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PHOTO GALLERY: District cross country at Nixa

Local schools competed at district cross country meets in Nixa on Saturday. Webb City’s boys and girls both won team titles in Class 4, while Neosho’s boys and girls were both second. Also in Class 4, several local athletes advanced to state as individuals. In Class 5, Joplin’s boys punched their ticket to state with a second place showing. Joplin’s girls and Carthage’s boys also had runners advance.


Webb City’s Roman Borboa is all smiles as he heads to the finish line first during the Class 4 District 6 meet. Teammate Joseph Dawson is behind Borboa.


Runners from Neosho and Carl Junction begin the girls race during the Class 4 District 6 meet in Nixa on Saturday.


Joplin’s Jennalee Dunn runs behind Kickapoo’s Klarie Brown during the girls Class 5 District 6 race.


Joplin’s Hobbs Campbell and Carthage’s Mariques Strickland are among the runners in this pack during Saturday’s Class 5 boys race.


Neosho’s Bailey Miller and Nevada’s Allie Rains both finished in the top 15 to earn spots at next weekend’s state meet.


Carthage’s Mariques Strickland and Joplin’s duo of Hobbs Campbell and Evan Matlock head to the finish line.


Webb City’s Dustin Brockmiller finished seventh in the Class 4 boys race.


Carl Junction’s Logan Carnes finished 11th to earn a spot at state.


Joplin’s Allie Keizer finished 10th and qualified for state.


Girls from Webb City and Nevada take off at the start of the district meet.

DISTRICT CROSS COUNTRY: Webb City sweeps team titles to advance full squads, Neosho takes second in both races

NIXA, Mo. — Led by a pair of individual medalists, Webb City’s boys and girls both topped the team standings in convincing fashion at the Class 4 District 6 cross country meet on Saturday at Inman Elementary School.

As a result, the Cardinals will be taking full squads to next week’s state meet in Columbia. The top two teams and the top 15 individuals at the district meet advanced to state. 

Webb City’s boys rolled to a first place finish, as all seven Cardinals finished in the top 14. Webb City finished with a team score of 30 and Neosho was second with 70.

“I’m happy that we were able to advance to the state meet and win our fourth district championship,” Webb City coach Dustin Miller said. “I’m happy that some of our guys performed better than they did at the conference meet. As a whole, we have some big goals, so we have some work ahead of us…some mental work. If you’re going to challenge a team like Festus, who has won six straight state championships, you’re going to have to bring it. Today we learned some lessons and we’ll grow from this. We’ll be good to go next week.”

Webb City’s girls had the top three finishers and all seven runners finished in the top 19. The Cardinals finished with a team score of 21, while Neosho was second with 48.

While it’s the fourth district title for the Webb City boys, it’s the first district crown in program history for the Webb City girls. 

“That’s our girls’ first-ever district title, so that’s a really big deal for us,” Miller said. “We’ve dealt with some adversity this year, so for our girls to come out and have their best performance, I’m just really proud of them. They came out focused. They had a big day.” 

Webb City’s Joseph Dawson leads a pack of runners during Saturday’s district meet in Nixa. Neosho’s Kaden Cole and Webb City’s Roman Borboa are also pictured. Photo by Jason Peake.


Webb City junior Roman Borboa was the district champion. He toured the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes, 30 seconds. 

“This feels pretty good,” Borboa said. “This is only the second race I’ve ever won. The other was the warm-up meet at the start of the season, and that wasn’t even a real meet.”

A junior, Borboa topped a number of runners who beat him a week ago at the COC race. Borboa was 10th at the conference meet. 

“We raced really hard and I’m really proud of our team,” Borboa said. “Today really motivates us to go to state and try to win it.” 

Webb City senior Joseph Dawson finished third in 16:32. Dawson was edged at the finish line for second by Logan-Rogersville’s Landon Hendrickson. 

Also for the Cardinals, Dustin Brockmiller took seventh, Owen Weller was ninth, Jose Antillon was 12th, Samuel Winesburg took 13th and Shane Winters finished 14th. 


Webb City’s Riley Hawkins was all alone as she headed down the final stretch towards the finish line. 

