Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog


older | 1 | .... | 8 | 9 | (Page 10) | 11 | newer

    0 0

    The Republic School District announced Monday that it hired Dustin Baldwin as its head football coach.

    FILE ART

    FILE ART

    Baldwin spent the last four years as the head coach at Neosho High School. He will take over at Republic for Wes Beachler who resigned from his coaching duties in November after four seasons at the helm for the Tigers.

    A news release from Republic schools says Baldwin has 18 years of coaching and teaching experience, eight of those years as a head coach.

    Prior to coaching at Neosho, the release says, Baldwin spent four years as the head coach at Miller High School. He has three state quarterfinal appearances, four conference championships and three district titles on his resume.

    The news release quotes Baldwin as saying his goal is “producing a consistent winning football program that also produces consistent leaders on the field, in the school and in the community.”

    The release says Baldwin will also teach physical education and serve as Republic’s strength and conditioning coordinator. He and his wife Heather have a 3-year-old daughter named Hadley.

    Neosho finished 6-5 last season, beating Republic in postseason play before falling to Nixa.


    tdunhamusatodayFILE ARTtdunhamusatodayFILE ART

    0 0

    Wednesday marks the first day senior high school football players may sign with NCAA Division I programs.

    Nixa's Chase Allen signs a national letter of intent to play football at Iowa State University at the Nixa High School gym in Nixa. on Feb. 3, 2016.

    Nixa’s Chase Allen signs a national letter of intent to play football at Iowa State University at the Nixa High School gym in Nixa. on Feb. 3, 2016.

    “National Signing Day” marks the start of the two-month period for football players to sign a national letter of intent (NLI), binding their commitment to play for a Division I football team.

    Signing Day has transformed into a chance for high schools to showcase their athletes in many sports apart from football. Ceremonies will be held around the Ozarks on Wednesday for non-football athletes committing to NCAA Division II, Division III, NAIA and junior college programs. While a letter of intent is not required or binding at the sub-Division I levels, Signing Day offers the chance for athletes moving on to college sports to be recognized by their high schools.

    The Division I signing period for all sports other than football and basketball opens April 12.

    The News-Leader will cover signings and commitments in the Ozarks all day Wednesday at www.news-leader.com. A full recap of the day’s coverage will run in the Thursday edition of the News-Leader.


    tdunhamusatodayNixa's Chase Allen signs a national letter of intent to play football at Iowa State University at the Nixa High School gym in Nixa. on Feb. 3, 2016.tdunhamusatodayNixa's Chase Allen signs a national letter of intent to play football at Iowa State University at the Nixa High School gym in Nixa. on Feb. 3, 2016.

    0 0

    Yes, his name really is Kobe Buffalomeat.

    HSS_DefaulttdunhamusatodayHSS_Defaulttdunhamusatoday

    0 0

    There isn’t much hype for Grant Martin’s commitment to play football at Missouri State, but hype and circumstance just wouldn’t be his style.

    Grant Martin signs a national letter of intent to play football at Missouri State University during a National Signing Day ceremony held at Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 1, 2017.

    Grant Martin signs a national letter of intent to play football at Missouri State University during a National Signing Day ceremony held at Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 1, 2017.

    The all-state offensive tackle from Kickapoo signed a letter of intent Wednesday to stay in Springfield and play for the Bears.

    “It was fun and really stressful at the same time during all the recruitment process,” Martin said. “Now that I’ve found a home, I’m pretty happy about it and I’m happy where I’ve ended up.”

    Martin could have gone to a smaller college with greater opportunities for quick playing time on the football field, but he chose to walk on at Missouri State. His name and stats weren’t included in Missouri State’s official press release unveiling its 2017 signing day recruiting class.

    For Martin, agreeing to play for Missouri State is the partial realization of a dream. The attempt to maximize his talent as a walk-on represents further pursuit of that dream.

    “I’ve always wanted to play at the highest level I could, and Missouri State was the best option for me to play at a high level, and I wanted to stay in town close to my family and be able to play for a team that I’ve always looked up to,” Martin said.

    Bears take aim at future playmakers

    Martin lost his mother, Rhonda Martin in 2007, when he was eight years old.

    He took up football as a high school freshman. He became a varsity starter as a sophomore and didn’t miss a game for three years. He made all-state as a senior and was a two time all-Ozark Conference selection.

    “For a young man that never stepped on the field as a football player until he was a freshman in high school getting an opportunity to play Division I football is quite a feat,” Chiefs coach Kurt Thompson said.

    Thompson praised Martin’s efforts to work hard in practices, rep after rep. Kickapoo’s scout team defenders avoided the 6-foot-2, 265-pound left tackle.

    “You can ask our young players. There are still some guys that when Grant would pull—are still running backwards trying to avoid Grant’s physical contact.”

    The only thing that exceeded Martin’s training effort was his drive in games, when opposing defenders sometimes had no path to flee from his perimeter blocks.

    “The game of football is a physical game and (Martin) is about as physical as they are,” Thompson said.

    The Kickapoo Chiefs faced off with North Lee's Summit Broncos Friday, October 21, 2016.

    The Kickapoo Chiefs faced off with North Lee’s Summit Broncos Friday, October 21, 2016.

    Martin said he will likely move to center or guard to start his college career. Off the field, he plans to major in biology and later pursue a career as a physical therapist. He is especially interested in working in sports medicine.

    “I want to be around athletes and I don’t necessarily want to coach, because a lot of stresses come from coaching. I want to still be involved with a sport and everything like that, and that’s a good way for me to do it, and I want to be able to help people recover and abstain from injuries,” Martin said.

    Missouri State received a total of 19 letters of intent from football players accepting scholarships on Feb. 1, the first day high school seniors were allowed to sign with NCAA Division I football teams.

    The Bears have shown a penchant for picking up local walk-ons like Martin who could have otherwise played at sub-Division I levels. Former Glendale tight end Chandler Collins and former West Plains quarterback Sam Hall are both on the Missouri State roster as preferred walk-ons.

    College football signing period opens


    tdunhamusatodayGrant Martin signs a national letter of intent to play football at Missouri State University during a National Signing Day ceremony held at Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 1, 2017.The Kickapoo Chiefs faced off with North Lee's Summit Broncos Friday, October 21, 2016.tdunhamusatodayGrant Martin signs a national letter of intent to play football at Missouri State University during a National Signing Day ceremony held at Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 1, 2017.The Kickapoo Chiefs faced off with North Lee's Summit Broncos Friday, October 21, 2016.

    0 0

    Postseason honors continue to pile on for Glendale quarterback Alex Huston.

    Glendale's Alex Huston throw a last second pass against visiting Kickapoo in Springfield on September 15, 2016.

    Glendale’s Alex Huston throw a last second pass against visiting Kickapoo in Springfield on September 15, 2016.

    This time, Huston has been recognized in his native Ohio. The Touchdown Club of Columbus presented Huston with its Sam B. Nicola Award on Saturday, which is awarded annually to the club’s national high school football player of the year.

    Huston completed 70.2 percent of his passes (395-of-563) as a junior for an astonishing 6,136 yards, 76 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions as the Falcons flew to the Class 5 playoff quarterfinals.

    While rooted in the home of the Ohio State Buckeyes, the Touchdown Club of Columbus began giving national awards to college and high school football players in 1991. This year’s list of college football honorees includes Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware and Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts.

    How good is Glendale quarterback Alex Huston? We asked some experts

    The Sam B. Nicola Award is named for club founder Sam Nicola. Past recipients include Emmitt Smith, Terrelle Pryor, Jimmy Clausen, Ted Ginn, Jr., Maurice Clarett, Robert Smith and Chris Spielman.

    Huston played his freshman year of high school football in Kenton, Ohio, where Glendale coach Mike Mauk spent 31 years of his career. Falcons offensive coordinator Ben Mauk set national records playing quarterback for Kenton, as did his younger brother and former University of Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk.

    Huston’s family moved from Ohio to Missouri prior to the start of Huston’s sophomore season, enabling him to emerge as Glendale’s starting quarterback as a sophomore and win national awards as a junior.

    Huston was named all-state, Springfield News-Leader ALL-USA Ozarks and shared the 2016 Ozark Conference Offensive Player of the Year Award with teammate Luke Montgomery, his top receiver. Huston was named a junior all-American by MaxPreps.com.

    Glendale quarterback Alex Huston named to All-American team

    According to Glendale’s statisticians, Huston was officially 33-of-48 passing for 706 yards and nine touchdowns in one game, an 85-44 district championship win over Ozark. He also rushed for 16 yards and two touchdowns, for an official total of 722 yards of total offense.


    tdunhamusatodayGlendale's Alex Huston throw a last second pass against visiting Kickapoo in Springfield on September 15, 2016.tdunhamusatodayGlendale's Alex Huston throw a last second pass against visiting Kickapoo in Springfield on September 15, 2016.

    0 0

    Glendale and Kickapoo square off in boys basketball for the 97th time since 1971.

    Kickapoo High School (Springfield, Mo.) guard Cameron Davis (5) shoots a three-pointer during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.

    Kickapoo High School (Springfield, Mo.) guard Cameron Davis (5) shoots a three-pointer during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.

    The Chiefs and the Falcons tip off at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on the campus of Drury University in the latest episode of the “Southside Showdown,” a game that could decide the 2017 Ozark Conference champion.

    Glendale (16-5) rides a 10-game winning streak into the rivalry game and comes off back-to-back wins filled with lessons against West Plains and Waynesville. Glendale downed West Plains 110-69 behind a school record 51 points from Monty Johal. Twenty-four hours later, a 58-41 win at Waynesville proved onerous.

    Monty Johal breaks Spud Harbour’s Glendale scoring record

    “We had concrete boots on and couldn’t get up and run up and down the floor like we did at West Plains,” Glendale coach Brian McTague said. “We’ve got to find ways to grind out wins whenever shots aren’t going in.”

    Glendale still forced 29 turnovers against the Tigers to improve to 5-0 in the Ozark Conference. McTague said the experiences of feeling the highest of highs and a burdensome struggle should help the Falcons.

    Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) forward Sandro Mamukelashvili (23) dunks the ball during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.

    Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) forward Sandro Mamukelashvili (23) dunks the ball during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.

