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O zark i l l u s t r at e d May-June 2011

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Branson’s Mike Compton

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Glendale’s Paul and John Nahon

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O zark i l l u s t r at e d LETTER from the O EDITOR ill O zark i l l u s t r at e d O ill P O zark i l l u sW t r at e d O ill O zark i l l u s t r at e d O ill O zark i l l u s t r at e d O ill O zark i l l u s t r at e d O ill O zark i l l u s t r at e d O ill O zark i l l u s t r at e d

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Dear Readers,

Well, we at Ozark Preps Illustrated have made it through the 2010-11 school year with this, our final issue before our back-to-school Fall Sports Preview in August. In the meantime, we will be upgrading our website and other social marketing outlets, so look to follow Ozark Preps Illustrated soon on both Facebook and Twitter, as we strive to provide the most in-depth coverage of high school sports in the Ozarks.

As excited as we are to be publishing the final issue of the school year (and spring sports season), that excitement has been tempered greatly by the tragic events of May 22 in Joplin, where an EF5 tornado ripped through the city just after 6:00 p.m., killing scores, wounding hundreds, and destroying homes, businesses and schools—including Joplin High School. Getting this final issue sent off to the printer has seemed very trivial in the grand scheme of things, as I have spent time praying and hoping for news of more survivors, as plea after emotional plea from loved ones have appeared in newspapers and on TV and radio. The accounts given by survivors of the monster storm have also shed light on the sudden and tragic force of the tornado. I have been touched by the overwhelming outpouring of support from all of you in the Ozarks, though. Every day since the tornado hit, I have encountered or learned of individuals and groups of people who have either journeyed to Joplin to assist in the aftermath, or who have donated money, belongings or anything else that may be of use to the families who lost everything in the storm. I was particularly touched by a young child’s lemonade stand and its handmade sign which read simply, “All $$$ to Joplin Tornado.”

The stories emerging from the aftermath of the tornado are everywhere. I attended the MSHSAA Class 3 and 4 Boys & Girls Track & Field Championships in Jefferson City on May 27 and learned of an uplifting tale in the face of such tragedy. Mariah Sanders, a junior pole vaulter from Joplin, had qualified for the State meet after a fourth-place finish at the Sectional meet in West Plains on May 21—the day before tragedy struck her hometown. According to reports, Sanders and her family lost their home and belongings—everything really— in the tornado, including her poles and team uniform. Sanders was not going to even make the trip to Jefferson City, and it certainly would have been understandable in light of what she had endured, and will continue to endure in the days, weeks, and months ahead. However, it was reported that the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association stepped forward and paid for Sanders and her parents to make the trip to the State meet, including covering hotel and food costs. It was uplifting to see Mariah mingling with her fellow competitors during the preliminaries—including smiling at times. It is amazing what a little bit of normalcy can do for the human psyche in times of tragedy—even if for just a moment or two. Sanders did not win a state title, but she did persevere. After standing in 13th-place following the first round, Mariah rebounded to finish in 10th-place overall with a vault of 10 feet. Actually, Mariah’s vault nearly got her on the podium, as her vault was the same height as the 8th-place finisher, but it took her an extra attempt to reach that height. Regardless, it was inspiring to watch, and I am sure that Mariah—and her family—heard the roar of the crowd when Mariah successfully cleared the bar early on in the event. The rebuilding process in Joplin is just beginning, and it will be years before the city has fully recovered. I know that the people of Joplin appreciate all of the love, support, and contributions made by individuals, groups, organizations, and businesses all over the country since May 22. However, let us not forget the people of Joplin in the coming weeks and months. This will not be a one week or one month recovery period. It will take years to fully recover. From what I can tell from the interviews I have seen and stories that I have read, the people of Joplin are resilient, and I have no doubt that they will recover from this—as impossible as it may seem at the present time. However, may we in the Ozarks continue to provide support—physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial—long after the initial outpouring of help from across the country has subsided. Also, please take time to read Scott Puryear’s remarkable End Zone column in this issue, which focuses on the post-tornado recovery of the Joplin High School athletic program, which lost everything from facilities to uniforms and equipment. The column also includes contact information for Joplin Athletic Director Jeff Starkweather, should you be interested in helping out with a donation. Thanks for reading Ozark Preps Illustrated, and we’ll see you in the fall!

2

www.ozarkpreps.com

Editor-In-Chief

bshive@ozarkpreps.com

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

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

Publisher/Editor-In-Chief Byron Shive Art Director Ty DeClue

Advertising Sales Representative Lisa Rayl Contributing Writers Scott Puryear Dr. J.P. Simanis Mike Hines

Contributing Photographers John Moore, Deanna Newberry

On the Cover Branson’s Mike Compton pitches in the District semifinal against Ozark.

Printer

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

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 similiar charges. All digital submissions and correspondence will be become property of 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.

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OPI has a clear committment 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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by Praile or in ponsible r manusimiliar will be

Stockton’s Dalton Freeze

Republic Girls Soccer Coach Mike Hines writes about the challenges for a first year program.

Dr. J.P. Simanis talks about preventing Staph infections.

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tisers do

ing corrections edibility

Scott Puryear writes about the upcoming challenges for the Joplin HIgh School athletic program in the aftermath of the devastating tornado.

Glendale’s Paul Nahon

Glendale’s Paul Nahon finished his high school career with a second straight Class 2 state singles title. He also got to play on the same team as his brother, John Nahon.

Ozark’s Jackie Wacha (L) and Glendale’s Allison Yoakam (R)

er Dr. 78218

Branson’s Mike Compton, a right-handed strikeout machine, is headed to Florida State after capping off a standout prep career on the mound for the Pirates.


M

MILESTONES

BASEBALL Zach Akins, Crane—1st-Team All-SWCL (P); School record for strikeouts in a single game (18) v. Spokane (5/9) Aaron Alexander, Sparta—Honorable Mention All-SWCL Sawyer Anderson, Ozark—2nd-Team All-COC Large (OF) Tyler Aschwege, Galena—Honorable Mention All-SWCL Brandon Bates, Spokane—Honorable Mention All-SWCL Tyler Beavers, Marion C. Early—Four (4) stolen bases v. Weaubleau (4/5) Treston Birt, Hermitage—Four (4) stolen bases v. Macks Creek (4/12) Spencer Blacksher, Willard—2nd-Team All-COC Large (P) Michael Burgess, Willard—2nd-Team All-COC Large (OF) Jordan Burnett, Clever—2nd-Team All-SWCL (P) Drew Cherry, Forsyth—1st-Team All-SWCL (IF) CLEVER—Class 2 3rd-place Brandon Cobb, Nixa—2nd-Team All-COC Large (IF) Mike Compton, Branson—1st-Team All-COC Large (P) Levi Cook, Crane—SWCL Player of the Year; 1st-Team All-SWCL (IF); Four (4) stolen bases v. Spokane (3/24) Ranger Curthis, Clever—Honorable Mention All-SWCL Taylor Darting, Forsyth—1st-Team All-SWCL (IF) Billy Dees, Forsyth—1st-Team All-SWCL (P) Dean Deetz, Nixa—2nd-Team All-COC Large (OF) Trey Elliot, Billings—1st-Team All-SWCL (IF) Austin Essick, Billings—1st-Team All-SWCL (C) Robbe Ewing, Stockton—School record for most runs scored in a game (5) (3/24 v. El Dorado Springs); 14 strikeouts v. Pleasant Hope (3/31); 11 strikeouts v. Marionville (4/7) Bradley Freeman, Sparta—2nd-Team All-SWCL (P) Colin Gowin, Hermitage—Four (4) stolen bases v. Macks Creek (4/12) Dalton Gulick, Miller—11 strikeouts v. Jasper (5/10) Bobby Hampton, Willard—1st-Team All-COC Large (OF) Dylan Head, Crane—1st-Team All-SWCL (OF) Michael Headlee, Ozark—1st-Team All-COC Large (IF) Cody Holzer, Ozark—1st-Team All-COC Large (OF) Derek Hurst, Forsyth—1st-Team All-SWCL (IF) Gage Jacobs, Bolivar—No-hitter v. Fair Grove in first round of Districts (5/14); 14 strikeouts in seven innings Connor Jenisch, Billings—1st-Team All-SWCL (P) Josh Jenkins, Sparta—2nd-Team All-SWCL (IF) Kyle Jochems, Ozark—1st-Team All-COC Large (IF) Chase Johnston, Mt. Vernon—Honorable Mention AllBig 8 Conference (SS) Isaac Johnston, Branson—1st-Team All-COC Large (OF) Cody Jones, Blue Eye—2nd-Team All-SWCL (C) Mike Joyce, Fair Grove—Six (6) RBI v. Marionville (4/1) Bruce Kissee, Sparta—2nd-Team All-SWCL (IF) Kyle Lafferty, Sparta—Honorable Mention All-SWCL Cody Lee, Mt. Vernon—1st-Team All-Big 8 Conference (P); Honorable Mention (1B) Austin Lenox, Aurora—2nd-Team All-Big 8 Conference (2B) Joel Lewallan, Hillcrest—Hit for the cycle v. Waynesville (4/5) Cody Lumpkin, Crane—Honorable Mention All-SWCL Nick Lytle, Hollister—Six (6) RBI v. Blue Eye (5/10) Mitch Marriott, Blue Eye—1st-Team All-SWCL (IF) Blake Martin, Ozark—2nd-Team All-COC Large (IF) Tyler Martin, Clever—Honorable Mention All-SWCL Ethan Meeks, Stockton—Three (3) home runs v. Greenfield (4/29) Dawson Meyer, Billings—Honorable Mention All-SWCL Austin Mooney, Blue Eye—1st-Team All-SWCL (UT) Cody Moore, Billings—2nd-Team All-SWCL (IF) Cody Mountain, Skyline—Six (6) RBI v. Climax Springs (4/7) Josh Neufeld, Nixa—1st-Team All-COC Large (P) Seth Nilges, Forsyth—2nd-Team All-SWCL (IF) Jed Owen, Willard—1st-Team All-COC Large (IF)

