kristen and Teresa). “The main feeling I remember is relief,” said Hubbard of the state title in her first year as head coach. “I was proud. I was exhilarated. I was so young and it was as exciting for me as if I were still a player.” “It doesn’t get any better than winning a state championship in your final high school game,” said senior Kristen Baird. “As you get older, you appreciate just how special it was. We had set a goal and worked really hard to attain it. Plus, I got to win one with my younger sister (freshman Teresa).” Thurman ended her standout prep career by leading the Lady Irish with 21 points. Thurman would go on to play collegiately, first at Southwest Missouri State and then at Southwest Baptist University. She would make her mark as one of the best high school coaches in the state, though, after guiding Kickapoo to a 21438 record and a pair of state championships in nine years at the helm of the Lady Chiefs. On July 10, 2010, Stephanie (Thurman) Phillips lost her nearly three-year battle with colon cancer, passing away at the age of 36. Once again, the Lady Irish returned a youthful line-up for the 1992-93 season, with Molly Swift the only senior on the roster. There was plenty of talent on the team, though, including juniors Jenny Swift, Jessica Hartman, and defensive stopper Marty Hamilton, as well as sophomore scorer Teresa Baird.


Once again, Catholic avenged a regular season loss to Marionville by beating the Lady Comets 35-28 in the Sectional round of the state tournament. After defeating Thayer 46-38 in the state quarterfinals, Catholic carried its 24-5 record back to the Final Four at the Hearnes Center. Catholic faced Palmyra in the 1993 Class 2A state semifinals in a match-up of similar, defensive-minded teams. The Lady Irish gave up just 38 points per game for the season, while Palmyra was even stingier in surrendering just 35.5 points per contest. With both teams being a mirror image of the other, the game was a close one all the way through. The Lady Irish led 11-10 after one, and closed the second quarter with a 6-0 run to take a 22-18 lead at halftime. The Lady Panthers closed the gap to 30-27 heading to the fourth quarter. In the final period, Palmyra cut the lead to one with 4:28 to play, but a three-point play by Teresa Baird upped the Catholic lead to 39-35. Molly Swift nailed five crucial free throws down the stretch, as Catholic pulled away for a 49-41 victory. Swift, who picked up a black eye in the hard fought game, led the way with 18 points and nine rebounds, with Teresa Baird adding 11 points and Marty Hamilton contributing 10. Baird also added shutdown defense on Palmyra point guard Kami Shade, who entered the game averaging 12 points per contest but was held scoreless by Baird. Catholic faced a familiar foe in the 1993 Class 2A state championship game in Cole Camp. The Lady Bluebirds entered the game with a 28-2 record, and had not lost since dropping two games at the Lady Irish Invitational in mid-December. Once again, the game was close early, as Catholic led 12-10 after the first quarter. The Lady Irish led 22-13 at halftime. This time, it was Cole Camp staging the third quarter rally, as the Lady Bluebirds closed the gap to 26-24 heading to the fourth. However, the Catholic lead swelled to 12 at the 2:25 mark, and Catholic went on to post a 40-31 victory and capture its second-straight Class 2A state championship—and third in four years. Teresa Baird led the Catholic attack with 13 points, with Molly Swift and sophomore Ragan O’Reilly adding 10 points apiece. The Lady Irish defense forced 16 turnovers and held Cole Camp to half its scoring average. Marty Hamilton held Cole Camp senior star Shelley Walden to just six points—nine below her average. Swift and Baird garnered 1st-Team All-State recognition following the season. With the back-to-back state championships, Hubbard became the youngest coach in state history to win two-straight state titles, a record that still stands. “To win back-to-back state championships in high school is quite a feat, and I was really proud of our team,” said Hubbard, who also notched her secondstraight Class 2A Coach of the Year honor. As for the record, “It’s an honor. I am very proud,

especially, of the fact it still stands. Records are broken all the time. For me, it’s always been about the players I coach. Did I help them become better, stronger young women? If so, I feel successful.” “What an amazing feeling it was to win back-to-back state championships,” said Teresa Baird. “We were a talented group of players,

“I remember the players the most,” said Hubbard, who has been an Associate Head Coach for the Missouri Southern State women’s basketball team for the past 12 years. “They were awesome. They were hard working and coachable. They had a lot of pride in their school and they were a joy to coach. They taught me as much as I taught them.”