    “They got to see both ends of the spectrum of everything going well and then the next night everything not going well, find a way to win anyway,” McTague said.

    Kickapoo leads the all-time boys basketball series between the teams 50-46. The Chiefs have won seven times in its last 10 boys basketball games against Glendale.

    Kickapoo (15-4) is 5-0 in the Ozark Conference. The Chiefs’ senior duo of Xavier signee Jared Ridder and Navy signee Cameron Davis lead the team in scoring, but coach Dick Rippee is examining ways the rest of the roster can contribute to wins.

    “When you have good, good players, sometimes you’ve got to find ways to keep everybody happy and make everybody feel like they’re part of it,” Rippee said.

    Basketball rankings: Southwest Missouri gains ground

    Kickapoo ranks fifth in Class 5 in the latest Missouri Basketball Coaches Association state rankings. Two members of the starting five stepped up in recent games. Rutgers football signee Travis Vokolek had 10 points and 11 rebounds in a 102-73 win over Lebanon, and senior Isaac Blakeslee hit five 3-pointers to score 18 points in an 84-47 win over Camdenton.

    “(Blakeslee) is a so-called ‘role player’ for us, but for a lot of teams—he would be the focal point of another team’s offense,” Rippee said.

    Kickapoo won the last meeting over the Falcons 68-55, nearly a year ago at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Feb. 9, 2016.

    Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) guard Cameron Davis (5) reacts to a foul called on his team during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.

    Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) guard Cameron Davis (5) reacts to a foul called on his team during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.


    tdunhamusatodayKickapoo High School (Springfield, Mo.) guard Cameron Davis (5) shoots a three-pointer during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) forward Sandro Mamukelashvili (23) dunks the ball during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) guard Cameron Davis (5) reacts to a foul called on his team during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.tdunhamusatodayKickapoo High School (Springfield, Mo.) guard Cameron Davis (5) shoots a three-pointer during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) forward Sandro Mamukelashvili (23) dunks the ball during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) guard Cameron Davis (5) reacts to a foul called on his team during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.

    0 0

    In big time rivalries, teams seek leadership for their captains.

    tdunhamusatodayKickapoo Chiefs senior Cameron Davis (5) reacts to a Chiefs score during second quarter action of the high school basketball game between the Glendale High School Falcons and the Kickapoo High School Chiefs at O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 7, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 96-77.Kickapoo High School senior Jared Ridder (34) dunks the ball during first quarter action of the high school basketball game between the Glendale High School Falcons and the Kickapoo High School Chiefs at O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 7, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 96-77.Kickapoo Chiefs senior Cameron Davis (5) shoots the ball over Glendale Falcons defender Dylan Metivier (31) during first quarter action of the high school basketball game between the Glendale High School Falcons and the Kickapoo High School Chiefs at O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 7, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 96-77.Kickapoo Chiefs senior Cameron Davis (5) goes up for a layup past a Falcons defender during first quarter action of the high school basketball game between the Glendale High School Falcons and the Kickapoo High School Chiefs at O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 7, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 96-77.tdunhamusatodayKickapoo Chiefs senior Cameron Davis (5) reacts to a Chiefs score during second quarter action of the high school basketball game between the Glendale High School Falcons and the Kickapoo High School Chiefs at O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 7, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 96-77.Kickapoo High School senior Jared Ridder (34) dunks the ball during first quarter action of the high school basketball game between the Glendale High School Falcons and the Kickapoo High School Chiefs at O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 7, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 96-77.Kickapoo Chiefs senior Cameron Davis (5) shoots the ball over Glendale Falcons defender Dylan Metivier (31) during first quarter action of the high school basketball game between the Glendale High School Falcons and the Kickapoo High School Chiefs at O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 7, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 96-77.Kickapoo Chiefs senior Cameron Davis (5) goes up for a layup past a Falcons defender during first quarter action of the high school basketball game between the Glendale High School Falcons and the Kickapoo High School Chiefs at O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 7, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 96-77.

    0 0

    There aren’t many sports Kelsey Winfrey hasn’t excelled at, or at least tried.

    Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) shoots past a Hillcrest High School defender during first half action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.

    Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) shoots past a Hillcrest High School defender during first half action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.

    Winfrey has played basketball, volleyball, football, cross country and track and field in her time at Lebanon High School. Basketball is a true passion for the senior standout signed to play for the University of Missouri next season.

    Winfrey has been a fan of the Tigers her entire life, and told Yellowjackets coach Brendan Kelley about her desire to play for Missouri as a ninth grader.

    “I’ve always wanted to go to Mizzou. When I was a freshman, Coach (Kelley) asked me if I was to pick any college what college would I go to, and I said Mizzou. That summer, Mizzou started recruiting me and I verbally committed,” Winfrey said.

    Winfrey scored 21 points and had six rebounds and six assists Thursday night in Lebanon’s 65-31 win at Hillcrest. Lebanon (17-5) ranks 10th in the state in Class 5 according to the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association poll.

    “One of the big things that we’ve been talking to our kids about is approaching every single game like we’re playing a state-ranked team,” Kelley said. “The fact of the matter is when we get to districts it’s win or go home, and if we don’t prepare and play like we’re playing at a high level every night, there is a chance we’ll slip up. We don’t want that to happen.”

    Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) passes the ball in between two Hornets defenders during first half action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.

    Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) passes the ball in between two Hornets defenders during first half action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.

    Winfrey showed what appeared to be a sixth sense for finding fellow senior Jaiden Offutt on the fast break against Hillcrest. Offutt scored 20 points, mostly on wide open layups thanks to leading passes from Winfrey.

    “The connection that the two of them have for getting the ball out quick, knowing where the other one is and getting down the floor is what really enables us to run the floor,” Kelley said. “It makes the game 10 times easier.”

    Winfrey is the most decorated girls basketball player to walk the halls of Lebanon High School. She holds 21 school records including career points, career rebounds, career assists and career steals.

    Winfrey, a 5-foot-9 guard, was selected for first team all-state honors as a junior by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association. She scored an average of 21.2 points per game as a junior. Winfrey is a three-time all-Ozark Conference selection, a three-time all-district honoree and a 2016 Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year Award finalist.

    Above the personal accolades, Winfrey wants to help Lebanon win a district playoff championship.

    “It would mean so much. My whole high school career, we haven’t made it out of districts yet, so I would be so happy with a district championship, but I know we can do more than that. I hope that actually happens, it would mean the world to me,” Winfrey said.

    Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) shoots the ball over Hillcrest High School defender Reagan Jamison (20) during first half action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.

    Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) shoots the ball over Hillcrest High School defender Reagan Jamison (20) during first half action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.

    Winfrey twice qualified for the Class 4 state cross country championship race. Her best finish came in 2014, her sophomore year, when she covered five kilometers in 20:18.01 and finished in 76th place. She served as Lebanon’s backup football kicker as a junior and became one of the few women in the history of Missouri high school football to score when she kicked an extra point.

    In track and field, she hopes to qualify for the state championship meet in the 800-meter run. She prefers middle distance races.

    “I’m just fast enough for the 800, and it’s a gut race,” Winfrey said. “I usually can beat girls on the home stretch because I want it a lot.”

    Winfrey spent her summers playing AAU basketball for Della Lamb Running Angels of Kansas City. The AAU circuit helped her draw the attention of Missouri coach Robin Pingeton.

    Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) eyes the basket before taking a shot during first quarter action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.

    Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) eyes the basket before taking a shot during first quarter action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.

    “There were a lot of big colleges at the tournaments we went to. We played in Texas, New Orleans and Georgia, and every tournament we went to there were big, big colleges there,” Winfrey said. “That really helped me with Mizzou and other colleges looking at me.”

    Winfrey received the Pink and White Lady Classic’s 2016 Jane A. Meyer Award, which is given to the player who best exemplifies the spirit of basketball with a combination of outstanding play and character traits. She chose Mizzou for basketball over recruitment from North Carolina and Oklahoma State, among other college programs.

    High school girls basketball

    Lebanon 65, Hillcrest 31

    At Hillcrest

    Lebanon 20-22-18-5—65

    Hillcrest 13-7-8-3—31

    Individual scoring

    Lebanon—Kelsey Winfrey 21, Jaiden Offutt 20, Fait Alwardt 10, Jenna Glendenning 6, Gracie Calhoun 4, Cori Johnson 2, Maddie O’Connor 2

    Hillcrest—Sara Hale 11, Madison Schaefferkotter 5, Mackenzie Kendrick 4, Reagan Jamison 4, Kaitlyn Maxwell 3, Chia Brooks 2, Kinsie Williams 2.

    Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) fights Glendale High School defenders Kelly Tran (33) and Hope Cochran (24) during first half action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.

    Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) fights Glendale High School defenders Kelly Tran (33) and Hope Cochran (24) during first half action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.


    tdunhamusatodayLebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) shoots past a Hillcrest High School defender during first half action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) passes the ball in between two Hornets defenders during first half action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) shoots the ball over Hillcrest High School defender Reagan Jamison (20) during first half action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) eyes the basket before taking a shot during first quarter action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) fights Glendale High School defenders Kelly Tran (33) and Hope Cochran (24) during first half action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.tdunhamusatodayLebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) shoots past a Hillcrest High School defender during first half action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) passes the ball in between two Hornets defenders during first half action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) shoots the ball over Hillcrest High School defender Reagan Jamison (20) during first half action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) eyes the basket before taking a shot during first quarter action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.Lebanon High School guard kelsey Winfrey (1) fights Glendale High School defenders Kelly Tran (33) and Hope Cochran (24) during first half action of the high school basketball game between the Lebanon High School Yellowjackets and the Hillcrest High School Hornets at Hillcrest High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 9, 2017.

    0 0

    Kickapoo High School football coach Kurt Thompson will hang up his whistle.

    Kickapoo head coach Kurt Thompson embraces running back Malachi Stout (40) after Stout ran for a touchdown during a 2015 win over Parkview.

    Kickapoo head coach Kurt Thompson embraces running back Malachi Stout (40) after Stout ran for a touchdown during a 2015 win over Parkview.

    Thompson met with members of the Chiefs football team Friday morning to announce his decision to retire from teaching and coaching at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. Springfield Public Schools Athletic Director Randy Stange confirmed Thompson’s pending retirement.