OZARK—Class 4 4th-place Alex Pate, Forsyth—2nd-Team All-SWCL (C) Luke Paulik, Billings—Honorable Mention All-SWCL David Pennewell, Clever—2nd-Team All-SWCL (P) Travis Pennewell, Clever—1st-Team All-SWCL (OF) Sam Perez, Branson—2nd-Team All-COC Large (IF) Jalen Perry, Forsyth—1st-Team All-SWCL (OF) Dallas Peterson, Aurora—Honorable Mention All-Big 8 Conference (UT) Lucas Peterson, Willard—1st-Team All-COC Large (P); Four (4) stolen bases v. McDonald County (3/25) Hunter Quick, Crane—2nd-Team All-SWCL (OF) Dylan Sekscinksi, Crane—2nd-Team All-SWCL (UT) Spencer Shreve, Aurora—Honorable Mention All-Big 8 Conference (3B) Jacob Simpson, Sparta—Honorable Mention All-SWCL Nathan Smith, Billings—2nd-Team All-SWCL (OF) Landon Snyder, Ozark—2nd-Team All-COC Large (P) SPRINGFIELD CATHOLIC—Class 3 4th-place Hayden Stancer, Ozark—1st-Team All-COC Large (C) Andrew Standlee, Blue Eye—Honorable Mention AllSWCL Lawton Summers, Marshfield—Class 4 District 10 2ndTeam All-District (OF) Taylor Tankersley, Branson—2nd-Team All-COC Large (P) Austin Tribby, Springfield Catholic—No-hitter v. Reeds Spring (4/14) Lane Truman, Billings—2nd-Team All-SWCL (OF) Zach Turner, Spokane—2nd-Team All-SWCL (IF) Riley Veith, Purdy—No-hitter v. Pierce City (3/24); 12 strikeouts in six innings Lee Wagner, Marshfield—Class 4 District 10 2nd-Team All-District (P) Cole Walden, Crane—2nd-Team All-SWCL (OF) Sean Wallace, Marshfield—Class 4 District 10 Honorable Mention All-District (IF) Dillon Washam, Mt. Vernon—1st-Team All-Big 8 Conference (DH) Auston Weldy, Mt. Vernon—1st-Team All-Big 8 Conference (OF) Andy Westfall, Ozark—1st-Team All-COC Large (UT) Chance Wolfe, Clever—1st-Team All-SWCL (C) BOYS GOLF CLASS 1 (Sedalia Country Club) Andy Godwin, Greenwood—Individual State Qualifier Adam Pipenhagen, Marion C. Early—Individual State Qualifier Phillip Roller, Purdy—Individual State Qualifier Garrett Vest, Hermitage—Individual State Qualifier CLASS 2 (Rivercut Golf Course) John Burrus, El Dorado Springs—Individual State Qualifier Samuel Cowherd, Mt. Vernon—Team State Qualifier Brock Derrick, Fair Grove—Individual State Qualifier Franklin Gonzalez, El Dorado Springs—Individual State Qualifier Tyler Johnson, Springfield Catholic—Individual State Qualifier Ryan Lacey, Mt. Vernon—Team State Qualifier MT. VERNON—4th-place overall (341-335=676) Korey Pryer, Mt. Vernon—Individual/Team State Qualifier David Rhoden, Mt. Vernon—Individual/Team State Qualifier Anthony Schreier, Hollister—Individual State Qualifier Jeffrey White, Springfield Catholic—Individual State Qualifier Benjamin Wiles, Springfield Catholic—Individual State Qualifier Eric Wilmoth, Mt. Vernon—ALL-STATE, 6th-place (159) CLASS 3 (Silo Ridge Country Club) Beau Allen, Republic—Individual State Qualifier Andrew Horton, Logan-Rogersville—Team State Qualifier Wyatt Humble, Logan-Rogersville—Individual/Team State Qualifier

LOGAN-ROGERSVILLE—4th-place (337-315=652) Robert Mahaffey, Logan-Rogersville—ALL-STATE, 10thplace (158) Clayton Moles, Marshfield—ALL-STATE, 10th-place (158) Davis Palen, Logan-Rogersville—ALL-STATE, 8th-place (156) Brenan Rigby, Logan-Rogersville—Team State Qualifier Tyler Tran, Bolivar—Individual State Qualifier CLASS 4 (Twin Oaks Country Club) Rayvaun Christenson, Glendale—Individual State Qualifier Jared Cohen, Ozark—Individual/Team State Qualifier Taylor Dade, Kickapoo—Individual State Qualifier Christian Dyer, Ozark—Team State Qualifier Kenneth (Ryan) Eady, Nixa—Individual State Qualifier Palmer Harrison, Kickapoo—Individual State Qualifier Ben Hogan, Ozark—Team State Qualifier Jeremy Liss, Nixa—Individual State Qualifier Evan Morrow, Nixa—Individual State Qualifier OZARK—7th-place (321-320=641) BOYS TENNIS Alex Belote, Central—6th-place, Class 2 Doubles (w/ Alex Ledger) James Borges, Forsyth—Class 1 State Qualifier (singles) Ryan Bunselmeyer, Central—Class 2 State Qualifier (doubles) Connor Frazier, Greenwood—Class 1 State Qualifier (singles) Kelsey Garnett, Central—Class 2 State Qualifier (doubles) Alex Ledger, Central—6th-place, Class 2 Doubles (w/ Alex Belote) Paul Nahon, Glendale—STATE CHAMPION, Class 2 Singles Marc Simon, Central—Class 2 State Qualifier (singles) BOYS TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS MEDALISTS CLASS 1 Britton Black, Greenfield—8th-place, 200 meter dash (23.77) Joey Brown, Humansville—8th-place, 3200 meter run (10:35.06) Alex Gardner, Osceola—6th-place, 400 meter dash (52.76) HUMANSVILLE—3rd-place, 4x800 meter relay (8:27.87) (Aaron Cross, Joey Brown, Ethan Mason, Dakota Shoemaker); 5th-place, 4x400 meter relay (3:36.44) (Ethan Mason, Matthew Youngblood, D.J. Davis, Aaron Cross) Dakota Shoemaker, Humansville—5th-place, 3200 meter run (10:29.37) CLASS 2 ASH GROVE—5th-place, 4x200 meter relay (1:32.77) (Logan Allred, Nick Console, Austin Hurst, Lonnie Miller) Blake Alexander, Strafford—3rd-place, 110 meter hurdles (15.03); 5th-place, 300 meter hurdles (40.70) Dylan Barnum, Strafford—STATE CHAMPION, 110 meter hurdles (14.32); STATE CHAMPION, 300 meter hurdles (39.30); 7th-place, long jump (20-01.50) Jordan Britton, Hollister—4th-place, long jump (2007.25); 5th-place, triple jump (42-03.00) Nic Cashio, Ash Grove—4th-place, discus (154-02) Tyler Coonis, Fair Grove—5th-place, 100 meter dash (11.19); 6th-place, long jump (20-06.00); 5th-place, 200 meter dash (22.64); 6th-place, triple jump (42-00.50) Dalton Freeze, Stockton—5th-place, high jump (602.00) Justin Hansen, Marionville—STATE CHAMPION, 1600 meter run (4:22.06) Ely Hendricks, Stockton—6th-place, 300 meter hurdles (40.88) Kris Kuoappamaki, Marionville—STATE CHAMPION, triple jump (43-09.50); 2nd-place, long jump (2101.00) MARIONVILLE—7th-place overall