Springfield Catholic’s Kristen Baird shoots a free throw in the Lady Irish’s come-from-behind 52-33 win over Cole Camp in the 1992 Class 2A state semifinals. Catholic’s Jenny Swift (#32) is pictured on the high block, with Molly Swift (#42) and Stephanie Thurman (opposite block) down low. (Photo courtesy of Kristen Roubal)

but Coach Hubbard was fundamental in us winning. Other teams may have had more talent, or may have been taller or faster, but Coach Hubbard did a great job of getting us to be selfless players. She coached us to play together as a team.” Springfield Catholic posted a 17-7 regular season record in 1993-94, but adversity struck the team prior to Districts, as senior Jenny Swift (the team’s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer) was lost to injury. Catholic captured yet another District championship, though, and defeated Lamar and Newburg in Sectionals and quarterfinals, respectively, to advance back to the Final Four season. In the state semifinals, Marty Hamilton dislocated an elbow early in the first period. Catholic fell into a 14-3 hole to Eskridge after the first period and did not recover, as its bid for a third-straight state championship was thwarted in the 54-39 loss. Catholic rebounded to defeat Brookfield in the third-place game 41-38 behind Teresa Baird’s 29 points. It has been nearly 20 years since the Lady Irish’s run of state championship success. Aside from a fourth-place finish in 2005, Catholic has not returned to the Final Four since the early 1990’s run of success. Looking back on those teams, it is easy for the former coaches and players to get nostalgic.

The team chemistry of the Lady Irish was strong. “Our team had great team chemistry, because we had played together at school and in the offseason,” said Courtney Swift. “We all had the common goal of being the best and all really liked to work hard.” “We were a close-knit school with small classes,” said Kristen Baird. “It makes the team really close when you have that family atmosphere, and with more than one group of sisters playing, it made us even closer.” Kristen’s sister, Teresa, echoed the familial element involved with those teams. “There were so many sister combos, plus the familial relationship of the school in general,” said Teresa. “It definitely helped bond the team together.” “My favorite part of playing basketball at Catholic was playing with my sisters,” said Courtney Swift. “My sisters and I instinctively knew what the other would do in situations on the court, and playing together was fun because we pushed each other. Catholic is like a small town, and our community really supported our team. It was fun to share the championship with people who cared about you and supported you.” Go hard or go home? The Catholic Lady Irish teams of the early 1990’s went hard, and then came home as state champions. OPI 27


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END ZONE

It starts so simply, and in so many places. In driveways, playgrounds, and backyards. In gyms, arenas, auditoriums, and multi-purpose facilities. On courts, hardwood, asphalt, and concrete. In the cities, the suburbs, the towns, the country, or on a farm. Inside a multimillion dollar cathedral, or outside on the dirt beside a barn. Millions of young boys and girls pick up a ball and try to put it through a hoop. Put a ball through a hoop. So simple it sounds, yet so infuriatingly difficult at times. Every year, some try it, eventually succeed, and then seek to do it again. Some will be frustrated enough to quit, and will never look back. Some will be sufficiently entertained and will log the activity as one to do again in the future. And then there are those which succumb to the siren song of basketball. The bounce, bounce, bounce of the ball on the floor. The singular sound of a basketball swishing through the net. Sneakers squeaking on a floor as players drive to a spot, then cut toward another, or stop suddenly. The clang of the ball colliding with the rim which means a shot has been missed, a rebound is available, and a battle of strength, smarts, and wills is about to begin as players seek to gain control of the ball. The referee’s whistle, players calling for the ball, shouts of exultation, joy, frustration. To those that love the game, all these sounds combine to create a symphony that rivals the greatest works of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, or Mahler. Greater, in fact, to them because the music of basketball speaks directly to their heart, and sings in chords that their soul can understand. Doing what I do, I obviously love sports. Singular memories occupy my mind from so many different sports. Steven Gerrard’s magic strike that put Liverpool through to the Champion’s League knockout stage, three St. Louis Cardinals World Series championships, Jonah Lomu dominating the rugby pitch for the New Zealand All Blacks, dozens of moments of Michigan football magic, the Miracle on Ice.