    Thompson said the meeting with the football players wasn’t easy, but he believes the Chiefs will eventually process the news and respond well.

    “I think some of them are disappointed, some of them are not happy with me. Change is always difficult,” Thompson said.

    Thompson had two different periods coaching football at Kickapoo. His second stint spanned the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

    Kickapoo won 62 games and lost 34 in Thompson’s first nine-year stint as head coach.

    Thompson left Kickapoo to coach Republic, where the Tigers were 24-38 from 2007 to 2012. Republic school officials opted not to renew Thompson as football coach. He spent two years teaching physical education before coach Joel Wells left Kickapoo to coach at Harrison, Arkansas in 2015.

    Thompson previously served as Kickapoo’s coach from 1998 to 2006. His career also includes stints at Webb City and Republic. He retained all of Wells’ assistants on his staff when he returned to Kickapoo in 2015.

    Thompson said he examined his career status at the end of the 2016 season, in which Kickapoo went 9-2 and reached its district championship game in the Class 6 playoffs.

    “I was much closer than I thought (to retirement). I’m kind of there to where I realized I was eligible to retire, so I decided to go ahead and take that next step,” Thompson said.

    Thompson isn’t decided on what he will do when the academic year expires at the end of June and his retirement goes into effect, but he intends to spend time away from football with his wife and two daughters.

    “I’ve got enough stuff going on that can keep me busy,” Thompson said. “I love the game, I love being around kids. That’s the part that I’ll miss.”

    Thompson was 73-12 in seven seasons at Webb City, winning state championships in 1992 and 1993. He was only 23 when he was hired to replace Jerry Kill, who went on to coach the University of Minnesota.

    Thompson was a 2011 inductee into the Missouri Football Coaches Hall of Fame.

    In his final two seasons at Kickapoo, the Chiefs went 20-3 and reached the Class 6 playoff semifinals in 2015.

    “I walked into a great situation here for two years and enjoyed every minute of it,” Thompson said.

    Thompson’s career coaching record stands at 180-87.

    Comeback coach proved right choice; leading Kickapoo into football playoffs

    Kickapoo head coach Kurt Thompson talks to a player during a timeout in a game against Joplin in 2006.

    Kickapoo head coach Kurt Thompson talks to a player during a timeout in a game against Joplin in 2006.


    tdunhamusatodayKickapoo head coach Kurt Thompson embraces running back Malachi Stout (40) after Stout ran for a touchdown during a 2015 win over Parkview.Kickapoo head coach Kurt Thompson talks to a player during a timeout in a game against Joplin in 2006.tdunhamusatodayKickapoo head coach Kurt Thompson embraces running back Malachi Stout (40) after Stout ran for a touchdown during a 2015 win over Parkview.Kickapoo head coach Kurt Thompson talks to a player during a timeout in a game against Joplin in 2006.

    0 0

    Touchdowns were in demand, and wide receiver Luke Montgomery was Glendale’s key supplier.

    Glendale High School wide receiver Luke Montgomery (22) catches a touchdown pass during first quarter action of the Falcons' game against Hillcrest High School at Lowe Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Aug. 28, 2015.

    Glendale High School wide receiver Luke Montgomery (22) catches a touchdown pass during first quarter action of the Falcons’ game against Hillcrest High School at Lowe Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Aug. 28, 2015.

    The Falcons top receiver will take his skills to the Ivy League. Montgomery committed to play football at Princeton University after he graduates from Glendale this spring.

    In addition to football, Montgomery plans to study economics.

    In three years of varsity football, Montgomery logged 290 receptions for 4,698 yards and 61 touchdowns. The all-state wide receiver was a running back at the time coach Mike Mauk arrived at Glendale and installed a five-wide receiver offense. Montgomery became the top target for national award-winning quarterback Alex Huston.

    At Princeton, Montgomery will have to adjust to football outside of Glendale’s all-out aerial approach to offense, but he believes his time with the Falcons prepared him to handle the college game.

    “They also run an uptempo offense, so I think it was a pretty good fit overall,” Montgomery said of Princeton. “I wanted to play at the highest level I could, but also go to a school that would set me up for the future.”

    Ivy League schools do not offer scholarships based solely on athletics, but the teams still compete under the umbrella of NCAA Division I sports. Athletes don’t announce letter of intent signings, but do as Montgomery did and announce their commitment to their intended school’s admissions process.

    “What that means is I’m committed to play football there. The Ivy League wants to focus on the academic part, because they really focus on student-athletes,” Montgomery said. “Once you commit, they’ll send you a likelihood letter, which basically means you’re going to get in.”

    Glendale quarterback Alex Huston recognized with national award in native Ohio

    The Princeton Tigers went 8-2 in 2016 and won a share of the Ivy League football championship with Pennsylvania.

    In addition to X’s, O’s and receiving routes, Montgomery will study the monetary policies, game theories, and guns and butter models of economics. He’s using football as a gateway to a top-notch education.

    “It definitely wasn’t originally a goal,” Montgomery said of his Ivy League commitment. “I had always wanted to play big time, D-I football, but as I matured through high school I realized (football) really wasn’t important for the rest of my life.”

    Montgomery took home the Bill Wainwright All-City MVP Award from the Springfield Quarterback Club, which is presented each year to the Springfield senior football player deemed to be the most valuable to his team. Montgomery had 86 receptions for 1,811 yards and 25 touchdowns. He was one of three Glendale wide receivers to surpass 1,000 receiving yards in 2016.

    Montgomery passed up football offers from Columbia University, Dayton, Tulane and Missouri Southern, among others, to commit to Princeton.

    Glendale High School wide receiver Luke Montgomery (22) catches a long touchdown pass by quarterback Alex Houston (not pictured) during first quarter action of the game between Glendale High School and Camdenton High School at Lowe Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Oct. 14, 2016. The Glendale Falcons won the game 63-35.

    Glendale High School wide receiver Luke Montgomery (22) catches a long touchdown pass by quarterback Alex Houston (not pictured) during first quarter action of the game between Glendale High School and Camdenton High School at Lowe Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Oct. 14, 2016. The Glendale Falcons won the game 63-35.


    tdunhamusatodayGlendale High School wide receiver Luke Montgomery (22) catches a touchdown pass during first quarter action of the Falcons' game against Hillcrest High School at Lowe Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Aug. 28, 2015.Glendale High School wide receiver Luke Montgomery (22) catches a long touchdown pass by quarterback Alex Houston (not pictured) during first quarter action of the game between Glendale High School and Camdenton High School at Lowe Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Oct. 14, 2016. The Glendale Falcons won the game 63-35.tdunhamusatodayGlendale High School wide receiver Luke Montgomery (22) catches a touchdown pass during first quarter action of the Falcons' game against Hillcrest High School at Lowe Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Aug. 28, 2015.Glendale High School wide receiver Luke Montgomery (22) catches a long touchdown pass by quarterback Alex Houston (not pictured) during first quarter action of the game between Glendale High School and Camdenton High School at Lowe Stadium in Springfield, Mo. on Oct. 14, 2016. The Glendale Falcons won the game 63-35.

    0 0

    State wrestling champion Niko Chavez is three wins away from a repeat and a perfect season.

    Willard senior wrestler Niko Chavez is three victories shy of winning back-to-back state championships.

    Willard senior wrestler Niko Chavez is three victories shy of winning back-to-back state championships.

    The Willard senior improved to 45-0 on the season with a first-period victory by pin over Davin Gumabon of Grandview in the opening round of the 145-pound Class 3 state championship tournament Thursday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. Chavez won the state title at 138 pounds as a junior in 2016.

    Team-wise, the Monett Cubs imposed their will in the Class 2 brackets, with seven of seven entrants advancing from the round of 16 to the quarterfinals.

    Football state championship quarterback Ian Meyer scored Monett’s fastest fall Thursday by pinning Arondo Harris of Miller Career Academy in 58 seconds into the first period of their bout at 195 pounds.

    87th Missouri State High School Activities Association Wrestling Championships

    At Mizzou Arena, Columbia

    Opening round (round of 16) results

    Class 1

    106—Lizzie Miller (Buffalo) pin Adam Runge (Lutheran St. Charles) 2:00, Levi Connelly (Seneca) pin Corvon Johnson (Brentwood) :23

    113—Max Roark (Seneca) pin Nick Williams (South Harrison) 1:09, Ethan Smith (Buffalo) pin Joey Russell (Lawson) :27

    120—Dawson Stephens (Seneca) dec. Tristan Blair (Lathrop) 6-5

    126—Dalton Hembree (Seneca) pin Will Engel (Albany) :28

    132—Dylan Caldwell (Richmond) dec. Dayton Fields (Seneca) 7-6, Grafton Littrell (Centralia) dec. Trenton Houston (Buffalo) 6-3

    138—Cameron Wheeler (Carrollton) tech. fall Marcus Autrey (Buffalo) 16-1, 5:39

    145—Cole Hatfield (Seneca) pink Barrett Pierce (Principia) 1:43

    152—Trey Smith (Seneca) pin Jacob Wicker (New Madrid Central) :25

    160—Floyd Miller (Buffalo) pin Wyatt Cummings (Plattsburg) 5:11, Lance Hymer (Seneca) pink Justin Wright (Lathrop) 2:43

    170—Austin Reid (Buffalo) pin Lawrence Bourrage (Cleveland NJROTC) 5:00, Taylor Cook (Seneca) pin Evan Roberts (Maplewood-Richmond) :53

    182—Kale Schrader (Seneca) pin Jake Post (Maysville) 3:47

    195—Blake Williamson (Buffalo) pin McCauley Bowers (Richmond) 3:59, Richard Menconi (Brookfield) pink Owen Gray (Diamond) 1:09

    220—Colten Kenady (Buffalo) pin Davonte Trotter (Hancock) 1:51

    285—Trey Taft (Centralia) dec. Shane Sisco (Buffalo) 3-2, tiebreaker

    Class 2

    106—Granite Cunningham (Bolivar) dec. Colton Sewell (Chillicothe) 6-4, Joseph Semerad (Monett) tech. fall Ethan Day (Excelsior Springs) 16-0, 5:12

    113—Joel Barrientos (Monett) pin Logan Saxbury (St. James) 1:04, Adam Hellebusch (St. Francis Borgia) maj. dec. Riley Hawk (Bolivar) 18-4