GIRLS SOCCER Kelsey Bartell, Nixa—2nd-Team All-COC Large (F) Jamie Braun, Ozark—1st-Team All-COC Large (M) Keysha Burns, Ozark—1st-Team All-COC Large (D) Carlie Campbell, Republic—2nd-Team All-COC Large (D) Macie Cotter, Willard—1st-Team All-COC Large (F) Miriam Dashtipour, Willard—1st-Team All-COC Large (M) Morgan Davidson, Ozark—1st-Team All-COC Large (F) Brittany Dunn, Willard—1st-Team All-COC Large (GK) Kami Giese, Branson—1st-Team All-COC Large (D) GLENDALE—Class 3 3rd-place Kelsey Haist, Nixa—1st-Team All-COC Large (M) Amanda Hinkle, Branson—2nd-Team All-COC Large (D) Molly Killian, Ozark—2nd-Team All-COC Large (M) Brittany Kirkpatrick, Nixa—1st-Team All-COC Large (M) Sara Marcotte, Republic—1st-Team All-COC Large (F) Kristen Miller, Nixa—1st-Team All-COC Large (GK) Samantha Minor, Republic—2nd-Team All-COC Large (F) Lauren Moats, Nixa—1st-Team All-COC Large (M) Rachel Murphy, Nixa—1st-Team All-COC Large (F) Lindsay Owens, Willard—2nd-Team All-COC Large (F) SPRINGFIELD CATHOLIC—Class 1 STATE CHAMPIONS Torri Thomas, Willard—2nd-Team All-COC Large (D) Jackie Wacha, Ozark—2nd-Team All-COC Large (F) Shelby Zielke, Nixa—2nd-Team All-COC Large (D) GIRLS TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS MEDALISTS CLASS 1 Kellie Bays, Humansville—6th-place, discus (102-06) Olivia Francka, Halfway—STATE CHAMPION, 1600 meter run (5:19.26); 2nd-place, 3200 meter run (11:48.79) Emily Lippa, Osceola—6th-place, 100 meter dash (12.95); 6th-place, 200 meter dash (26.64) CLASS 2 Taylor Alumbaugh, El Dorado Springs—2nd-place, high jump (5-05.00) ASH GROVE—5th-place, 4x100 meter relay (51.36)

(Sierrah Ballard, Kristen Keene, Kassandra Roberts, Kaile Weinreis) Kaitlyn Barnett, Sparta—8th-place, high jump (5-00.00) EL DORADO SPRINGS—7th-place, 4x200 meter relay (1:48.61) (Taylor Alumbaugh, Amanda Warren, Kate Sibley, Kelly Wilkinson) Emilyn Dearman, Stockton—2nd-place, 100 meter hurdles (15.74); 2nd-place, 300 meter hurdles (46.13) Molly O’Brien, Spokane—8th-place, 300 meter hurdles (48.42) Alexis Smith, Stockton—8th-place, 1600 meter run (5:27.05) STOCKTON—5th-place, 4x800 meter relay (9:55.49) (Emilyn Dearman, Alexis Smith, Arnica Zitting, Rachel Wheeler); 6th-place, 4x400 meter relay (4:11.00) (Josie Pyle, Alexis Smith, Rachel Wheeler, Emilyn Dearman) Kaile Weinreis, Ash Grove—4th-place, high jump (504.00); 5th-place, triple jump (34-09.25); 6th-place, long jump (16-03.50) Hannah Wisdom, Skyline—4th-place, 200 meter dash (26.04); 6th-place, 100 meter dash (12.59) CLASS 3 Danielle Dean, Reeds Spring—6th-place, high jump (5-02) Sarah Kreul, Republic—7th-place, discus (115-03) Jessica Stepp, Marshfield—5th-place, long jump (1609.75) CLASS 4 Olivia Brand, Glendale—4th-place, discus (133-03) Michaela Dapprich, Branson—3rd-place, discus (134-08) Lucy Givens, Branson—6th-place, pole vault (10-03.00) Liz Reida, Kickapoo—2nd-place, 1600 meter run (4:56.42); 3rd-place, 3200 meter run (10:42.67); 6thplace, 800 meter run (2:15.42) Ruby Stevens, Branson—8th-place, high jump (5-02.00) Rana Thomas, Parkview—5th-place, high jump (503.00) MISCELLANEOUS • The Bolivar boys 4x400 meter relay team rewrote the school record book to close out the season. At the Sectional meet on May 21, the Liberator team of freshman Will Thomas, senior Sterling Roberts, junior Mitchell Waters, and sophomore Haryl Starkey took home firstplace honors with a time of 3.27.88, which broke the previous school best of 3:29, set in 2005. Junior Darnell Walker joined Roberts, Waters, and Starkey following the end of the baseball season in time for the state meet in Jefferson City. On May 27, the quartet shaved over two seconds off the school record that had stood for a mere six days with a time of 3.25.20. The team knocked nearly two more seconds off the day-old record in the finals, finishing in 4th-place at the MSHSAA Class 3 Boys Track & Field Championships on May 28 with a new school record time of 3.23.45. In a span of just one week, the team obliterated the previous school record by six seconds. • Branson standout Mike Compton tossed a perfect game in a 1-0 victory over Carl Junction in the Pirates’ season opener. Compton, who has signed to play collegiately next season for national powerhouse Florida State, struck out 14 batters in the seven inning game, including seven of the first eight batters he faced. • Branson senior Avery Dingman was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2011 Missouri Challenge after leading the Southwest Team on a dominating three-game steamroll through the third annual all-star competition, as the Southwest team beat its three opponents by an average margin of victory of 29 points. Willard’s Tim Huskisson and Parkview’s Korry Tillery joined Dingman on the All-Tournament Team. • The Clever baseball team attempted to send longtime head coach Marty Little off into retirement with a state championship. The Bluejays entered Districts with a hohum 12-11 record, but proceeded to get hot at the right time. Clever avenged a pair of regular season losses with wins over SWCL rivals Spokane and Blue Eye, and then beat Fordland for the District title. The Bluejays avenged another regular season loss with a win over Purdy in the Sectional round, before beating Cabool to advance to the Class 2 Final Four. However, Clever’s Cinderella run ended in the semifinals with a 12-2 loss to Summit Christian Academy on June 1. The Bluejays, who did not have a senior on the roster, beat Charleston in the third-place game to finish their season at 17-13—and give Coach

Little his 300th career victory in his 28th and final season at Clever. • Pleasant Hope’s Lauren McCurry, Spokane’s Molly O’Brien, Stockton’s Chayla Rutledge, and Mt. Vernon’s Kenzie Williams were all named to the All-Tournament Team after guiding the Southwest Team to its first championship in the third-annual Missouri Challenge. The team won the championship game 98-71 over the Kansas City team on May 28, and won its three games by an average of 38 points per contest. • Nixa’s Josh Neufeld has been a strikeout machine on the mound this season. The senior opened the season with a dominating performance, striking out 14 West Plains batters in six innings of work in an 11-0 win on Mar. 21. Neufeld tossed a no-hitter against Glendale on Apr. 2, striking out 12 Falcon batters in the 11-0 victory. More recently, Neufeld battled a powerful Willard lineup, and struck out 15 Tiger batters in Nixa’s 1-0 loss on May 4. • The Nixa girls soccer team captured its first-ever COC Large title with a 2-0 victory over arch-rival and longtime conference nemesis Ozark on May 5 at Nixa. Freshman Paige Townsend and junior Lauren Moats provided the scoring for the Lady Eagles, as Nixa handed the Lady Tigers’ their first-ever loss in conference play. • The Parkview girls soccer team won its first-ever District title with a 2-0 victory over Joplin on May 19, as sophomore Emily Courtney and senior Kelsey Loderhose scored first half goals for the Lady Vikings. Sparta’s Josh Jenkins

