Fall Sports Wrap-Up
The fall season is usually a strong one for sports teams in the Town & Style coverage area. The tradition continued in 2013 by Bill Hester with team and individual success for many area athletes.
Parkway Central was the lone St. Louis team out of 12 that met for championships over the Thanksgiving weekend at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. The Colts, who defeated Webster Groves in the semifinals, fell to Lee’s Summit West 51-14 in the Class 5 championship game.
“They were the better team,” says coach Mark Goldenberg, whose team finished with a 13-2 record (its only other loss came against Webster Groves, which they defeated in the playoffs). “But I am proud of the fight of this team and the way they always compete. This was a very, very special team, the best I’ve ever been around and the best team in Parkway Central history to this point.”
Parkway Central, which shared the Suburban South Conference title with Kirkwood, was led during the season by Augie Brooks, who was named the conference offensive player of the year. Brooks entered the championship game with 2,052 yards rushing and 38 touchdowns. The Colts swept the conference player of the year honors as Jonathan Bonner was selected the defensive player of the year in the Suburban South.
Kirkwood earned a share of the conference title with a convincing 44-0 victory over Webster Groves on Thanksgiving that avenged a loss to the Statesmen in the playoffs.
Parkway Central was one of four area teams that won district titles. Webster Groves won the Class 5, District 2 championship while Westminster Christian Academy won in Class 4 District 3 and John Burroughs was victorious in Class 3, District 2. John Burroughs was also a conference champion, capturing the Metro League title with a 5-0 mark. CBC was undefeated in the Metro Catholic Conference and Ladue won all five conference games in capturing the Suburban East.
Vianney’s Markel Smith was one of the top players in the area this fall. The senior, who was named MCC Player of the Year, rushed for 2,416 yards and had 35 touchdowns.
Defense was the key for John Burroughs, which won the Class 1 championship in Blue Springs. The Bombers allowed only 15 goals all season with a final record of 18-1-4. They defeated Southern Boone 2-0 in the Class 1 semifinals and then beat two-time defending champion Springfield Catholic 2-0 in the championship game.
“After falling the sectional round the previous two seasons despite 15 win seasons, the team was determined to play their way to Kansas City,” says Bombers coach Alan Trzecki. “The key to the championship was to play defensively with the same organization and discipline that had posted 12 shutouts in getting the team to the final four and shutting down two teams with high-powered offenses.”
The team accomplished the mission by pinning a shutout on an opponent (Southern Boone) who set the record for most goals scored in a season (160) in state history in the semifinals and limiting them to one shot on goal. The Bombers followed that performance by shutting out the two-time defending state champs (Springfield Catholic) with another suffocating defensive effort in the finals.
Chris Wetzel finished the season with 14 shutouts, 12 of them solo as the Bombers finished the season with eight consecutive shutouts. Senior Stephen McMillian, who was named Metro Player of the Year, led the team in scoring with 13 goals.
Saint Louis University High reached the final four in Class 3. The Junior Bills lost a heart-breaker 4-3 to Timberland in the semifinals before rebounding for a 2-1 win over Glendale in the third place game.
Three players were named as their leagues’ top performers. McMillian won in the Metro, Kennedy’s Jeremy Rehagen in the Archdiocesan Athletic Association Small Schools and Marquette’s Keith Grieshaber in the Suburban West Conference. Grieshaber tied for the St. Louis area lead in goals with 40 for the season.
That helped the Mustangs to the championship in the Suburban West Conference, where they went 8-0. Other area conference champions included: John Burroughs (Metro); Vianney (MCC); Crossroads (SCAA); and Marquette (Suburban South).
Eight area schools brought home district championship trophies: John Burroughs (Class 1, District 3); Whitfield (Class 1, District 4); Ladue (Class 2, District 5); Parkway West (Class 2, District 6); Vianney (Class 3, District 5); CBC (Class 3, District 7); and SLUH (Class 3, District 8).
It was another memorable season at Lafayette as the Lancers defended their Class 4 championship. They defeated Park Hill in decisive fashion in the championship match in Cape Girardeau, 25-10, 25-13.
The Lancers finished the season with a record of 38-1-2. Their only loss came against St. James Academy of Lenexa, Kan. St. James is ranked No. 1 in the country by prepvolleyball.com. Lafayette is ranked eighth nationally in that poll.
“This year’s championship team was an amazing group led by five fantastic seniors,” says Lafayette coach Zach Young. “The team really came together and we were playing our best volleyball at the end of the season.”
Lafayette was led by the senior trio of Lily Johnson, Jackie Scott and Maggie Scott. Those three players were members of three championship teams and have totaled an overall record of 113-6-3 during the past three years.
Another Rockwood school, Marquette, made the final four and finished fourth in Class 4. St. Joseph’s Academy made the quarterfinals in Class 4.
Area conference champions, in addition to Lafayette, which won the Suburban West, included: Villa Duchesne (Metro); Visitation (MWAA Blue); St. Joseph’s Academy (MWAA White); Crossroads and Brentwood (co-champions in the South Central); and Parkway West (Suburban South).
The area had four teams finish in the top eight and had champions in both individual and relay events at the state meet at the St. Peters Rec-Plex.
Kansas City area teams finished one, two and three, with Blue Springs winning its 10th straight team title. Parkway Central came home with a trophy for its fourth-place finish. John Burroughs was fifth while Parkway West was seventh and SLUH was eighth.