A junior, Hawkins was the girls district champion with a time of 20:22.

“This feels awesome,” Hawkins said. “I finally had a great race. I went out to the front at the start and then just chilled for the last mile. And our team did awesome. Everyone had a great race. I’m really proud of everyone.” 

“Riley winning it in dominant fashion was impressive considering she’s struggled some this season with some health issues,” Miller said.

Webb City sophomore Halley Philpot took second in 21:03 and classmate Abi Street was third in 21:06. Also for the Cardinals, Isabelle Lopez took eighth, Mileah Metcalf was ninth, Katherine Moore took 15th and Velissia Perez finished 19th. 

“We came into this race needing to build some confidence,” Miller said. “We needed to put a whole team race together, and today we did. Hats off to those kids for performing well.” 


Webb City’s Riley Hawkins won the girls race on Saturday in Nixa.



Neosho’s boys and girls both finished second in the team standings, and the Wildcats will take full teams to the state meet.

“I’m really proud of the whole program,” Neosho coach Emily Abell said. “I’ve been with the program for five years now, so seeing it get to this point is a really proud moment for me. Our program has grown and grown, and now it’s showing in their performances. I’m just really proud of them. I’m excited to see how they do next weekend. We’ve taken the season a week at a time, so now it’s time to prepare for one more meet.” 

In the boys race, Neosho’s Kaden Cole finished fourth in 16:35. 

The other Wildcats were packed together. Carson Newell was 17th, Gabriel Mabrey took 18th, Jeremiah Enlow finished 19th, Harry Slinkard was 20th, Connor Jordon took 21st and Bryce Hall was 22nd. 

The Neosho girls had three runners finish in the top 11. Freshman Riley Kemna took fifth in 21:21, while junior Bailey Miller was sixth in 21:29 and sophomore Makenna Davis finished 11th (21:41).

Also for the Wildcats, Jayden Adams was 14th, Lakyn Prough took 17th, Emma Dodd was 23rd and Michelle Lindsay finished 25th. 

Neosho’s Kaden Cole runs to a fourth place finish. Photo by Jason Peake.


Carl Junction’s girls and boys both had two individual qualifiers. 

On the girls side, Allie Montez finished fourth with a time of 21:14 and Hannah Franks took 10th in 21:38.

Carl Junction’s Alexis Carpenter (18th), Audrey Fletcher (20th) and Riley Briggs (21st) also had strong showings. 

On the boys side, Carl Junction’s Collin Emmert finished fifth in 16:40 and Logan Carnes took 11th in 17:24. Brock Feken just missed qualifying, as he finished 16th. 

As far as the team standings, both CJ teams finished third. 


Monett’s Julio Cruz placed eighth (17:04) and teammate Jose Salas Esquivel took 15th (17:56) to move on to state. 


Two other area girls advanced with top 15 finishes.

Nevada’s Allie Rains was seventh (21:30) and McDonald County’s Melysia McCrory finished 12th (21:56). 


The MSHSAA Cross Country Championships will be held Nov. 5-7 at Gans Creek Cross Country Course in Columbia. The Class 4 races will be held on Friday, with the girls race at 8:30 and the boys to follow at 11. 

Due to restrictions in Boone County, attendance at the state cross country meet is limited to two spectators per runner in each race, a MSHSAA press release said.  


Class 4 District 6
Boys team standings: Webb City 30, Neosho 70, Carl Junction 76, Harrisonville 94, Logan-Rogersville 134, Nevada 145, McDonald County 184.
Girls team standings: Webb City 21, Neosho 48, Carl Junction 66, Monett 118, Logan-Rogersville 124.

Neosho runners Riley Kemna and Bailey Miller compete with Webb City’s Halley Philpot and Abi Street while Carl Junction’s Allie Montez follows in back on Saturday at the Class 4 District 6 meet. Photo by Jason Peake.



DISTRICT MEET: Joplin boys make history; Dunn leads JHS girls, Carthage duo advances

NIXA, Mo.  For the second straight week, the Joplin High School cross country program made history.