Austin Slagle, Ash Grove—5th-place, 1600 meter run (4:29.96); 4th-place, 800 meter run (2:02.52) STOCKTON—5th-place, 4x800 meter relay (8:21.33) (Ely Hendricks, Dustin Pate, Tanner Collins, Dalton Freeze) STRAFFORD—3rd-place overall team; 4th-place, 4x800 meter relay (8:21.19) (Josh Avers, Zach Cobb, Will Lee, Jesse Snow); 5th-place, 4x400 meter relay (3:31.28) (Blake Alexander, Dylan Barnum, Jesse Snow, Josh Avers) CLASS 3 Aaron Allphin, Reeds Spring—6th-place, high jump (6-05) BOLIVAR—4th-place, 4x400 meter relay (3:23.45) (Darnell Walker, Sterling Roberts, Mitchell Waters, Haryl Starkey); 7th-place, 4x200 meter relay (1:31.16) (Aaron Allen, Haryl Starkey, Levi Miller, Mitchell Waters) Austin Craven, Hillcrest—8th-place, 3200 meter run (9:46.20) Ryan Kulju, Bolivar—4th-place, 300 meter hurdles (39.67) Manny Ofori-Yeboah, Bolivar—6th-place, 110 meter hurdles (15.43) Haryl Starkey, Bolivar—8th-place, 400 meter dash (50.82) CLASS 4 Brady Adams, Nixa—4th-place, 200 meter dash (22.35) Daniel Anderson, Ozark—2nd-place, 400 meter dash (48.65) Brandon Brott, Branson—5th-place, 3200 meter run (9:17.06); 7th-place, 1600 meter run (4:15.56) Tyler Calhoun, Ozark—2nd-place, high jump (6-06.00) Cameron Chancey, Branson—5th-place, 110 meter hurdles (14.60) Skyler Frazier, Willard—2nd-place, shot put (57-00.25); 7th-place, discus (153-08) Jordan Kukal, Parkview—3rd-place, discus (169-06) Brady Melugin, Nixa—5th-place, pole vault (14-00) Josh Morgan, Branson—2nd-place, pole vault (15-06) OZARK—8th-place overall team; 3rd-place, 4x400 meter relay (3:20.06) (Daniel Anderson, Hunter Tremain, Kramer Patterson, Skyler Verfurth); 8th-place, 4x200 meter relay (1:29.87) (Tyler Calhoun, Austin Roberts, Skyler Verfurth, Kramer Patterson) Quintin Smith, Parkview—7th-place, 200 meter dash (22.85)


CT

CHALK TALK

When you are starting a first year program, how do you define success? I am the head soccer coach for the boy’s and girl’s soccer program at Republic High School. This is the first year that Republic has offered soccer at the high school level. Prior to Republic, I was an assistant coach for 18 seasons at Kickapoo High School, which has won multiple District, Sectional and quarterfinal titles and enjoyed success across the state. Let us begin with the day I walked out of Republic High School in May of 2010 after meeting with students for the first time. I was overflowing with confidence. In my possession were just over 100 signatures for the girl’s program around 60 for the boy’s program. In reality, as my first year starts to wind down, I find myself smiling as I remember the hopes and expectations from 12 months ago. I reflect not because I had a “bad” year, because I actually had a great year, but because of all the things that made it great that had nothing to do with my original expectations. My hope for anyone embarking on a similar journey of starting any athletic program is to consider the following paragraphs as a road map that if done with energy and consistency, will promote success. But we should first define success. I firmly believe that coaches will have success if their athletes have positive experiences. My purpose in coaching has evolved over the course of several years from what some may consider a mainstream thought of focusing on

Mike Hines Head Girls Soccer Coach, Republic Tigers

winning to a multifaceted process with the intent to provide athletes with a safe environment to encourage development of character, thinking skills and knowledge about themselves with the intent to become productive adults. With this in mind, I support multi-sport athletes in addition to them participating in a wide range of activities. I would much rather see well-rounded athletes leaving high school than one that specializes solely in a particular area. I do see the value of a highly skilled athlete that does specialize, but those are in the minority. A remarkable aspect of our educational process is the opportunities that surround our athletes while in school. Experiences that will assist students in developing a healthy lifestyle and provide options to avoid the effects of a sedentary lifestyle should be endorsed. Coaches should feel compelled to support activities, provide information, and model appropriate behavior that benefit the mind and body for life. Demonstrating positive behavior, encouraging students’ positive behavior, treating students appropriately, and challenging students both academically, personally, and socially are key components in the implementation process. Challenging students (within reason) benefits everyone, because challenging students makes their grades and efforts more meaningful. I know that while coaching I will look at a variety of things to evaluate my players. I try to draw from five categories: an athlete’s attitude, a willingness to learn, fitness, character and academic achievement. Through the course of a

season, athletes often experience a full range of emotions and we have the opportunity to help them navigate these emotions. My expectations will be for my athletes to exhibit characteristics centered on these areas. I strongly believe that behavior in sports often reflects one’s behavior in life and that coaches have the opportunity to help athletes succeed on a multitude of levels. I believe a requirement of quality coaching is to show commitment, enthusiasm, and most importantly, a readiness to develop personal relationships with my athletes. From this comes an athlete’s willingness to improve motivation, and from the motivation comes an increase in their learning and a more thorough understanding of their purpose—both on and off the field. The last requirement I place on my players is for them to have fun. I often receive interesting looks when I mention this, but I always include a twist. First, I remind my athletes that teams who are successful usually have more fun and I have yet to work with a team that did not have to work hard in order to achieve success. Second, teams that do not define success or team goals often get lost in their purpose. I have yet to meet anyone that achieved any significant level of success without defining common goals and having an attitude that committed them to their craft. The bottom line is to get your athletes to buy what you are selling while continuously developing positive attitudes and a willingness to put forth the extra effort. This will bring the success your players deserve.

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

What types of sports injuries are most comI also strongly advocate well defined periods of mon? Are there differences between the most rest between set periods of training and to use the Staph infection is a problem that many high can continue to spread and eventually move common types of injuries in children and adults? down time to cross train (i.e.—taking part in othschool athletes are faced Learn into a person’s bloodstream leading sepsis. The most common type ofwith sportstoday. injuries are er sports or activities that use and stresstodifferent more about this and bacterium can Overuse prevent muscles, The signstendons and symptoms thatThere suggest overuse injuries strains so or you sprains. and bones). is a bloodreason yourself from getting troubleactivities with MRSA. stream can(MLB, include fever, injuries occur when into repetitive place that all infection/sepsis professional sports NFL, etc.)shakhave too much stress on tendons and bones without an ingoffchills, night sweats, season; no one can godifficulty 100% in abreathing, sport year an adequate period of recovery. With adequate around withoutaches riskingand injury or reducing their diffuse muscle an overall worsening What is Staph infection (MRSA)? recovery time, the is body typically is able to cross training allows ill feeling. It isAlso, important to know that aa person blood Staph infection an infection caused byheal the performance. damaged tissues. With the current trend of chil- to maintain a baseline of fitness while reducing Staphylococcus (or “staph”) bacteria. The rea- infection/sepsis is a very serious medical condidren and young adults training and competing the stress to tendons and bones that occur from tion and requires urgent medical attention and son a problem is because year staph aroundinfections in a singleare sport, compounding stress repetitive activities. is left untreated, can result in death. some staph bacteria can become immune to to tendons and bones from repetitive activity ulti- if itWith regards to children, I believe that early some makmatelycommonly leads to anused injuryantibiotics that causesthereby an athlete to sport specialization should be avoided; the focus seekthe medical attention. Strains and sprains, ing infection difficult to cure. Staph unlike infec- again How should do youbeget Staph?fitness and having fun on general overusethat injuries, tend to occur more suddenly but much emphasis on winning. Other tions develop antibiotic resistance are without MRSAtoo infections that occur in the general still involve muscles, tendons and bones. Staphy- guidelines follow would be to ensure thatarea called MRSA or Methicillin-resistant communitytooutside of a hospital setting The most common thatthat I see in thedue of- child is adequately to play a sportwith (in lococcus aureus. It isinjuries believed MRSA contracted either byprepared skin-to-skin contact fice and in the training room are ankle sprains/ other words taking part in activities that are apto generations of antibiotic overuse whereby someone who already has an infection or by strains, knee pain (typically from either a condi- propriate for their age, ability levels and physical antibiotics frequentlypain given for conditions coming into contact items thatand carry the tion called were patellofemoral syndrome or pa- characteristics), to use with properly fitting mainsuch as colds, flus viral infections that(typdo tained bacteria on them tosuch as the lockersuperviroom tellar tendinosis), lowand back pain, elbow pain equipment, provide adequate not respond to antibiotics. As a result, bacteria sion flooroforsports/activities towels, gym/sporting equipment, etc. ically from tennis or golfer’s elbow), and shoulder by qualified adults, and to gradually began the to most develop defenses against The bacteria gain access into the body often injuries. Although common injuries may avoid overtraining. Are there certain types of activities in which affect the same joints childrenresistance. and adults, the through antibiotics leading to in antibiotic a small break or tear in the skin. reason or cause of the pain can be very differ- injuries are more likely to occur? Are there cerent because children’s cartilage is still develop- tain times of year when injuries are more likely How do you prevent a Staph infection? ing and their growth plates are still open among to occur? What are the symptoms of Staph infecFirst of can all, occur if youwith haveany a activity cut, sore have Injuries in or which a other things. As a result, the stresses to the body the adequately skin, keepprepared it clean towith regular tions? person in is not participate. that children experience during sports or activi- break and water cover with aon drythe dressing If somebody hasand spent theiritspring couch infections can appear small red tiesStaph often affect them differently. Foras example, hip soap watching baseball on TVavoid and then suddenly bebandage. Secondly, sharing personal pain in on a child who hasofnot reached bumps the surface theyet skin, similarpuberty in ap- or comessuch inspired to joinsocks, a local baseball league, may be secondary flow to items as towels, razors, deodorant, pearance to pimplestoordisrupted bug bites.blood If left untreatmay be reports preparedof toa go nineoutinthe of bumps the thighcan bone where as in an mentally etc. Therethey have been MRSA ed, upper these part small sometimes quite steal home or hit teams the winning home run, older child, it may be the result of slippage of the nings, break among football because towels rapidly swell and turn into abscesses that are growth plate in the hip. In a young adult, the pain but their body on the other hand may argue othshared in the locker room. red, to athe touch and surprisingly tender were erwise (and more often than not, win the argumay warm be from stress fracture (a kind of fracture Other wearing or painful. If left untreated, the staph infection point is thatinclude you have to planshower ahead that occurs from overuse) and in an older adult, ment). Thesuggestions the pain may be from arthritic changes. Although and prepare adequately and gradually, and be each patient may present with hip pain, each can realistic about the level of fitness you are starting have a very different reason for the pain, which from. A person who has been active year around would require very different management and will be able to reach a higher level of activity sooner than someone who has basically taken an treatment. What can you do to prevent sports injuries? Are entire season completely off. Also, someone who there precautions parents can take to help pre- has cross-trained in different activities will more vent injuries in their children? easily adapt to a new activity than someone who I believe that one of the best things a person has only played a specific sport year round. can do is to maintain a good base of fitness This being said, I believe we do tend to see throughout the year and to avoid abruptly starting an increase in certain injuries in some sports or a new routine or making significant changes to activities secondary to this “too much too soon” an already existing routine. Following the “rule of phenomenon. For instance, in the spring, many 10%” provides a good general guideline to pre- people often suddenly become inspired to go vent overuse injuries in all ages. The rule suggests from “puff and fluff” to “buff and tough,” often that total training (duration, intensity, duration or with unintended, painful consequences. This also any combination of these) should not increase occurs to a degree with the start of any organized more than 10% over a period of time. For ex- sports season. For example, in college football, ample, if you walk 20 miles every week, it would athletes who have spent their summer lying by probably be safe to increase to 22 miles the fol- the pool or on the beach have a difficult time ad800 East C your mileage M/F justing8:00-6:00 lowing weekAldrich, if you wantSuite to increase to the intense training schedule of two-abut keep the same65613 pace. day practices with the start of school. Again, the Bolivar, MO T/W/Th 8:00-8:00