John Burroughs senior Kevin Steinhouse and Vianney sophomore Nick Alexander had outstanding state meets. Steinhouse won an individual event (the 50-yard freestyle) and anchored the champion 200-yard freestyle team, which also included Daniel Diemer, Tyler Waterman and Vaios Kouvelis. The Bomber team of Diemer, Waterman, Steinhouse and Samuel Oh also finished second in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
Alexander was the state champion in the 100-yard backstroke and was also second in the 200-yard IM. Parkway Central’s Zach Rogers and SLUH’s Luke Sloan had second-place finishes, Rogers in the 200-yard freestyle and Sloan in the 100-yard butterfly.
The area had both team and individual champions in the boys Class 4 state meet in Jefferson City.
Saint Louis University High defended its team title, winning with 103 points. Rock Bridge was second with 119 points, while Lafayette was third and Marquette was sixth.
“The championship was a complete team one,” says Junior Bills coach Joe Porter. “We didn’t have a top runner who could go straight to the front and try to win. We have to focus on what we do best, which is running as a group. We had several different runners as our top runner throughout the season.”
Shayn Jackson was the top SLUH runner at the state meet, finishing 13th. He was one of three SLUH All-State runners. Jack Sullivan was 17th while Thomas Hogan was 25th. Marquette senior Noah Kauppila was the individual champion in Class 4. Two other area runners finished in the top 10. De Smet Jesuit’s Austin Del Rosso was sixth, while Dylan Quisenberry of Lafayette was eighth.
No other area boys team finished in the top eight at state. Priory was ninth and MICDS was 10th in Class 3. Clayton’s Parker Schultz was seventh individually in Class 3. The only other top 10 area runner was Whitfield’s Nate Gelber. He finished second in Class 2.
Nerinx Hall was the top area team in girls cross country this fall. The Markers, led by Sophia Racette, who finished ninth in Class 4, finished second as a team in Class 4. Francis Howell won with 102 points while the Markers were a close second with 113 points. Lafayette was third and Ladue made the top 10 with a 10th-place finish.
Two area runners finished in the top four individually in Class 4. Parkway West’s Maddy Brown was third and Lafayette’s Sarah Nicholson was fourth.
MICDS and Villa Duchesne each had good meets in Class 3. MICDS finished fourth while Villa was sixth. Villa’s Elise Marker was the top area finisher in Class 3. She was third.
Once again, the Town & Style coverage area brought home gold individually and as a team in girls golf this fall. John Burroughs captured the Class 1 championship with a score of 683. Rival MICDS was second with a 694.
“Since we were undefeated in the regular season and in post-season play, I think some considered us the favorites to take the title,” says John Burroughs coach Ellen Port. “Going into the tournament, I thought if each player stayed within one or two strokes of their season average, we would have the potential of winning the tournament. We needed everyone to do their part and that is exactly what they did. It was so cool to see the team present the trophy to the school in morning assembly. The girls are all proud to have brought the first-ever state championship to JBS.”
Logan Otter led the way for the Bombers with a third-place finish. But she was well behind Westminster Christian’s Jessica Dreesbeimdieke, who won the Class 1 championship by six strokes.
“Jessica played well for two grueling days,” says Westminster coach Steve Bradley. “There was pressure on herself to pick up the team after losing out in districts by three strokes. The 18th hole was a big one for Jessica. On the first day she made a 30-foot birdie putt while her nearest competitor doubled. The three-stroke swing was a huge momentum swing.”
Dreesbeimdieke becomes the third consecutive player from Westminster Christian to win the individual state championship.
MICDS had a pair of girls finish in the top 10. Nicole Shearing was fifth while Abigail Schroeder was ninth.
Four area schools finished in the top 10 in Class 2. St. Joseph’s Academy was second to Warrensburg. Parkway West and Kirkwood tied for fourth while Lafayette was eighth. Parkway West’s Emily Goldenstein was the top area individual in Class 2. She finished sixth while Kirkwood’s Elise McDonough was ninth.
Two St. Louis teams qualified for the final four in Springfield, and both were Town & Style-area teams. Clayton finished second in Class 1 while St. Joseph’s Academy was third in Class 2.
Clayton lost to Barstow in the championship match 5-3. St. Joseph’s lost a tight 5-4 match to rival Rock Bridge in the semifinals before rebounding to defeat Jefferson City 5-0 in the third place match.
The area also featured individual champions in both singles and doubles. Villa Duchesne’s Brittany Green was dominant in capturing the Class 1 singles championship. Green, who was making her first appearance at state, lost only six total games in her four matches.
Kirkwood’s Sarah Stuhlmann and Bridget Mayfield were just as dominant in capturing the Class 2 doubles crown. They did not lose a set in their four matches and defeated Logan Morrissey and Camryn Parnell of team champion Lee’s Summit North in the finals.
Clayton’s Connor Cassity and Cameron Freeman finished second in Class 2 doubles. St. Joseph’s freshman Caroline Pozo was second in Class 2 singles while Ladue senior Cam Newton was third.
MICDS was dominant from start to finish this fall. The Rams finished 22-0-2 and capped off its season with a 3-1 victory over Villa Duchesne in the Midwest Field Hockey Tournament, played at Soccer Park in Fenton.
It was fitting that Emily Adamson scored a pair of goals in the title game to help the Rams to their third championship. Adamson was selected as the Metro League Player of the Year. Marquette’s Annelise Lulow received the same honor in the Suburban Conference.
By Bill Hester
Pictured: John Burroughs