Joplin’s full boys squad and three members of the girls team qualified for the MSHSAA Cross Country Championships with their respective performances at Saturday’s Class 5 District 6 meet at Inman Elementary School.

The top two teams and the top 15 individuals advanced to the state meet. Joplin’s boys finished second in the team standings with 67 points. Kickapoo was first with 38.

Now, for the first time in program history, Joplin will have a full team at the state championships. 

“Our boys ran really well,” Eagles coach Dustin Dixon said. “They looked like they were driven after last week’s disappointment of getting third. I’m just really proud of them. This is the first team we’ve ever had make it to the state championships, so it’s going to be fun to take a bus instead of a van.”

Joplin’s girls made history last week by winning a conference championship, and Dixon noted his boys team accomplished a lofty preseason goal.  

“In August, we thought we had a good team,” he said. “Year after year, we’ve come up short. They didn’t come up short this year. That means a lot. It’s hard to get there for the first time.”

Joplin’s seven boys all finished in the top 23. The Eagles were led by junior Zaben Barnes, who finished seventh in 16 minutes, 44 seconds. 

“Zaben had a great day,” Dixon said. “Zaben and Hobbs Campbell are training partners. Hobbs has been our No. 1 all year, and we’ve told Zaben he’s capable of racing with Hobbs. He showed that today.”

Joplin’s Campbell (16:53) and Evan Matlock (16:54) finished 13th and 14th, respectively, while Ian Horton (17:03) and Micah Bruggeman (17:04) were 16th and 17th. Bruggeman gave the Eagles a boost, as he did not compete at last week’s COC meet.  

“I thought Micah ran really well,” Dixon said. “He’s coming out of some sickness, but he closed the door for us today. He did exactly what we needed him to do for us.” 

Also for the Eagles, Kane Brooks and Nicholas Horton took 22nd and 23rd, respectively. Kickapoo’s Tyler Harris was the individual medalist with a time of 15:48. 


Joplin’s Zaben Barnes and Carthage’s Malcolm Robertson head to the finish line during Saturday’s Class 5 District 6 meet in Nixa. Photo by Jason Peake.


Joplin junior Jennalee Dunn had a day to remember. And now, she’s heading back to the state meet for the second straight year. 

Dunn was the district runner-up with a time of 19:20. 

“I’m really glad I was able to qualify and I’m really proud of how our team did today,” Dunn said. “I’m just really happy right now.” 

Kickapoo’s Klarie Brown crossed the line first with a time of 19:11. Dunn finished second, ahead of Nixa’s Alicen Ashley (19:25), who won the COC race last week. 

“The Nixa girl had beaten me by about 10 seconds last week,” Dunn said. “Today, I knew I had to really fight to try to get my team qualified. I just tried to fight really hard.” 

“Jennalee beat the conference champion and she looked determined,” Dixon said. “She ran really well. From the gun, she ran really well. We’re hoping she can bring a medal home next weekend.” 

Two other Eagles qualified for state by finishing in the top 15. Freshman Allie Keizer placed 10th in 20:09 and sophomore Sage Mitchell took 12th in 20:32. Dixon noted both girls performed well with the season on the line. 

Also competing for the Eagles on Saturday were Mairi Beranek (19th), Cylee Gilreath (20th) and Jackaline Triplett (27th). Alexandra Carson began the race, but was unable to finish. Carson finished fifth at last week’s Central Ozark Conference meet. 

This year’s COC champions, Joplin’s girls were unable to advance the entire squad to state, as the Eagles finished third with 56 points. Nixa (46) and Kickapoo (51) were the qualifying teams. 

“The girls won the conference championship last week against the team that won the district today, so that’s disappointing,” Dixon said. “We were winning, but we struggled in the last mile. But we feel good about where our program is. We have a junior, a sophomore and a freshman going to the state meet and every girl that ran today is coming back next year. We’re ready to take the next step.” 

Joplin’s Jennalee Dunn finishes second in the girls race at the Class 5 District 6 meet on Saturday in Nixa. Photo by Jason Peake.


Carthage’s duo of Malcolm Robertson and Mariques Strickland placed eighth and ninth, respectively, in the boys race, qualifying for the state meet in the process.