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emphasis should be on year around generalized fitness. shoes around the locker room as MRSA can be Has the incidence of sports injuries changed picked off the locker room floors; however, it over theup years? is also to clean/disinfect your trend shower Thereimportant does seem to be an increasing in shoes weekly prevent the accumulation of the number of to younger athletes who are developing overuse injuries. be attributedthat in bacteria on them. It is This also can recommended part, wash perhaps, to hands the overall number you your withgrowing soap and waterand or participation in youth sports wash acrossyour the country, hand sanitizer, frequently towels/ as welland as the increasing of school and sheets disinfect yournumbers gear. club programs, summer sport camps and competitive leagues. However, there is data to suggest How doincreasing you treatnumbers Staph? of overuse injuries that the If you think youinhave a staph you that are occurring younger andinfection, younger athletes may also be related to the for factfurther that children should seek medical attention evalutoday seem to be specializing one the sport at an ation. If the infection is caughtinearly, healthearlier and earlier as well as now training care provider may age, simply suggest applying loyear around. Gone aretothe a kid used cal warm moist heat thedays areawhen several times a to take part in one sport in the fall, another in the day; if the infection does not improve over the spring and perhaps even a third in the summer. next one to two days or becomes progressively The demand to succeed, which I feel is often in worse, the healthcare provider mayof then prepart driven by the media coverage competiscribe particular of antibiotic to which tions asa well as thekind tremendous salaries that a the infection is still sensitive.pressures If the infection, select few athletes command, athletes to train harder and longer to into achieve the however, progresses and hoping develops an abcelebrity status that only a few athletes will ever scess, then it may be necessary to incise and achieve all believe they are capable (indrain thebut abscess as well as pack it with of a specluding some parents and coaches). cial dressing that would require the patient to Do people always recognize when they are inreturnwhile to his/her provider jured playing a sport?on a regular basis to have until the abscess reNo,the notpacking always. changed Without proper medical trainsolves, which could take days symptoms to weeks. ing, people may either notseveral know what to even for with a particular (i.e.—a The mostlook serious situation is wheninjury the infection stressinto fracture the back orand hip develops from overuse) gets the of bloodstream into or they which may misinterpret symptoms that hospital they do sepsis, could potentially require recognize it upwith to something else (“I admission and and chalk treatment IV antibiotics. thought the pain in my knee was just from getting older.”). That is why I believe a person trained and qualified in sports medicine is a valuable asset in helping to accurately recognize, interpret, diagnose and manage the wide variety of injuries a person or athlete can sustain while taking part in physical activities or participating in sports. What types of treatments are available for sports injuries? There is a tremendous variety of treatments available depending on the nature of the injury. It can range from as simple as adjusting an already existing training program to basic physical therapy (such as adding particular stretching/strengthening exercises) to using different modalities such as bracing, ultrasound, or injections, to ultimately surgery involving state of the art techniques such as arthroscopy and so forth. A physician trained in sports medicine would be more aware of the great variety of techniques, methods and equipment available, but would also better understand which intervention would be most appropriate and effective to use and when.

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PHOTO FINISH

Ash Grove’s Kaile Weinreis high jumps at the Strafford Invitational meet on Apr. 19. The standout senior athlete finished in second-place in the event with a leap of 5’2”. The standout senior finished in 4th-place in the high jump at the Class 2 MSHSAA Girls Track & Field Championships on May 21, and also medaled in three other events. (Staff Photo)

Fair Grove Tyler Coonis competes in the long jump at the Strafford Invitational on Apr. 19. The senior took home 1st-place honors in the event with a leap of 20’3”, and is the school record holder in the event with a jump of 21’10”. Coonis finished in 6th-place in the long jump at the Class 2 Boys Track and Field Championships on May 21 in Jefferson City (Staff Photo)

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Springfield Catholic’s Dylan Love follows through on a double to the right centerfield gap that gave the Fightin’ Irish a 3-2 lead over Mt. Vernon in a Class 3 Sectional game on May 24. Trailing 2-0 entering the top of the seventh, Springfield Catholic rallied for five two-out runs to advance to the state quarterfinals. Catholic eventually advanced to the Class 3 Final Four, and finished in 4th-place. (Staff Photo)


Logan-Rogersville’s Emily Price (#8) face plants the Harrisonville goalkeeper as the two battle for a loose ball in Rogersville’s 3-0 loss in Sectional play on May 24. (Staff Photo)

Clever’s Brandon Laney returns a shot in his #2 singles match against a Monett opponent in a match played at Clever on Apr. 2. (Staff Photo)

Clever pitcher Jordan Burnett (#23) puts the tag on Galena’s Joey Elder (#30) in the Bears’ 5-4 victory at Clever on Apr. 12. (Staff Photo)

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Members of the Branson trap shooting team compete at the 24th annual Missouri Department of Conservation High School Championship trap shoot on Apr. 30 at the Missouri Trapshooters Association grounds in Linn Creek. The team finished one bird short of taking top honors in the event. The team of Matt Cesar, Bryce Haffecke, Chase Mathes, Jake McSpadden, and Josh Ong later captured the MTA’s Missouri State Championships with a score of 934/1,000 on May 14, besting second-place by 12 birds. Pictured above at the Apr. 30 event are (L to R): Chase Mathes, Bryce Haffecke (shooting), Jake McSpadden, Josh Ong, and Cory Houston. (Photo by John Moore)

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Glendale’s Trey Watson (#3) throws over to first baseman Major Venable (#12) in an attempt to pick off Ozark’s diving Andy Westfall in the Tigers’ 8-1 victory in the first round of District play at Neil Pittman Field at Kickapoo High School. Ozark would capture a District title three days later with a 7-6 victory over top-seeded Kickapoo. (Staff Photo)