    120—Luke Moffett (Bolivar) maj. dec. Noah Juliette (Potosi) 12-0, Jay Strausbraugh (Rogersville) pin Dawson Jones (Dexter) 1:49, Karter Brink (Monett) maj. dec. Evan Dowdy (Notre Dame Cape Girardeau) 14-2

    126—Jason Landing (St. Clair) pin Brock Carter (Rogersville) 3:11

    132—Jonah Gann (Rogersville) dec. Ben Provost (Winfield) 8-5, Gunnar Bradley (Monett) dec. Blake Howard (Kirksville) 6-2

    138—Dillon Nichols (Mexico) dec. Chase Hampton (Bolivar) 9-8, Kai Rogers (Winfield) maj. dec. Matthew Cozart (Hollister) 15-2, Lucas Campbell (Rogersville) received a bye

    145—Brody Crawford (Monett) tech. fall Zach Blixt (Chillicothe) 19-3, 4:44, Austin Morgan (Excelsior Springs) dec. Hayden Burks (Bolivar) 7-1

    152—Isaiah Johnson (Benton) dec. Daryin Sharp (Bolivar) 11-4, Onis Howard (Monett) pin Daylyn Snelling (Kansas City Center) 2:21

    160—Codie Stroup (St. Clair) pin Logan Carlin (Cassville) 2:00, Devon Vickery (Rogersville) pin Ian Kilburn (Sullivan) 3:49

    170—Wyatt Goade (Cassville) dec. Daniel Duffy (Pembroke Hill) 3-2

    182—Clayton Chappell (Bolivar) dec. Jeff Featherston (Dexter) 6-4

    195—Ian Meyer (Monett) pin Arondo Harris (Miller Career Academy) :58

    220—Jacob Johnson (Nevada) pin Ryan Owens (Maryville) :55

    285—Jamie Aleshire (Moberly) dec. Brandon Gandy (Hollister) 10-5

    Class 3

    106—James Freitag (Kearney) pin Riley Wertz (Willard) 3:06, Oscar Ortiz (McDonald County) dec. Jackson Shea (Battle) 6-2, Braden Bradley (Belton) sudden victory dec. Kolton Sanders (Neosho) 5-3

    113—Bradly Harman (Farmington) dec. Skyler Harris (Branson) 9-3, Dalton Kivett (Neosho) pin J.T. Hale (Rockwood Summit) :53, Cody Hey (Washington) pin Josh Copher (Webb City) 3:15, Michael Taylor (Republic) dec. Nick Short (Hillsboro) 9-5)

    120—Dalen Moore (Carthage) dec. David Valdez (Sikeston) 8-2, Jacob Gerow (McDonald County) dec. Noah Patton (Pacific) 7-0

    126—Tyler Church (Carl Junction) maj. dec. Tommy Kelpe (Washington) 9-1, Nich Norbury (Carthage) pin Jai Thompson (Pacific) 3:16, Trenton Young (Neosho) pin Zachary Nash (DeSoto) 1:16

    132—Alex Garrett (Willard) pin Nolan Saale (Platte County) :52, Steve Tran (Ft. Zumwalt South) pin Holden Hughes (Carl Junction) 3:30, Gannon Millard (Neosho) pin Rylan Besaw (Ft. Zumwalt East) 1:01

    138—Jacob Kiethline (Ft. Zumwalt South) dec. Tallon Heimbach (Willard) 4-0, Braxton Barnes (Neosho) pin Lucas Chimento (Westminster Christian) 3:13

    145—Tyler Stults (Winnetonka) dec. Corben Pugh (Carthage) 6-4, Jacob Ulrich (Branson) dec. Nick Bollinger (Smithville) 5-2, Niko Chavez (Willard) pin Davin Gumabon (Grandview) 1:42

    152—Ethan Locke (Kearney) pin Hunter Holderfield (Branson) 2:45, Markkel Moore (Carthage) pin Michael Messer (Harrisonville) 1:48, Zion Vasquez (Camdenton) maj. dec. Robert Weber (Belton) 11-0

    160—Dylan Allen (Farmington) pin Clay Wilson (Marshfield) :58, Isaiah Wittmer (Branson) dec. Luke Blanton (Sikeston) 8-3, Truman Craig (McDonald County) pin James Anding (Pacific) :45, Noah Perkins (Webster Groves) pin Kyle Sanders (Neosho) 5:15

    170—Dakota Schmidt (Platte County) dec. Dillon Lancaster (Carthage) 7-6, Ottis Peeler (Raytown) pin Morgan Earl (Willard) 1:48

    182—Ryan Yarnell (Windsor Imperial) pin Gage Bloomer (Carthage) 2:40, Hunter Vanlue (Webb City) pin Logan Smith (DeSoto) 1:23, Joshua Stinett (Sikeston) dec. Johnny Meyer (Neosho) 7-4, Cameron Caldwell (Willard) dec. Haiden Meyer (Union) 2-1

    195—Zachary Plummer (Neosho) pin Lyndel Owens (McCluer North) 3:48, Hunter Pyle (Republic) dec. Dalton Huffman (Hannibal) 7-2, Christian Smart (Willard) pin Dahvonte Henry (St. Charles) :23

    220—Malik Clayborn (Belton) pin Kammron Barnes (McDonald County) 3:31, Julian Richardson (Republic) pin Clayton Mordecai (Kearney) 5:11, Christian Nutz (Neosho) pin Edward Hecke (Marshall) 3:08, Casey Jumps (Platte County) pin Austin Hymer (Willard) 2:26

    285—Zeke Wall (Carl Junction) pin Derron Funches (Hazelwood East) :52, Bronnie Kinser (McDonald County) dec. Jonathan York (University City) 9-2, Cody Imbierowicz (St. Charles) pin David Stacey (Branson) 5:22

    Class 4

    106—Khyler Brewer (Staley) tech. fall Hunter Christeson (Nixa) 17-0, 4:55, William Leyton Manley (Liberty North) dec. Hunter Lewis (Lebanon) 5-2

    113—Jake Nichols (Ozark) pin Mark MacKenzie (Kirkwood) 3:14, Jack Lenox (Marquette) pin Chance Carmack (Waynesville) 5:15

    120—Gaven Sax (Waynesville) maj. dec. Gavin Newhouse (Cedar Hill Northwest) 15-4

    126—Sean Sax (Waynesville) maj. dec. Kyle Prewitt (Christian Brothers College) 14-1

    138—Corey Wait (Francis Howell Central) pin Teyler Bruch (Waynesville) 1:18

    145—Peter Lucitt (Waynesville) dec. Carter Goslee (Park Hill) 7-2

    152—Hunter Shelton (Oak Park) tech. fall Braxton Lewis (Lebanon) 17-1, 5:00

    160—Nick Gladkov (Ozark) dec. Jalen Gayfield (Marquette) 9-2

    182—Dustin Jones (Lindbergh) pin Ryan Taylor (Ozark) 2:30

    195—Donovan Benetti (Nixa) pin Dylan Gillette (Francis Howell Central) 2:23, Solomon Garcia (Joplin) dec. Sam Vining (Wentzville Holt) 7-4

    220—Jadyn Withrow (Joplin) dec. Cade Cox (Blue Springs) 7-3

    285—Matthew Wilke (McCluer North) dec. Jace Gorn (Ozark) 6-4, Jordan Williams (Ft. Zumwalt West) dec. Jacob Booe (Joplin) 6-2


    tdunhamusatodayWillard senior wrestler Niko Chavez is three victories shy of winning back-to-back state championships.tdunhamusatodayWillard senior wrestler Niko Chavez is three victories shy of winning back-to-back state championships.

    0 0

    The Missouri high school state wrestling championship matches are set to take place Saturday at 6 p.m. in Columbia.

    Willard senior defending state champion Niko Chavez, right

    Willard senior defending state champion Niko Chavez, right

    A total of 12 wrestlers from southwest Missouri will compete in state championship matches at Mizzou Arena.

    Willard senior Niko Chavez will attempt to win back-to-back state championship titles when he squares off with Windsor Imperial junior Jacob Warren (44-2) Saturday at 6 p.m. at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.

    Rogersville freshman Jay Stausbaugh continued a methodic march through the ranks at 120 pounds by advancing to the Class 2 championship final. Strausbaugh (46-6) defeated Luke Moffett of Bolivar by a 13-5 major decision to march on for the state title shot against undefeated Connor Brown of Oak Grove (49-0) in Saturday’s championship final.

    Brown has won each of his three state tournament matches in the first period, with each win coming by fall. His longest bout lasted 1:38.

    Webb City football running back Hunter Vanlue showed off why wrestling likely lies in his college future by improving to an impeccable 54-0 on the season. Vanlue defeated Ryan Yarnell of Windsor Imperial 6-3 in what was the only bout of Vanlue’s ride through the state championship tournament to end without a pin. Vanlue will face Warrensburg senior Dayton Brown (51-5) for the state title on Saturday night.