A senior, Robertson crossed the line at 16:45, with Strickland, a junior, recorded a time of 16:50. They were the only two Tigers able to advance to state.

Carthage’s Joseph Wyrick finished 18th, while Richard Contreras was 27th. Also competing for the Tigers were Ty Lewis (41st), Eddy Fuentes (44th) and Landen Schrader (45th). Carthage’s boys were third in the team standings with 103 points.

The Carthage girls did not have a state qualifier. Keysli Elias finished 21st, Hadley McBride was 29th, Kimberly Hernandez took 31st and Allyssa Williams finished 42nd. The CHS girls finished sixth in the team standings. 


The MSHSAA Cross Country Championships will be held Nov. 5-7 at Gans Creek Cross Country Course in Columbia. 

The Class 5 races are Saturday, with the girls running at 8:30 a.m., with the boys to follow at 11.

Due to restrictions in Boone County, attendance at the state meet is limited to two spectators per runner in each race, a MSHSAA press release said.  

Class 5 District 6
Boys team standings: Kickapoo 38, Joplin 67, Carthage 103, Ozark 106, Branson 138, Nixa 139, Republic 210, Glendale 213, Parkview 248, Springfield Catholic 250.
Girls team standings: Nixa 46, Kickapoo 51, Joplin 56, Ozark 95, Parkview 146, Carthage 152, Branson 158.




Runners from Joplin and Carthage compete at Saturday’s Class 5 District 6 meet in Nixa. Photo by Jason Peake.

FOOTBALL: PSU rally comes up short against UNK

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Pittsburg State scored late in the fourth to cut the Nebraska-Kearney lead to one score and had a chance in the waning stages of the game to take the lead before the Lopers ultimately held off the Gorillas 31-26 in the season opener on Saturday at Carnie Smith Stadium. 

The Gorillas scored on a 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mak Sexton to Jalen Martin at the 11:50 mark of the final quarter to trim the Lopers’ lead to 24-20.

PSU forced a three-and-out on the ensuing defensive possession before a three-and-out possession on offense led to a loss of 13 yards on Dominik Stadlman’s punt attempt, giving the Lopers solid field position deep in PSU territory.

Nebraska-Kearney took advantage less than two minutes later when TJ Davis crossed the goal lime from a yard out to push UNK’s margin  to 30-20.

The Gorillas drove down into UNK territory before a 20-yard field goal attempt by Jaden Snyder was blocked to give the Lopers possession. 

Pittsburg State forced Kearney into a punt before the offense orchestrated a seven-play 61-yard scoring drive that culminated in a 31-yard touchdown pass from Sexton to Christian Carter to bring PSU within five of the lead, 31-26, with 1:47 remaining.

On the Lopers’ first play of the ensuing drive, PSU’s Luke Jennings fried Dayton Sealey into a fumble, with Jennings recovering the loose ball to give Pittsburg State possession with 1:42 left in the game.

A 9-yard completion to Dylan White and a 17-yard run from Tyler Adkins sent the Gorillas to the UNK 21, where the drive stalled with four straight incompletions for a turnover-on-downs, sealing the win for Kearney.


Pittsburg State picked up 132 rushing yards on 29 attempts, while passing 46 times for 398 yards. Sexton completed 25-of-46 passes for 398 yards and three touchdowns. Adkins rushed 15 times for 73 yards and a score. Carter had eight receptions for 153 yards and a score, while White, a Pittsburg High product, caught five passes for 105 yards and a touchdown. Martin added seven receptions for 58 yards and a score.

Brandon Mlekus, a Frontenac native, led PSU with 10 tackles, while Jennings had eight solo tackles, 10 total, and a forced fumble and recovery. Kaden Roy, a Webb City graduate, had eight tackles.

UNK rushed 66 times for 287 yards and passed 10 times for 154 yards. Sealey led Kearney with 118 yards on 21 carries, while Davis had 21 carries for 93 yards and four touchdowns. Montrez Jackson added 51 rushing yards on 11 carries. Blake Bubak led UNK with nine total tackles.