Parkview shortstop Tyler Nemmers makes the throw to first base to record a groundout in the Vikings’ 3-1 loss to Nixa in first round play of the Class 4 District 11 tournament on May 14 at Neil Pittman Field at Kickapoo High School. (Staff Photo)

Reeds Spring’s Shannon Allen edges out a Joplin runner at the finish line to give the Lady Wolves’ a 7th-place finish in the finals of the 4x100m relay on Apr. 26 at the 89th annual Aldo Sebben Missouri State Relays at Plaster Sports Complex on the campus of Missouri State University. Allen qualified for the Class 3 Girls Track & Field Championships in the 400 meter dash. (Staff Photo)

Logan-Rogersville’s Wyatt Humble putts on the #2 green at Silo Ridge Country Club during first round action at the Class 3 MSHSAA Boys Golf Championships on May 16. Humble posted a twoday total of 161—good for 22nd-place overall—and helped lead the Wildcats to a 4th-place team finish. (Staff Photo)

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Marshfield’s Clayton Moles launches a drive on #10 at Silo Ridge Country Club during first round action at the Class 3 MSHSAA Boys Golf Championships on May 16. Moles garnered All-State honors after posting a two-day total of 158—good for a seven-way tie for 10th-place overall. (Staff Photo)

Mt. Vernon third baseman Skylar Phillips (#12) throws to first to record an out in the Mt’Neers’ heartbreaking 5-3 loss to Springfield Catholic in a Class 3 Sectional on May 24. Mt. Vernon took a 2-0 lead to the seventh inning, but surrendered five two-out runs to the Fightin’ Irish. The Mt’Neers rallied in the bottom of the seventh, and after scoring one run had runners at first and second with one out but could do not get the tying runs home. Mt. Vernon finished the season with a 16-11 record. (Staff Photo)

Branson’s Josh Farley (L) prepares to slam home a return shot, as doubles partner Brandon Zacarias (R) looks on in the Pirates’ 7-2 loss to Glendale on Apr. 20. (Staff Photo)

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Glendale’s Becca Burton (#19) and Parkview’s Emma Chilton (#2) race after a loose ball in the Lady Falcons’ 7-0 win over the Lady Vikings in the Sectional round of the Class 3 state tournament. Glendale upped its record to 20-1 on the season with the win, and advanced to the state quarterfinals to face Rock Bridge. Parkview finished its season at 12-10, and captured the school’s first-ever District championship. (Staff Photo)

hillips in the pringn May e sevwo-out rs rald after d secet the ed the oto)

Kickapoo’s Stausha Spicer competes in the preliminaries of the 100m high hurdles at the Nixa Invitational on Apr. 12. (Staff Photo)

Branson’s Josh Farley (L) prepares to slam home a return shot, as doubles partner Brandon Zacarias (R) looks on in the Pirates’ 7-2 loss to Glendale on Apr. 20. (Staff Photo)

Logan-Rogersville’s Kyle Guison competes in the shot put at the Bolivar Invitational meet on Apr. 14. (Staff Photo)

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Purdy’s Riley Veith (#3) pitches to the plate in the Eagles’ 5-3 victory over Miller in the semifinals of the Class 2 District 12 tournament on May 16 at the newly-dedicated Rick Creed Field at Ash Grove High School. Purdy defeated Diamond 5-1 on May 17 to capture the District championship. (Staff Photo)

Republic’s Sarah Kreul slings the discus during preliminary action at the Bolivar Invitational on Apr. 11. Kreul qualified for the Class 3 Girls Track & Field Championships with a second-place finish at the Sectional meet on May 21. (Staff Photo)

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Spokane second baseman Randal Bolin (#00) receives the throw as Strafford’s Tanner Davis (#8) slides into second base on a steal attempt in the Indians’ 9-0 victory over the Owls during round robin play of the Southwest Missouri Wood Bat Classic on Apr. 19 at Strafford. (Staff Photo)


Ozark’s Landon Snyder hurls a pitch to the plate in the Tigers’ 4-3 victory over Branson in the semifinals of the Class 4 District 11 tournament on May 16 at Neil Pittman Field at Kickapoo High School. The junior pitched a gem, scattering five hits and two runs over 6 1/3 innings of work to advance Ozark to the District title game, where the Tigers defeated top-seeded Kickapoo 7-6. Snyder also shut down a high-powered Webb City attack in the Sectional, and took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, as Ozark advanced to the state quarterfinals with a 9-1 victory over the Cardinals. (Staff Photo)

Republic’s Beau Allen reads the green prior to putting on the #12 green at Silo Ridge Country Club during action at the Bolivar Invitational on Apr. 11. The Bolivar Invite served as a scouting mission for Allen, as he recorded an 8th-place finish at the Sectional tournament on May 4 at Marshfield Country Club to advance to the Class 3 State Meet—also played at Silo Ridge Country Club. (Staff Photo)

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Central’s Kaitlin Toelke (#12) beats Hillcrest’s Elise Tuttle (R) to the ball in the Lady Bulldogs’ 4-1 victory over the Lady Hornets in the consolation game of the Willard Invitational Tournament on Apr. 30. (Staff Photo


Willard’s Spencer Blacksher fires a pitch to the plate in the Tigers’ dramatic 6-5 victory over Branson on May 3 at Willard. (Staff Photo)

Nixa senior Courtney Frerichs (Red) screens Republic’s Kailey Mathis (L) from the ball as the Lady Tigers’ goalkeeper, Amanda Snider looks on in the Lady Eagles’ 8-0 victory on May 3 at Republic. Nixa lost a heartbreaking 2-0 game to Glendale in the Class 3 District 11 championship game on May 20. Republic finished its inaugural soccer campaign with a 3-9 overall record, which included a 3-0 victory over Neosho on May 4 in the first-ever “Kick Autism” soccer match, which raised over $5,800 for “Autism Speaks.” (Staff Photo)

Spokane senior Molly O’Brien high jumps during the Strafford Invitational on Apr. 19. O’Brien won the event with a jump of 5’2”. (Staff Photo)

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Nixa’s Jeremy Liss blasts out of a greenside bunker on the #12 hole at Silo Ridge Country Club during the Bolivar Invitational on Apr. 11. Liss notched a 6th-place individual finish at the Sectional meet on May 4 at A.L. Gustin Golf Course in Columbia to advance to the State meet. (Staff Photo)

– Coach Morgan Wootten,

P


BRANSON

Compton

HEAT BY BYRON SHIVE

After posting some gaudy stats and garnering numerous postseason honors in 2010, the bar was set pretty high entering the 2011 baseball season for Branson senior pitcher Mike Compton, a flame throwing strikeout machine.


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he was noticed by college recruiters and pro scouts. He played in a summer league in Florida the past two summers, and has attended as many showcase events and baseball camps that his schedule would allow, including the showcase event at Florida State last summer that led to his scholarship offer. It goes without saying that Compton’s parents, Mike and Jannine, are very proud of their son. Mike and Jannine also have an older son who will be graduating from Florida International University soon. “He is a very mature, focused young man—on and off the field,” said Jannine of Mike. “What you see is what you get. He is very down-to-earth and humble.” Compton’s father is also very proud of his son. “I’m proud of my boys,” he said. “I’d feel the same way even if he wasn’t a baseball player and heading off to college with a scholarship. No matter if he hits a homerun or strikes out, I’m still proud of him.” Compton’s Branson teammates appreciate his talents and friendship. “We’re lucky to have him here,” said fellow senior pitcher Taylor Tankersley. “He has taught he to hit your spots and throw lots of strikes.” Tankersley described Compton as “one of the quietest guys I know,” and added that Compton is not the best driver around, citing a couple of fender benders as proof. Paul Stevens, the Pirates’ senior right fielder, likes to argue sports with Compton. “He’s one of the best I’ve ever seen,” said Stevens of Compton. “As the team’s right fielder, I know I’m going to get a lot of action that day. You have to be on your toes when he’s pitching.” In Compton’s first trip back to the mound following the perfect game, he struck out 13 batters in six innings of work to pick up the win in Branson’s 6-2 victory over state-ranked LoganRogersville in the final game of the Lead Off Tournament. Compton tossed a one-hitter in his third start, a 5-1 victory over Harrison in which he registered another 16 strikeouts. Compton ran his record to 4-0 for the season in a 12-2 win over St. Thomas Aquinas in the semifinals of the Dan Furst Memorial Tournament. The storybook season unfolding took a different turn, though, in an Apr. 14 game against Ozark. Compton took the mound in the first inning, but left the game before the inning was complete with soreness in his right shoulder. He would not pitch again until May 10, although he did contribute at the plate and in the field at first base for the Pirates. Compton returned to the mound in time for Districts, and took