    87th Missouri State High School Activities Association Wrestling Championships

    At Mizzou Arena, Columbia

    Semifinal results

    Class 1

    106—Levi Connelly (Seneca) dec. James Jury (Brookfield)  6-0

    113—Rance Waigand (Richmond) dec. Max Roark (Seneca) 5-0

    126—Dalton Hembree (Seneca) maj. dec. Drake Eychaner (North Andrew) 14-4

    152—Trey Smith (Seneca) pin Alex Cupp (Marceline) 4:32

    160—Zac Russell (Whitfield) dec. Floyd Miller (Buffalo) 6-1, sudden victory

    195—Richard Menconci (Brookfield) dec. Blake Williamson (Buffalo) 11-5

    220—Gunner Martin (Polo) dec. Colten Kenady (Buffalo) 4-2

    Class 2

    106—Joseph Semerad (Monett) pin Sawyer Day (Cameron) 3:16

    113—Joel Barrientos (Monett) dec. Cristian Dixon (Benton) 5-2

    120—Jay Strausbaugh (Rogersville) maj. dec. Luke Moffett (Bolivar) 13-5

    170—Brit Wilson (Mexico) pin Wyatt Goade (Cassville) :40

    195—Ian Meyer (Monett) tech. fall Chance Richards (Moberly) 16-0, 4:48

    Class 3

    120—Dylan Owens (Hillsboro) dec. Dalen Moore (Carthage) 6-2

    126—Cameron Rudy (Ft. Zumwalt South) dec. Trenton Young (Neosho) 9-6

    132—Gannon Millard (Neosho) dec. Calvin Obermark (Washington) 13-6

    145—Jacob Warren (Windsor Imperial) maj. dec. Jacob Ulrich (Branson) 10-0, Nikolas Chavez (Willard) dec. Joe Biondo (4-3)

    152—Robert Weber (Belton) dec. Markkel Moore (Carthage) 3-2

    170—Ottis Peeler (Raytown South) dec. Joey Williams (Neosho) 11-8

    182—Hunter Vanlue (Webb City) dec. Ryan Yarnell (Windsor Imperial) 6-3

    195—Jacob Boyd, Smithville maj. dec. Zachary Plummer (Neosho) 14-3

    220—Casey Jumps (Platte County) maj. dec. Christian Nutz (Neosho) 10-0

    285—Zeke Wall (Carl Junction) pin Austin Campbell (Harrisonville) 1:52, Adrian Hitchcock (Neosho) pin Emanuel Childs (Raytown) 1:11

    Class 4

    145—Kyran Hagan (Eureka) dec. Peter Lucitt (Waynesville) 5-1

    195—Zach Elam (Staley) pin Donovan Benetti (Nixa) 1:42

    Quarterfinal results

    Class 1

    106—Levi Connelly (Seneca) dec. James Jury (Brookfield) 6-0, Ross Critten (Gallatin) dec. Lizzie Miller (Buffalo) 5-2

    113—Max Roark (Seneca) dec. Wade Raeman (Whitfield) 4-1, Ethan Smith (Buffalo) pin Colton Fisher (Marceline) 4:36

    120—Mike McAteer (Whitfield) pin Dawson Stephens (Seneca) 1:58

    126—Dalton Hembree (Seneca) pin Andrew Huddleston (Hallsville) 4:48

    145—Dalton Schelle (Plattsburg) dec. Cole Hatfield (Seneca) 7-3

    152—Trey Smith (Seneca) dec. Parker Rotterman (Mid-Buchanan) 3-0

    160—Floyd Miller (Buffalo) dec. Drew Rorebeck (Trenton) 10-5, Andrew Edgar (Marceline) dec. Lance Hymer (Seneca) 2-1

    170—Alvaro Porras (Lexington) maj. dec. Austin Reid (Buffalo) 10-2, Mason Doll (South Harrison) dec. Taylor Cook (Seneca) 9-6

    182—Noah Elmore (Whitfield) dec. Kale Schrader (Seneca) 3-2

    195—Blake Williamson (Buffalo) dec. Blake McClain (Plattsburg) 4-2, tiebreaker

    220—Colten Kenady (Buffalo) dec. Justin Leath (Lone Jack) 6-4

    Class 2

    106—Dalton Thompson (St. Clair) pin Granite Cunningham (Bolivar) 5:15, Joseph Semerad (Monett) pin Travis Waldner (Dexter) 3:47

    113—Joel Barrientos (Monett) dec. Hunter Williams (Excelsior Springs) 8-2

    120—Luke Moffett (Bolivar) pin Camron Lowry (Moberly) 1:30, Jay Strausbaugh (Rogersville) maj. dec. Gabriel Hummer (Savannah) 11-0, Dylan Patton (Mexico) pin Karter Brink (Monett) 5:42

    132—Grant Staffen (Ste. Genevieve) pin Jonah Gann (Rogersville) 1:15, Gunnar Bradley (Monett) dec. Dean Foster (Savannah) 6-2

    138—Jordan Shewmaker (Benton) tech. fall Lucas Campbell (Rogersville) 18-2, 4:56

    145—Clark Rogers (Winfield) pin Brody Crawford (Monett) 5:09

    152—Brandon Carbray (St. Charles West) dec. Onis Howard (Monett) 8-2

    160—Brant Price (Savannah) pin Devon Vickery (Rogersville)

    170—Wyatt Goade (Cassville) dec. Aaron Herman (St. Clair), sudden victory 5-3

    182—Caleb Shanks (Cameron) pin Clayton Chappell (Bolivar) 5:24

    195—Ian Meyer (Monett) dec. Dawson Cox (Cameron) 6-2

    220—Josh Richards (St. Clair) dec. Jacob Johnson (Nevada) 6-3

    Class 3

    113—Caden Green (Kearney) dec. Dalton Kivett (Neosho) 9-4, Cody Phippen (Platte County) pin Michael Taylor (Republic) 2:46

    120—Dalen Moore (Carthage) dec. Mitchell Bohlken (Smithville) 6-3, Clayton Singh (Kearney) dec. Jakob Gerow (McDonald County) 3-2

    126—Andrew Shea (Battle) dec. Tyler Church (Carl Junction) 4-1, Cameron Rudy (Ft. Zumwalt South) pin Nick Norbury (Carthage) :33, Trenton Young (Neosho) dec. Mitchell Alexander (Grain Valley) 3-2

    132—Sam Frankowski (Rockwood Summit) dec. Alex Garrett (Willard) 3-1, Gannon Millard, Neosho dec. Ryan Hampton (Smithville) 3-1

    138—Alex Rivera (Smithville) dec. Braxton Barnes (Neosho) 4-3

    145—Jacob Ulrich (Branson) dec. Austin Denson (Ft. Zumwalt South) 5-2, Nikolas Chavez (Willard) dec. Dawson Sickmeier (Union) 1-0

    152—Markkel Moore (Carthage) dec. Josh Clark (Union) 3-2

    160—Braden Danner (Harrisonville) pin Isaiah Wittmer (Branson) :40, Jacob Orsay (Ladue Horton Watkins) maj. dec. Truman Craig (McDonald County) 12-0

    170—Joey Williams (Neosho) maj. dec. Tramel Harrell (University City)

    182—Hunter Vanlue (Webb City) pin Brett Mordecai (Kearney) 3:27, Dayton Brown (Warrensburg) pin Cameron Caldwell (Willard)

    195—Zachary Plummer (Neosho) pin Dylan Ahern (Union) :50, Jacob Boyd (Smithville) pin Hunter Pyle (Republic) 1:39, Sage Smart (Platte County) pin Christian Smart (Willard) 7:42

    220—Jacob Null (Warrenton) pin Julian Richardson (Republic) 1:10, Christian Nutz (Neosho) dec. Alec Holtmeyer (Washington) 2-1, tiebreaker

    285—Zeke Wall (Carl Junction) dec. Landon Porter (DeSoto) 6-0, Austin Campbell (Harrisonville) dec. Bronnie Kinser (McDonald County) 1-0, Adrian Hitchcock (Neosho) pin Corbin Lee (St. Mary’s of St. Louis) 2:39

    Class 4

    113—Demetrius Trotter (North Kansas City) dec. Jake Nichols (Ozark) 7-1

    120—Austin Kolvek (Park Hill) dec. Gaven Sax (Waynesville) 6-5

    126—Cameron Valdiviez (Rockhurst) dec. Sean Sax (Waynesville) 6-5

    132— Cameron Wegener (Lafayette Wildwood) maj. dec. Trevor Christian (Lebanon) 20-11

    145—Peter Lucitt (Waynesville) dec. Trevor Liggett (Francis Howell Central) 4-3

    160—Cory Peterson (DeSmet) dec. Nick Gladkov (Ozark) 6-2

    195—Donovan Benetti (Nixa) dec. Jack Marak (Parkway South) 14-8, Zach Elam (Staley) pin Solomon Garcia (Joplin) 1:14

    220—Danny Conley (Chaminade) dec. Jadyn Withrow (Joplin) 6-2


    tdunhamusatodayWillard senior defending state champion Niko Chavez, righttdunhamusatodayWillard senior defending state champion Niko Chavez, right

    0 0

    Springfield Public Schools announced Paul Hansen as the next head football coach at Parkview High School, beginning with the 2017-2018 school year.

    Paul Hansen has been tapped to be the next head football coach at Parkview High School.

    Paul Hansen has been tapped to be the next head football coach at Parkview High School.

    Hansen is currently an assistant coach, offense coordinator and instructor at Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas.

    Hansen holds a bachelor’s degree in physical education from Evangel University and a master’s degree in education from Southwest Baptist University.

    Paul Hansen

    Paul Hansen

    Hansen spent two seasons on the staff at Southwestern Assemblies of God, and the Lions went 12-7 in those two years, including a 4-4 campaign in 2017. Hanson’s offense scored an average of 29.3 points per game with averages of 239 yards passing and 176.3 yards rushing.

    “The opportunity to bring someone with collegiate level experience to lead our students is a win for Parkview and the district,” noted Randy Stange, Springfield Public Schools athletic director. “Paul’s expertise will move Parkview in a positive direction on and off the field.”

    Hansen’s employment is pending school board approval. He will replace coach Anthony Hays, who left Parkview after six years. Hays is moving to Branson High School to replace retiring Hall-of-Famer Dan Henderson.

    Parkview went 30-35 under Hays in six seasons. In 2012, the Vikings were 8-3 and reached the sectional round of the playoffs.


    tdunhamusatodayPaul Hansen has been tapped to be the next head football coach at Parkview High School.Paul HansentdunhamusatodayPaul Hansen has been tapped to be the next head football coach at Parkview High School.Paul Hansen

    0 0

    Kickapoo’s third consecutive boys basketball district title win was, simply put, a grind.

    The Chiefs survived Ozark 52-41 to win the Class 5 District 11 championship game Thursday at Hammons Student Center. Kickapoo (22-4) moves on to the sectional playoffs.

    The Chiefs got second half scoring bursts from a usual suspect and an unlikely source. U.S. Naval Academy signee Cameron Davis scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half to turn what was a deadlock through three quarters into an 11-point win.

    The unlikely man for Kickapoo was senior Travis Vokolek, normally a player who grabs rebounds, sets screens and plays hard-nosed defense. Vokolek scored a career-high 13 points. His teammates fed him for 10 second-half points.

    “I didn’t know I had that much, that’s awesome—great team win getting this district championship, it’s awesome,” Vokolek said.