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Ken “Joboo” Pollreisz ozarkssports.net

But just as some people have one great true love, Spencer Tracy had Katherine Hepburn, and Joe Dimaggio had Marilyn Monroe, I have one true love in sports that burns brighter than all the rest: Basketball. And more than that, I love true basketball where the styles of play are varied and all types of players can rise up at any given moment. Where you can see teams that play defense like an iron strait jacket, as well as teams that get up and down the court like Olympic sprinters. Where an individual can catch fire and dominate a game, or the opposing coach can create a scheme that makes that great individual disappear for an entire game. I want my basketball to not be dictated by the rules or conditions imposed, or by what the crowds want to see, but by the type of players on the floor, by the skill and discipline of those players, and by how well the coach utilizes his talents and the talents of his players. That type of basketball that can’t hardly be found in the NBA. And you have to put up with 100 idiot millionaires to find one true ballplayer. It’s still alive in college, but you have to look past what is usually on ESPN or the other networks. But pure basketball is all around us right now in the small towns and gyms of the Ozarks. Not only in Springfield or Joplin. Not just in Nixa, Branson, Ozark, Bolivar, or Waynesville, but in Liberal, in Everton, in Chadwick, and Summerville. In towns that have schools that don’t even bear the town name like Newtonia, Anderson, Urbana, and Theodosia. The players may never be headed to the pros, or even college, but they love to play. And through their hard work, the wisdom of a good coach, and pure desire, they can create basketball that any roundball fan should appreciate. Good basketball, disciplined play, great teamwork, and sometimes even pure magic. And so I watch. Here in the very heart of high school basketball season, I make my way to gyms all over the Ozarks, knowing that the good basketball, disciplined play,

great teamwork, and excellent coaches are out there. Every night is another possibility to see someone who will leave a memory with me. A player with great potential that I should keep an eye on, the coach on the floor who any team would love to have, the raw athletic talent that is capable of amazing things on the floor, the coach who makes the adjustment to their game plan which allows their team to defeat another squad who is more gifted athletically. Great performances and aspects of the game that every basketball fan can enjoy. And they’re all around us. But more than that, I watch for the magic. And I’ve been seeing it for years. In my own high school when Robby Payne, during the homecoming game, took an inbounds pass and rushed up court to launch a prayer from half court that banked in to give Richland the win over Plato. In the great Marshfield Lady Jays teams of the late 80s who seemed to be surrounded by magic as they won game after game. In Trey Starks’ once in a lifetime alley-oop dunk in Hillcrest’s state championship game. In Spokane High School last spring, with a thunderstorm raging outside, as Levi Cook launched a pass toward the goal that Anthony Vermillion rose into the air for and slammed home, eliciting a roar that made it seem as if the thunderous storm had found its way inside the very walls of the gym. Magic. That magic can happen anywhere and anytime. Big gym or small. Class 5 school or class 1. I want to see as many of them as I can. The night that the sharpshooter plays the twine of nets like Eddie Van Halen playing a guitar solo. The game when the forward is unstoppable down low and takes over. When the player comes off the bench and out of nowhere to have the game of their life and bring their team a victory. My memories are filled with such indelible moments. When the impossible happens. Magic. And that is more than enough to keep me watching.

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Ozark Preps Illustrated - January February 2012  

Ozark Preps Illustrated - January February 2012