the ball for Branson’s semifinal match-up against Ozark. Compton settled into a pitcher’s duel with the Tigers’ Landon Snyder. Ozark held a slim 1-0 lead until the sixth inning when the Tigers tacked on three more runs. Branson rallied in the top of the seventh, but fell one run short in a disappointing 4-3 loss, which ended the Pirates’ season at 17-7. For the season, Compton posted a 4-1 record with a 1.14 ERA. He struck out nearly two batters for every inning he pitched this season, as he recorded 67 strikeouts in just 36 2/3 innings of work. Compton only gave up 15 hits all season. Perhaps the most impressive stat— and one that Lael and other coaches certainly appreciate—is that Compton only walked two batters the entire season. For good measure, he also recorded a pair of saves for the Pirates in relief. Compton has already been named 1stTeam All-COC, and will be in contention for further postseason honors in the near future. Branson has had some incredible talent come through its baseball program over the years, and Compton ranks with the best, with impressive career numbers to back up that proclamation. Lael, who has seen plenty of area talent over the years, has said on at least one occasion that Compton is as good as anyone he has seen in his 24 years coaching at Branson. Compton posted a 21-8 record in his four-year varsity career, with 243 strikeouts and just 40 walks in 195 innings pitched and a 1.76 career ERA. Compton was also a .349 career hitter with 87 RBI and 87 doubles. He helped lead Branson to District titles in 2008 and 2010. With the book on a standout prep career now closed, Compton now has his sights set on making his mark at the collegiate level, with professional baseball a realizable goal on the horizon.

Photo by Deanna Newberry

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Compton posted an 8-1 record and a ridiculous 0.93 ERA on the mound in 2010, while striking out 80 batters in just 60 innings of work. For his efforts, Compton was named 1stTeam All-State, as well as the Central Ozarks Conference Large Division Player of the Year. Perhaps just to show everyone that last season’s numbers were not a fluke, Compton started the 2011 campaign in typical dominating fashion. The powerful right hander tossed a perfect game in the season opener, a 1-0 win over Carl Junction to open the Lead Off Tournament. Compton struck out 14 Bulldog batters, including seven of the first eight he faced. Compton has been pounding the strike zone since he first entered Branson’s halls, when he became one of the few freshmen to play for the varsity in head coach Steve Lael’s 24 years at the helm of the Pirates’ baseball program. “He pitched well for us as a freshman,” said Lael, who retired at the end of this season after winning 407 games in his 24 years as Branson’s coach. “I could tell at that time that he was going to be special. He wasn’t fazed by anything. He doesn’t get rattled on the mound.” “He’s a tremendous competitor and a gifted athlete,” added Lael. “He’s always competing. He throws nothing but strikes on the mound. He pounds the strike zone. He’s an outstanding leader, and also has great character.” Compton, who evolved from more of a finesse pitcher into a straight power pitcher prior to his junior season, has a repertoire of pitches that includes a fastball that reaches into the low90s, as well as a changeup, curve and slider. Compton arrived in Branson prior to entering seventh grade after moving from St. Petersburg, Fla., where he had lived most of his life. “It was tough at first and a big change,” said Compton of the move. “It was an adjustment I had to make, but it was a great move.” The 6-foot-1 190-pound right hander will be returning to the Sunshine State in the fall, though, after signing a National Letter of Intent during the early signing period in November to play collegiately for perennial powerhouse Florida State. After Compton attended a weeklong showcase event last summer in Tallahassee, the FSU coaching staff offered him a scholarship. The signing of the NLI made it official, but Compton had been verbally committed to Florida State since his official visit to the school in September. “They have a great baseball program, and it was an excellent school for my major (Law),” said Compton of FSU. “Playing at Florida State will help me thrive and challenge me to take my game up a notch. It’s a winning program, which was also important to me. It’s a great atmosphere and a great coaching staff.” Although he is committed to Florida State, there is the possibility that Compton will forego the college route if he is drafted high enough in the Major League Baseball draft June 6-8. “It (the draft) is definitely in the back of my mind,” said Compton. “But I really want to go to college. Hopefully, I can keep improving in college and my draft stock will keep going up. Missing college is not something I will be willing to do, unless I would go in the top 10 (rounds) or something.” Compton loves to play baseball and has played as much as the weather would allow in the past few years, with a side effect being that


twice as nice By Byron Shive

Nahon

Is it better to be the hunter or the hunted? Is it better to be the one going after the top dog, or the one playing with a target on your back? Glendale standout Paul Nahon knows the answer to both of these questions.

Glendale’s Paul Nahon


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has also been competing for Glendale. John, who just completed his sophomore year, won the #2 singles flight at the Ozark Conference tournament this year, which upped his singles record to 18-3 for the season at the time. John also teamed with Luke Hansen to capture a District doubles title. “He’s certainly more aggressive with his shots than I am,” said Paul of John’s game. “He likes to charge the net, but not necessarily at the right times.” “You’re probably right about that,” interjected John with a laugh. “Paul’s really dedicated to the sport. He goes for it, but he can also drop back and play a consistent game.” One person who knows both Paul and John’s games well is longtime Glendale head coach Bob Cooper. “There’s a lot of personal drive in an individual sport like tennis,” said Cooper. “In order to be successful, you have to start early and get good early training. Some kids have a will to compete, and he (Paul) has that nature in him. He accepts the challenge. The thing that he (Paul) did right before his junior year is that he made the extra commitment off the court to get bigger, stronger, and faster. He’s now getting to balls earlier, and that goes back to his off-court conduct. “I was little concerned with John coming in, because he was a really good track athlete in middle school,” said Cooper of John, who was the All-City high jump champion in eighth grade. “With his athleticism and the way he moves, he gets to a lot of tennis balls. He’s very good on his feet. He’s a tough person to beat, because he has the same competitive attitude as his brother. It must be because they’re both part of the same genetic code.” That genetic code was provided, in part, by Paul and John’s father, John Nahon, Sr., who played tennis collegiately for Southwest Missouri State, as well at the semipro level. “Paul has a good all court game,” said the father of his son. “He has a very well rounded game that is geared toward college and the professional level. He has a great head on his shoulders. “John is not as advanced from a technical side,” said Paul, Sr., of his younger son. “He’s not as seasoned

from a tournament perspective. He likes to compete, hit the ball hard, and have a good time.” Paul, Jr., has been playing tennis since he was two-years-old. Although he played other sports early on, such as soccer, basketball and golf, he dropped those endeavors to concentrate on his first love. “I got serious about tennis when I was about 9 or 10,” he said. “I dropped the other sports and focused on tennis and made it my passion. I love the competitive nature of it. It feels like home to me. Everything else goes away when I’m on the court.” While his big brother will be playing collegiately with pro aspirations beyond that, John harbors no such illusions for himself and tennis. “I’ll play tennis competitively until the end of high school,” said John, “but I’ll still play tennis for the rest of my life. You get a good workout and it’s a great way to stay in shape. I’m the smarter one of the two of us.” All kidding aside, both Nahons have excelled in the classroom, in addition to their success on the court. “I’m just as proud of them for the work they do in the classroom as they do on the tennis court,” said Cooper. “They both take the ‘student’ part of ‘studentathlete’ very seriously.” With Paul off to Richmond in the fall, the days of a double dose of Nahons on the tennis court for Glendale have ended, but the memories will live on forever. “I have a lot of friends on the team,” said John, “but it was really fun to do this with my brother here.” Glendale’s John Nahon

Nahon, who recently graduated from Glendale, began his prep career as the hunter, announcing his presence on the Class 2 state singles scene his freshman year with a state runner-up finish in 2008. He followed that up with a loss in the 2009 state semifinals to the eventual state champion, Christian Brothers College’s Matt Kuelker. Nahon won his next match to finish in third-place. Nahon avenged the semifinal loss to Kuelker in 2009 by defeating him last season 7-5, 6-2 for the state championship. “I’ve won bigger tournaments, but this was a bigger deal,” said Nahon, who has been one of the top-ranked junior players on the USTA circuit since an early age. “It was pretty emotional. There were about 150-200 people there, and a lot of them were family and friends. Getting into the last points of the match was pretty nerve-wracking. It was great to finally break through, though, because I knew I had the potential.” This season, Nahon was the one with the target on his back. That didn’t matter, though, because Nahon capped off a perfect senior season with a dominating march through the Class 2 state singles bracket, winning his second straight state championship with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Rock Bridge’s Braford Zitsch on May 28 at the Cooper Tennis Complex. “It was my goal to go out here and perform my best,” said Nahon. “I knew going in that if I played my best, it was going to be my match.” The state championship victory capped off a perfect 31-0 season for Nahon, who did not drop a single set during state tournament play. In fact, Nahon lost only one match during the final two years of his high school career, which came last season to Zitsch, so for Nahon, beating his Rock Bridge nemesis to cap off his prep career was icing on the cake. Nahon finished his career with a singles record of 118-7, an all-time MSHSAA record for career singles wins. “That’s probably the best way you could finish,” said Nahon of winning a state title in his final high school match. “It’s a little sad, but I definitely made the most out of my high school career.” Nahon earned a scholarship to the University of Richmond, where he will begin competing next season. Richmond became interested in Nahon after he performed well at a large Super National clay court tournament in Florida last summer. After taking official visits to both Richmond and Davidson, Nahon signed with the Spiders. “It was a tough process, especially for an American player,” said Nahon of his college recruitment. “There’s a heavy international presence in the college ranks. I wanted to choose a school with strong academics that also had a Division I program. They (Richmond) have a new coach, and they haven’t been as strong as they’ve been in the past, but they have four strong recruits coming in. I look forward to making a name for myself there.” Paul Nahon has not been the only Nahon rocketing serves and smashing backhands for the Falcons, though, as his little brother, John,