    He is signed to play NCAA Division I football at Rutgers in the fall. The grind-it-out affair with Ozark suited Vokolek’s style.

    “They are a great team. (Ozark) came out and played hard and we had to adjust to what they were doing. They were holding the ball a lot. We had to keep playing our defense and just play hard, and trust what we were doing,” Vokolek said.

    Kickapoo Chiefs senior Jared Ridder (34) shoots the ball over an Ozark Tigers defender during fourth quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 11 championship playoff game between the Kickapoo Chiefs and the Ozark Tigers at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 2, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 52-41.

    Kickapoo Chiefs senior Jared Ridder (34) shoots the ball over an Ozark Tigers defender during fourth quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 11 championship playoff game between the Kickapoo Chiefs and the Ozark Tigers at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 2, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 52-41.

    Kickapoo exploded for 24 points in the final eight minutes.

    “We just kind of went out there and played and let everything go and came back to the Kickapoo everyone knows,” Vokolek said.

    Ozark limited Xavier signee Jared Ridder to 13 points, holding him without a made field goal until the fourth quarter. Ridder said the Tigers defended well.

    “I was trying to get my team involved too. I didn’t have many open shots with (Ozark) guarding me so tight, so I was just trying to be a team player and I’m happy my teammates succeeded,” Ridder said.

    Junior Parker Hanks led the Tigers with 11 points. Junior Quinn Nelson added 10 for a team that finished 19-9 and stands to return four of its five starters next season.

    Kickapoo and Ozark have squared off for a district championship for three consecutive seasons. Kickapoo has prevailed in all three games. Additionally, the game was a rematch of an early season game on Dec. 16, which Kickapoo won 75-48.

    Kickapoo will face the winner of Nixa and Republic, who play Friday at 6 p.m. at Nixa in a rematch of a 58-57 double overtime win for Republic on Valentine’s Day. Kickapoo’s players plan to see the rematch in person.

    “We’re going to go watch them (Friday) and see who wins that, and get ready for who we play next,” Ridder said. “It’s going to be tough to advance, but we’ve just got to grind it out.”

    While Big Ten football beckons Vokolek, he said he is committed to helping Kickapoo attempt to make a return to the Class 5 state championship game in Columbia.

    “I’ve had the greatest time this year playing basketball,” Vokolek said.

    Kickapoo Chiefs players Travis Vokolek (3), Jared Ridder (34), Mitch Closser (44) and Isaac Blakeslee (20) celebrate with their fans after the end of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 11 championship playoff game between the Kickapoo Chiefs and the Ozark Tigers at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 2, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 52-41.

    Kickapoo Chiefs players Travis Vokolek (3), Jared Ridder (34), Mitch Closser (44) and Isaac Blakeslee (20) celebrate with their fans after the end of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 11 championship playoff game between the Kickapoo Chiefs and the Ozark Tigers at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 2, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 52-41.

    Class 5 District 12 boys basketball championship

    Kickapoo 52, Ozark 41

    At Hammons Student Center

    Ozark 12-6-8-15—41

    Kickapoo 8-11-9-24—52

    Individual scoring

    Ozark—Parker Hanks 11, Quinn Nelson 10, Payton Nichols 8, Curt Gracey 5, Noah Suiter 5, Carter Burgess 2

    Kickapoo—Cameron Davis 22, Jared Ridder 13, Travis Vokolek 13, Donyae McCaskill 4, Isaac Blakeslee 2.

    Kickapoo Chiefs senior Cameron Davis (5) and his teammates celebrate after the end of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 11 championship playoff game between the Kickapoo Chiefs and the Ozark Tigers at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 2, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 52-41.

    Kickapoo Chiefs senior Cameron Davis (5) and his teammates celebrate after the end of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 11 championship playoff game between the Kickapoo Chiefs and the Ozark Tigers at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 2, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 52-41.

    Kickapoo Chiefs senior Cameron Davis (5) reacts after making a three-point shot during third quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 11 championship playoff game between the Kickapoo Chiefs and the Ozark Tigers at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 2, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 52-41.

    Kickapoo Chiefs senior Cameron Davis (5) reacts after making a three-point shot during third quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 11 championship playoff game between the Kickapoo Chiefs and the Ozark Tigers at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 2, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 52-41.


    tdunhamusatodayKickapoo Chiefs senior Jared Ridder (34) shoots the ball over an Ozark Tigers defender during fourth quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 11 championship playoff game between the Kickapoo Chiefs and the Ozark Tigers at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 2, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 52-41.Kickapoo Chiefs players Travis Vokolek (3), Jared Ridder (34), Mitch Closser (44) and Isaac Blakeslee (20) celebrate with their fans after the end of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 11 championship playoff game between the Kickapoo Chiefs and the Ozark Tigers at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 2, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 52-41.Kickapoo Chiefs senior Cameron Davis (5) and his teammates celebrate after the end of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 11 championship playoff game between the Kickapoo Chiefs and the Ozark Tigers at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 2, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 52-41.Kickapoo Chiefs senior Cameron Davis (5) reacts after making a three-point shot during third quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 11 championship playoff game between the Kickapoo Chiefs and the Ozark Tigers at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 2, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 52-41.tdunhamusatodayKickapoo Chiefs senior Jared Ridder (34) shoots the ball over an Ozark Tigers defender during fourth quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 11 championship playoff game between the Kickapoo Chiefs and the Ozark Tigers at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 2, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 52-41.Kickapoo Chiefs players Travis Vokolek (3), Jared Ridder (34), Mitch Closser (44) and Isaac Blakeslee (20) celebrate with their fans after the end of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 11 championship playoff game between the Kickapoo Chiefs and the Ozark Tigers at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 2, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 52-41.Kickapoo Chiefs senior Cameron Davis (5) and his teammates celebrate after the end of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 11 championship playoff game between the Kickapoo Chiefs and the Ozark Tigers at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 2, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 52-41.Kickapoo Chiefs senior Cameron Davis (5) reacts after making a three-point shot during third quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 District 11 championship playoff game between the Kickapoo Chiefs and the Ozark Tigers at Hammons Student Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 2, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 52-41.

    0 0

    There isn’t much hype for Grant Martin’s commitment to play football at Missouri State, but hype and circumstance just wouldn’t be his style.

    Grant Martin signs a national letter of intent to play football at Missouri State University during a National Signing Day ceremony held at Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 1, 2017.

    Grant Martin signs a national letter of intent to play football at Missouri State University during a National Signing Day ceremony held at Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 1, 2017.

    The all-state offensive tackle from Kickapoo signed a letter of intent Wednesday to stay in Springfield and play for the Bears.

    “It was fun and really stressful at the same time during all the recruitment process,” Martin said. “Now that I’ve found a home, I’m pretty happy about it and I’m happy where I’ve ended up.”

    Martin could have gone to a smaller college with greater opportunities for quick playing time on the football field, but he chose to walk on at Missouri State. His name and stats weren’t included in Missouri State’s official press release unveiling its 2017 signing day recruiting class.

    For Martin, agreeing to play for Missouri State is the partial realization of a dream. The attempt to maximize his talent as a walk-on represents further pursuit of that dream.

    “I’ve always wanted to play at the highest level I could, and Missouri State was the best option for me to play at a high level, and I wanted to stay in town close to my family and be able to play for a team that I’ve always looked up to,” Martin said.

    Bears take aim at future playmakers

    Martin lost his mother, Rhonda Martin in 2007, when he was eight years old.

    He took up football as a high school freshman. He became a varsity starter as a sophomore and didn’t miss a game for three years. He made all-state as a senior and was a two time all-Ozark Conference selection.

    “For a young man that never stepped on the field as a football player until he was a freshman in high school getting an opportunity to play Division I football is quite a feat,” Chiefs coach Kurt Thompson said.

    Thompson praised Martin’s efforts to work hard in practices, rep after rep. Kickapoo’s scout team defenders avoided the 6-foot-2, 265-pound left tackle.

    “You can ask our young players. There are still some guys that when Grant would pull—are still running backwards trying to avoid Grant’s physical contact.”

    The only thing that exceeded Martin’s training effort was his drive in games, when opposing defenders sometimes had no path to flee from his perimeter blocks.

    “The game of football is a physical game and (Martin) is about as physical as they are,” Thompson said.

    The Kickapoo Chiefs faced off with North Lee's Summit Broncos Friday, October 21, 2016.

    The Kickapoo Chiefs faced off with North Lee’s Summit Broncos Friday, October 21, 2016.

    Martin said he will likely move to center or guard to start his college career. Off the field, he plans to major in biology and later pursue a career as a physical therapist. He is especially interested in working in sports medicine.

    “I want to be around athletes and I don’t necessarily want to coach, because a lot of stresses come from coaching. I want to still be involved with a sport and everything like that, and that’s a good way for me to do it, and I want to be able to help people recover and abstain from injuries,” Martin said.

    Missouri State received a total of 19 letters of intent from football players accepting scholarships on Feb. 1, the first day high school seniors were allowed to sign with NCAA Division I football teams.

    The Bears have shown a penchant for picking up local walk-ons like Martin who could have otherwise played at sub-Division I levels. Former Glendale tight end Chandler Collins and former West Plains quarterback Sam Hall are both on the Missouri State roster as preferred walk-ons.

    College football signing period opens


    tdunhamusatodayGrant Martin signs a national letter of intent to play football at Missouri State University during a National Signing Day ceremony held at Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 1, 2017.The Kickapoo Chiefs faced off with North Lee's Summit Broncos Friday, October 21, 2016.tdunhamusatodayGrant Martin signs a national letter of intent to play football at Missouri State University during a National Signing Day ceremony held at Kickapoo High School in Springfield, Mo. on Feb. 1, 2017.The Kickapoo Chiefs faced off with North Lee's Summit Broncos Friday, October 21, 2016.

    0 0

    Glendale and Kickapoo square off in boys basketball for the 97th time since 1971.

    Kickapoo High School (Springfield, Mo.) guard Cameron Davis (5) shoots a three-pointer during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.

    Kickapoo High School (Springfield, Mo.) guard Cameron Davis (5) shoots a three-pointer during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.

    The Chiefs and the Falcons tip off at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on the campus of Drury University in the latest episode of the “Southside Showdown,” a game that could decide the 2017 Ozark Conference champion.

    Glendale (16-5) rides a 10-game winning streak into the rivalry game and comes off back-to-back wins filled with lessons against West Plains and Waynesville. Glendale downed West Plains 110-69 behind a school record 51 points from Monty Johal. Twenty-four hours later, a 58-41 win at Waynesville proved onerous.

    Monty Johal breaks Spud Harbour’s Glendale scoring record

    “We had concrete boots on and couldn’t get up and run up and down the floor like we did at West Plains,” Glendale coach Brian McTague said. “We’ve got to find ways to grind out wins whenever shots aren’t going in.”

    Glendale still forced 29 turnovers against the Tigers to improve to 5-0 in the Ozark Conference. McTague said the experiences of feeling the highest of highs and a burdensome struggle should help the Falcons.

    Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) forward Sandro Mamukelashvili (23) dunks the ball during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.

    Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) forward Sandro Mamukelashvili (23) dunks the ball during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.

    “They got to see both ends of the spectrum of everything going well and then the next night everything not going well, find a way to win anyway,” McTague said.

    Kickapoo leads the all-time boys basketball series between the teams 50-46. The Chiefs have won seven times in its last 10 boys basketball games against Glendale.

    Kickapoo (15-4) is 5-0 in the Ozark Conference. The Chiefs’ senior duo of Xavier signee Jared Ridder and Navy signee Cameron Davis lead the team in scoring, but coach Dick Rippee is examining ways the rest of the roster can contribute to wins.

    “When you have good, good players, sometimes you’ve got to find ways to keep everybody happy and make everybody feel like they’re part of it,” Rippee said.

    Basketball rankings: Southwest Missouri gains ground

    Kickapoo ranks fifth in Class 5 in the latest Missouri Basketball Coaches Association state rankings. Two members of the starting five stepped up in recent games. Rutgers football signee Travis Vokolek had 10 points and 11 rebounds in a 102-73 win over Lebanon, and senior Isaac Blakeslee hit five 3-pointers to score 18 points in an 84-47 win over Camdenton.

    “(Blakeslee) is a so-called ‘role player’ for us, but for a lot of teams—he would be the focal point of another team’s offense,” Rippee said.

    Kickapoo won the last meeting over the Falcons 68-55, nearly a year ago at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Feb. 9, 2016.

    Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) guard Cameron Davis (5) reacts to a foul called on his team during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.

    Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) guard Cameron Davis (5) reacts to a foul called on his team during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.


    tdunhamusatodayKickapoo High School (Springfield, Mo.) guard Cameron Davis (5) shoots a three-pointer during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) forward Sandro Mamukelashvili (23) dunks the ball during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) guard Cameron Davis (5) reacts to a foul called on his team during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.tdunhamusatodayKickapoo High School (Springfield, Mo.) guard Cameron Davis (5) shoots a three-pointer during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) forward Sandro Mamukelashvili (23) dunks the ball during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) guard Cameron Davis (5) reacts to a foul called on his team during second quarter action of the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions high school basketball game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs (Springfield, Mo.) and the Montverde Academy Eagles (Montverde, Fla.) at JQH Arena in Springfield, Mo. on Jan. 12, 2017.

    0 0

    Marshfield football coach Nate Thomas has been tapped to lead Kickapoo High School on the gridiron.

    Coach Nate Thomas at a Marshfield football practice in 2016.

    Coach Nate Thomas at a Marshfield football practice in 2016.

    Thomas told the News-Leader that he met with assistant coaches and athletes in Marshfield Monday to announce that he has accepted the vacant position of head football coach at Kickapoo.

    “It was about as long of a day you can have as a head coach, there’s no doubt about it,” Thomas said.

    The Marshfield Board of Education held a special session meeting Monday at 6 p.m. that included a closed session to discuss matters of personnel. The outcome of the meeting is not immediately known. Springfield Public Schools Director of Communications Teresa Bledsoe did not confirm Thomas’ pending hire on Wednesday, but said the school district could officially announce the hiring of a Kickapoo football coach as early as Thursday.

    Thomas’ hiring at Kickapoo would need to be confirmed by the Springfield Public Schools Board of Education. Thomas said he turned in a letter of resignation to Marshfield school officials Monday morning.

    Thomas became head football coach at Marshfield prior to the 2015 season. Prior to Marshfield, he spent 13 years as an assistant at Liberty High School in Kansas City.

    Thomas was an all-state football, basketball and track and field athlete at Nixa, where he played for former Nixa and Kickapoo coach Joel Wells. Thomas would later coach on Wells’ staff at Liberty.

    “I’ve had a really good relationship with Joel Wells and he spoke very highly of the Kickapoo job and his time there,” Thomas said.

    The retirement of Kurt Thompson after two seasons in a second stint and Kickapoo cleared the way for Thomas to move into Springfield’s largest public high school. The Chiefs were 9-2 last season and were eliminated by Rockhurst in the Class 6 district playoffs.

    Kickapoo football coach Kurt Thompson to retire

    Thompson had two different periods coaching football at Kickapoo. His second stint spanned the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

    Kickapoo won 62 games and lost 34 in Thompson’s first nine-year stint as head coach. The Chiefs were 20-3 in the second span. He will retire with an overall record of 180-87.

    Thomas said he does not plan to make a radical transition to Kickapoo’s style of play.

    “I’m going to sit down and watch a little film. You hate to come around and try to flip a program on its head with as much success as they’ve had,” Thomas said. “We’ll make some tweaks, some adjustments, and be sure to put a product on the field that Kickapoo can be proud of.”

    Under Thomas, Marshfield went 5-15 over two seasons. The 2016 Bluejays were 2-8 with wins over Buffalo and McDonald County. Marshfield ran into Webb City in the Class 4 playoffs and fell 49-14.

    Thomas described the Bluejays as “right there on the verge,” of becoming a winning team.

    “They’re right there on the edge of getting that thing turned around. They’ve got kids that are doing things the right way,” Thomas said.

    Before he got into coaching, Thomas played four years of football as a wide receiver and kick returner at University of Central Missouri. He also competed as a sprinter on the Mules’ track and field team. He went on to obtain a master’s degree in science of education from Northwest Missouri State University.

    Thomas, 36, has been married to his wife Tara for 15 years. They have two children.


    tdunhamusatodayCoach Nate Thomas at a Marshfield football practice in 2016.tdunhamusatodayCoach Nate Thomas at a Marshfield football practice in 2016.

    0 0

    An offensive explosion sent Kickapoo to the boys basketball quarterfinals.

    Kickapoo Chiefs guards Corey Dye (23), Isaac Blakeslee (20) and Cameron Davis (5) react during fourth-quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 sectional playoff game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Nixa High School Eagles at the O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 8, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 79-46.

    Kickapoo Chiefs guards Corey Dye (23), Isaac Blakeslee (20) and Cameron Davis (5) react during fourth-quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 sectional playoff game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Nixa High School Eagles at the O’Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 8, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 79-46.

    The Chiefs led Nixa 31-27 at halftime, but set off on a backbreaking 19-0 scoring run in the third quarter and went on to win Thursday’s sectional playoff game 79-46 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Xavier signee Jared Ridder scored 28 points for Kickapoo, Navy signee Cameron Davis scored 17, and unsigned senior Isaac Blakeslee finished with 13 points.

    Blakeslee hit a key 3-pointer and drove for a slick layup during the third quarter run. He looked the part of a secret weapon in the Kickapoo offense.

    “It was a blast,” Blakeslee said. “We were just executing everything, making shots and we were just having fun together.”

    Blakeslee often gets lost in the shuffle of Ridder and Davis scoring points, but he holds no grudges against his teammates.

    Kickapoo Chiefs forward Jared Ridder (34) dunks the ball during first quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 sectional playoff game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Nixa High School Eagles at the O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 8, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 79-46.

    Kickapoo Chiefs forward Jared Ridder (34) dunks the ball during first quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 sectional playoff game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Nixa High School Eagles at the O’Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 8, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 79-46.

    “It’s amazing. I grew up playing with them, so we’ve always been together. The communication and chemistry is just there with us, I feel like,” Blakeslee said.

    Kickapoo coach Dick Rippee was pleased with how Blakeslee played on offense and defense against Nixa.

    “(Blakeslee) is making baskets for us and had opportunities, and I thought our guys did a good job of setting him up,” Rippee said.

    While Ridder and Davis are set to play NCAA Division I basketball, and senior Travis Vokolek is signed to play football at Rutgers, Blakelee is undecided on where he will go to college. He would like to play college basketball, but jokes that intramural games might be as close as he gets.

    Some programs have expressed interest in the 6-foot-2 senior.

    “I’m actually getting some looks from local schools. I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. Mainly I’m just having fun with my teammates I’ve played with forever and try to make it last as long as possible,” Blakeslee said.

    Rippee attributed his team outscoring Nixa 48-17 in the second half to the Chiefs answering a demand from their coach.

    “I just challenged our guys. We’ve had some games in the past where your seniors don’t have the best games. I thought our seniors played really well tonight in the biggest game of the season,” Rippee said. “I thought our experience showed.”

    Kickapoo Chiefs guard Donyae McCaskill (0) dunks the ball during fourth quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 sectional playoff game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Nixa High School Eagles at the O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 8, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 79-46.

    Kickapoo Chiefs guard Donyae McCaskill (0) dunks the ball during fourth quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 sectional playoff game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Nixa High School Eagles at the O’Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 8, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 79-46.

    Nixa finishes the season 25-4. Nixa coach Jay Osborne didn’t want to say much after the game, but he did discuss the overall body of work that went into the Eagles’ 2016-2017 season.

    “I’m really proud of our guys for the season we had. I think we overachieved, I think we surprised some people. We’ve got great kids,” Osborne said. “I’m not going to let one loss tonight determine how I feel about this team and about our season. We had a great season.”

    Braeden Combs led Nixa with 13 points.

    Nixa stands to lose four seniors, all of whom contributed heavily to the 25-4 campaign in Christian Bundy, Seth Viebrock, Austin Bracker and Evan Bergmann. Viebrock reached double digits with 10 points in his final high school game.