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There are certain, often mundane tasks that come with the territory of being a high school athletic director. Meeting with unhappy parents. Balancing the budget. Monitoring the eligibility of student-athletes. These are a few that come to mind. Virtually starting over with your school’s athletic program, after the deadliest tornado in recent U.S. history nearly wiped it out, is not one of them. That’s the daunting task ahead for Joplin High School athletic director Jeff Starkweather, after an EF5 tornado ripped through the southwest Missouri town of 50,000 on May 22 and left a path of destruction that claimed more than 130 lives and left large chunks of the town beyond recognition. Taking a direct hit was Joplin High School, its buildings and adjacent sports fields for the most part destroyed, with very little left to salvage. The gymnasium, home to the Eagles’ basketball and volleyball teams? Destroyed. Same for the weight room and training area for all of the JHS teams. The baseball, softball and soccer fields, and football practice fields? Scoreboards and fences blown away, dugouts ripped out of the ground…all damaged beyond repair. As for all of the athletic equipment stored in the school…well, no one can be sure just yet. As of this writing, Starkweather and other JHS personnel were not yet allowed back into the rubble to survey what might be saved for the rapidly approaching 2011-12 season, a warning issued from emergency workers who’d yet to deem the crumbled building and its remaining foundation safe for entry. All of this mayhem dawned on Starkweather a few days after the tornado, with his initial focus naturally on making sure his coaching staff and athletes were safe and accounted for…which amazingly, all were. Many lost homes or had them damaged, but somehow, no lives were taken in the JHS athletic family. Starkweather himself felt blessed that—though a brother had his home and business “trashed”—he and his family were spared the devastation. Living on the north side of town, they had just returned from the JHS graduation held at Missouri Southern State University a few minutes before the storm sirens sounded. Like many away from its path, they didn’t know the extent of the tornado and the damage it had done until the next few hours later. “You almost feel guilty,” Starkweather recalls now, “because we didn’t lose power, didn’t lose electricity…didn’t lose anything.” But as word circulated of the storm’s destruction, Starkweather’s cell phone began to light up with a stream of text messages. Many came from his friends and co-workers in town, as Starkweather—a lifelong Joplinite—is deeply rooted in the community. But, to his amazement, a flood of texts poured in from his AD peers and coaching buddies from throughout the Ozarks, specifically from surrounding schools and the more widespread Ozark Conference, of which the Eagles are members along with the 30

Scott Puryear Co-Host, The Sports Reporters (JOCK 98.7)

Scott Puryear has been a part of the Springfield media scene since 1985 as both a sports writer/columnist for the Springfield News-Leader and in his current role as co-host of The Sports Reporters Mondays through Fridays from 9 to 11 a.m. on JOCK 98.7 FM.

Springfield schools, as well as Waynesville, Camdenton, Lebanon, Rolla and West Plains. The underlying theme of every message sent to the sixth-year Joplin AD and former Eagles basketball coach seemed to be, “we are here for you…what can we do to help?” For Starkweather, that was nearly as overwhelming as the storm itself. “That just tells you that in athletics, it is like a family,” he said. “Yes, we want to beat each other, and yes we’re competitive when we’re playing, but it’s also great to see that if there’s a need, people care because we all really do like one another. The human spirit clearly is alive and well in the way everyone has stepped up and showed such compassion.” That became apparent on much more than just a local basis, as everyone from the state’s two starting NFL quarterbacks—Matt Cassel of the Chiefs and Sam Bradford of the Rams—to new Mizzou coach Frank Haith and other state sports dignitaries made their way to Joplin to do what they could to help. Several organizations offered financial donations, including the Springfield Cardinals and the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association, which presented Starkweather and Joplin principal Kerry Sachetta with a check for $2,500 raised through a silent auction and gate receipts at their MBCA Challenge over Memorial Day weekend at the O’Reilly Family Event Center, after former basketball coach and Springfield R-12 athletic director Mark Fisher, MBCA Executive Director David Fox and others scrambled to come up with fundraising items all week to help their struggling neighbors. “Their support has been unbelievable,” said Starkweather. “He (Fox) said ‘we just want you to know this is just the beginning, we want to continue to help. It’s just a sense of pride from a great group of guys and gals (coaches) pulling together and wanting to help.” The storm had barely left town before Starkweather received messages from athletic directors John Roderique of Webb City and Jessie Wall of Carl Junction, as well as word from officials at Missouri Southern, all willing to do whatever they could to assist in terms of offering their fields and gyms for temporary homes. And all, no doubt, will be pivotal in that regard over the next few months as Starkweather and the JHS administration attempt to put together a rebuilding plan for the school that includes athletic facilities. For now, it appears JHS will be reconstructed on its current site off 20th Street, where it was once landlocked by surrounding neighborhoods, and might be presented with more opportunities for campus expansion should others choose to sell their property and rebuild elsewhere. That said, it will be interesting to see how the tragedy affects Joplin’s enrollment in the near future, with some of the displaced families possibly choosing to move elsewhere with the upcoming school year fast approaching and no permanent place to stay—and unfortunately, in some cases, with no jobs to stay around for after several places of em-

ployment in town were destroyed. But that’s all trivial speculation for well down the road. A more pressing nature for Starkweather is trying to get Joplin and its student-athletes back to some sense of normalcy, and to put a plan in place for the Eagles to be ready to practice and compete once the fall sports seasons arrive in just a couple of months. “They’ve all been through a very traumatic experience,” he added. “The quicker we can get back to normal summer activities, the better off the kids are going to be.” Joplin’s football program lost a practice field, but was largely spared since the Eagles play their home games across town at Junge Stadium, which was not damaged. The football team had practiced a couple of days a week at Junge in the past and stored much of its equipment there, making for a somewhat smoother transition in at least one sport for the Eagles. Otherwise, fans throughout the Ozarks can expect to visit some neutral venues for their contests with the Eagles when their local teams play at Joplin this coming year. Expect, perhaps, some basketball and volleyball games at Missouri Southern and baseball and softball at other surrounding parks…just about everything seemingly a little off-kilter as a wounded town attempts to move forward from an unfathomable disaster. Thankfully, most of the middle school facilities were spared damage, so the feeder system for JHS Athletics will go on without a major disruption. Coming up with new equipment and uniforms for the teams who had them stored in JHS will be a monumental task in itself. Starkweather says he will seek donations from companies and organizations to help that cause, as Joplin doesn’t have time to wait for insurance payments, surveys and inventories of the damaged goods before the next school year and a full slate of sports seasons arrive in August. (For those wanting to assist in this area, Starkweather can be reached at (417) 625-5242, or by e-mail at jstarkweather@joplin.k12.mo.us). “People are clearly ready to help and wanting to help…but right now, it’s just a matter of really identifying those needs,” he said, adding that JHS is operating under the expectation that it will need to replace virtually everything for several of its sports teams. “But we’ve got to get moving.” You see it all the time around our great country— communities survive a disaster together, only to unite and become stronger as a result. After all, there exists few greater avenues for pulling folks together with pride and a sense of community than, say, a Friday night high school football game against a rival. And Starkweather predicts the Eagles will follow suit and fly with their heads held high this coming school year as they do their part to help a city heal, move forward and persevere. “I believe that our kids will be resilient enough to bounce back, to band together and say, ‘if we can do this, we can do anything,’” he says.

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00170 TODD Ozarks Prep full Rev

4/7/11

11:33 AM

Page 1

Big Jimmy

Ask for PromoPrep prior to purchase. Not good with other offers. Non-transferable for cash. Expires 8/31/2011.


00239 STAF RockIT Ozark Preps

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Darrell Croy

6/6/11

11:59 AM

Steven Ragsdale

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Ozark Preps May 2011