    Kickapoo Chiefs players celebrate after the end of the MSHSAA Class 5 sectional playoff game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Nixa High School Eagles at the O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 8, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 79-46.

    Kickapoo Chiefs players celebrate after the end of the MSHSAA Class 5 sectional playoff game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Nixa High School Eagles at the O’Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 8, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 79-46.

    Kickapoo moves on to the Class 5 playoff quarterfinals, which take place Saturday, March 11 at 1 p.m. at John Q. Hammons Court at the Meyer Wellness Center on the campus of Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar. The Chiefs will take on Rock Bridge (22-4), which defeated Willard 66-37 Wednesday night in Sedalia. Willard finished the season 18-10.

    Nixa (25-4) has won four consecutive district championships and 18 district titles overall, making it one of the most successful southwest Missouri programs over the past decade.

    Kickapoo (23-4) is the 2017 Ozark Conference champion, having suffered just one loss to a Missouri opponent, Lee’s Summit West, this season.

    High school boys basketball Class 5 sectional playoff

    Kickapoo 79, Nixa 46

    At O’Reilly Family Event Center, Drury University

    Nixa 9-18-5-12—46

    Kickapoo 10-21-24-24—79

    Individual scoring

    Nixa — Braeden Combs 13, Seth Viebrock 10, Austin Bracker 7, Christian Bundy 6, Evan Bergmann 5, Nathan Elmer 3, Isaiah Engleman 2

    Kickapoo — Jared Ridder 28, Cameron Davis 17, Isaac Blakeslee 13, Corey Dye 7, Donyae McCakill 6, Samuel Wallin 3, Mitch Closser 2, Tanner Oetting 2, Travis Vokolek 1.


    tdunhamusatodayKickapoo Chiefs guards Corey Dye (23), Isaac Blakeslee (20) and Cameron Davis (5) react during fourth-quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 sectional playoff game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Nixa High School Eagles at the O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 8, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 79-46.Kickapoo Chiefs forward Jared Ridder (34) dunks the ball during first quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 sectional playoff game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Nixa High School Eagles at the O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 8, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 79-46.Kickapoo Chiefs guard Donyae McCaskill (0) dunks the ball during fourth quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 sectional playoff game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Nixa High School Eagles at the O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 8, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 79-46.Kickapoo Chiefs players celebrate after the end of the MSHSAA Class 5 sectional playoff game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Nixa High School Eagles at the O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 8, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 79-46.tdunhamusatodayKickapoo Chiefs guards Corey Dye (23), Isaac Blakeslee (20) and Cameron Davis (5) react during fourth-quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 sectional playoff game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Nixa High School Eagles at the O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 8, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 79-46.Kickapoo Chiefs forward Jared Ridder (34) dunks the ball during first quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 sectional playoff game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Nixa High School Eagles at the O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 8, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 79-46.Kickapoo Chiefs guard Donyae McCaskill (0) dunks the ball during fourth quarter action of the MSHSAA Class 5 sectional playoff game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Nixa High School Eagles at the O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 8, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 79-46.Kickapoo Chiefs players celebrate after the end of the MSHSAA Class 5 sectional playoff game between the Kickapoo High School Chiefs and the Nixa High School Eagles at the O'Reilly Family Event Center in Springfield, Mo. on March 8, 2017. The Kickapoo Chiefs won the game 79-46.

    0 0

    Last winter, Connor Sechler was out of basketball completely.

    tdunhamusatodayThe Bolivar High School boys basketball practices on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.Bolivar High School basketball player Brandon Emmert practices on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 before the Liberators play for the state championship in Columbia this weekend.Bolivar High School basketball player Connor Sechler practices free throws on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 before the Liberators play for the state championship in Columbia this weekend.The Bolivar High School boys basketball practices on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.The Bolivar High School boys basketball team are hoping to add a championship banner to the wall of the gym by winning a state championship game this weekend in Columbia.Bolivar High School boys basketball coach Robby Hoegh hopes to leads the Liberators to a state championship in Columbia this weekend.tdunhamusatodayThe Bolivar High School boys basketball practices on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.Bolivar High School basketball player Brandon Emmert practices on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 before the Liberators play for the state championship in Columbia this weekend.Bolivar High School basketball player Connor Sechler practices free throws on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 before the Liberators play for the state championship in Columbia this weekend.The Bolivar High School boys basketball practices on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.The Bolivar High School boys basketball team are hoping to add a championship banner to the wall of the gym by winning a state championship game this weekend in Columbia.Bolivar High School boys basketball coach Robby Hoegh hopes to leads the Liberators to a state championship in Columbia this weekend.

    0 0

    Kickapoo senior Cameron Davis, coach Dick Rippee and senior Jared Ridder field questions in the media room at Mizzou Arena following a 58-57 loss to Webster Groves in the 2017 Class 5 boys basketball playoff semifinals on March 17, 2017.

    Kickapoo senior Cameron Davis, coach Dick Rippee and senior Jared Ridder field questions in the media room at Mizzou Arena following a 58-57 loss to Webster Groves in the 2017 Class 5 boys basketball playoff semifinals on March 17, 2017.

    COLUMBIA – Twenty-one seconds changed the fate of a season.

    Webster Groves junior Courtney Ramey watched a free throw fall true, hustled back on defense and saw teammate Carte’Are Gordon block a Kickapoo shot attempt. The horn sounded and Webster Groves beat Kickapoo 58-57 in the Class 5 boys basketball semifinals at Mizzou Arena.

    “They made some runs and our guys always had an answer, (Webster Groves) just had one more answer than we did,” Kickapoo coach Dick Rippee said.

    The game matched the top two teams in the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association Class 5 poll. No. 1-ranked Webster Groves (28-2) prevailed from a late bout of punch trading with No. 2-ranked Kickapoo in which the lead changed twice in the final 21 seconds. The Statesmen will play Lee’s Summit West (26-2) for the Class 5 state championship at 6:20 p.m. Saturday.

    Ramey scored 17 points in the second half to finish with 25 and send coach Jay Blossom’s Webster Groves squad to the state championship final.

    “He struggled early. When you’ve got a great player, you just got to keep going and hope he’s going to get going, and (Ramey) got going,” Blossom said.

    Kickapoo fell to 25-5 and suffered its first loss since the 2017 Bass Pro Tournament of Champions. Rippee spoke of his team’s accomplishments throughout the season.

    “It’s a shame people missed the game today if they weren’t here or they didn’t get to see our team play this year. They missed something special. Our team is something special, and I’m just proud to be a part of it,” Rippee said.

    Kickapoo has seven seniors on its roster. Two are bound for NCAA Division I basketball, Jared Ridder to Xavier and Cameron Davis to Navy. Additionally, Travis Vokolek is signed to play Division I football at Rutgers.

    Ridder and Davis draw heavy attention from basketball fans, and Rippee feels that sometimes undercuts the contributions from other players.

    “We feel like this year has been a year where a lot of individual accolades have been rewarded, and we feel like our team hasn’t got the attention that it deserves, and that’s disappointing because basketball is a team game,” Rippee said.

    Davis hit a 3-pointer with 21 seconds remaining that put Kickapoo ahead 57-55. Davis scored 21 points, including a pair of fearlessly made 3-pointers in the final minute.

    “Hard work eliminates fear, so there’s no reason to really be nervous about anything. I’m sure they were nervous too,” Davis said. “It’s just all about making plays, and I felt like we made some great plays down the stretch. Credit to them also. They made one great play at the end, a clutch free throw, that’s the end.”

    Ridder overcame a slow start to score 16 second half points to finish with 24. He also had eight rebounds.

    “If you give them any daylight at all, they are deadly, both of them,” Blossom said of Ridder and Davis.

    Ridder gave Chiefs supporters a scare when he lay motionless on the court for more than a minute after a first-quarter collision with Webster Groves’ 6-foot-9 big man, Gordon.

    “I was just trying to get back on defense and take a charge. Carte’Are’s knee just hit me in the ribs, and he’s a big dude,” Ridder said.

    Gordon was a teammate of Ridder and Davis’ in the summer of 2016 on the Nike EYBL circuit. The three played for MoKan Elite.

    “I’m good friends with both of those guys. They’re great guys and great players, so it was fun playing against them,” Gordon said.


    Third-place game will be championship rematch

    Kickapoo will play for third place Saturday at 11 a.m. against Chaminade (24-6), the team that beat the Chiefs 72-59 in the 2016 Class 5 state final.

    Lee’s Summit West beat Chaminade 74-69 in the corresponding semifinal.

    “We’re looking forward to (Saturday) and a chance to play Chaminade again and get some revenge from last year,” Ridder said.

    The consolation game allows Kickapoo’s class of seven seniors to go for the 100th win of their varsity careers. Davis likened the third-place game to a reward for reaching the semifinals.

    “It’s not really a pride game, it’s kind of just like a great finish to a great year,” Davis said.

    In the past four seasons, the Chiefs are 99-18 with three district championships and two trips to the final four.

    “It’s incredible. We’ve been here for four years and we couldn’t thank everybody who has helped us along this journey enough. I mean, there’s a reason that God puts people in your life,” Davis said.

    High school boys basketball Class 5 playoff semifinal

    Webster Groves 58, Kickapoo 57

    At Mizzou Arena

    Kickapoo 14-8-23-12—57

    Webster Groves 17-9-19-13—58

    Individual scoring

    Kickapoo—Jared Ridder 24, Cameron Davis 21, Isaac Blakeslee 8, Travis Vokolek 2, Mitch Closser 2

    Webster Groves—Courtney Ramey 25, Carte’Are Gordon 18, Isaiah Ford 5, Kevin Butler 4, Cam Potts 3, Donovan Daniels 3.


    tdunhamusatodayKickapoo senior Cameron Davis, coach Dick Rippee and senior Jared Ridder field questions in the media room at Mizzou Arena following a 58-57 loss to Webster Groves in the 2017 Class 5 boys basketball playoff semifinals on March 17, 2017.tdunhamusatodayKickapoo senior Cameron Davis, coach Dick Rippee and senior Jared Ridder field questions in the media room at Mizzou Arena following a 58-57 loss to Webster Groves in the 2017 Class 5 boys basketball playoff semifinals on March 17, 2017.

older | 1 | .... | 8 | 9 | (Page 10) | 11 | newer