Pittsburg State travels to Missouri Western for a 3 p.m. matchup on Nov. 7.

Football: Carl Junction rolls past Monett in district opener

CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — Carl Junction got off to a quick start and rolled to a dominant 45-9 win over Monett on Friday night in the Class 4 District 5 opener.

After the Cubs tried to pull an onside kick to start the game, the Bulldogs recovered and then launched a 61-yard quick strike to senior Cole Stewart on the first play from scrimmage. From inside the 1-yard line, senior Brady Sims ran it in for a touchdown on just the second play of the game.

“Coming off that big play, our offensive line played great and I was able to punch it in,” Sims said of his first touchdown of the night.

The next three drives were a back and forth affair as each team forced punts. After a slow first quarter it appeared that Carl Junction would head into the second frame with just a touchdown, but then senior Alex Baker hit senior Noah Southern for a 44-yard catch and run to give the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Carl Junction once again held the Cubs to punts on their next two drives, thanks in part to a strong defensive performance, including two sacks from senior Gabe Lyon.

“At first, I took a pass drop, but when I saw the quarterback rolling out I knew I had to go get him, and I did,” Lyon said. “We have some things to work on, but overall I think our defense did pretty good.”

With just over five minutes left in the half, senior Drew Patterson scored on a 31-yard catch to give the Bulldogs a 21-0 lead.

On the ensuing drive the Cubs spoiled Carl Junction’s hopes of a shutout by kicking a field goal in the last minute of the half.

With just 25 seconds left, Carl Junction had all three timeouts and refused to take a knee. They marched down the field, and with just one second left Baker gave a quick toss to Patterson, who ran 10 yards and lateraled the ball to Sims, who ran it into the end zone for a spectacular 31-yard touchdown.

“It was a last second decision,” Sims said. “Coach loves to draw up those trick plays.”

“Coach Buck just wanted to take a shot at the end of the half and do something special,” Patterson said. “I ran the hitch and tossed the ball to Brady and he made it in. Probably shouldn’t have worked, but it did and Brady did a great job pulling it off.”

Monett received the ball to open the second half, but CJ forced another punt. The Bulldogs looked as if they were about to score by hitting a 48-yard pass to Patterson that brought the ball to the 1-yard line once again, however a fumble gave the ball back to the Cubs deep in their own territory.
The Bulldogs once again held the Cubs to a punt, and Sims collected his second touchdown of the night on a 20-yard run.

On the next drive, Monett was again forced to punt, but this time Stewart returned the short kick for a 30-yard touchdown return.

The fourth quarter began with a Monett fumble on their own 35, and the Bulldogs capitalized with a short field goal.

Several long drives ran the clock out, culminating in Monett’s lone touchdown of the night as time expired, leading to a Bulldog win and final score of 45-9.

“We prepared for this game and knew Monett would play hard, they’re not too removed from a state championship, and they did,” Bulldogs coach Doug Buckmaster said. “We didn’t play our best game on either side, but we’re thankful for the win. We have some things to clean up because we’re at that point in the season where if you don’t win you go home. Hats off to our guys in this unique year though. Nobody thought we would be where we are 10 weeks ago, and here we are.”

Carl Junction will host Hillcrest next Friday night in the district semifinals.

FOOTBALL: Ozark ends Neosho’s season with 40-7 win in district opener

OZARK, Mo. — Ozark’s offense found little resistance on the way to a 40-7 win over Neosho in the opening round of the Class 5 District 6 playoffs on Friday.

The Tigers (6-4) scored four times in the first half to build a 26-0 lead by the intermission. Keeping the Wildcats’ offense in check, Ozark added two more unanswered scores in the second half to force a running clock on the way to the win.

The loss ends Neosho’s season with an 0-10 record. The Wildcats graduate 11 seniors—RB/LB Brandy Gonzales, RB/DB Cayden Auch, TE/OLB Sam Sullivan, RB/LB Drayke Perry, QB/DB Landon Kivett, TE/LB Jacob Fry, WR/DB Hunter Morales, OL/DL Myles Buck, OL/DL Connor Millikin, TE/OLB Corbin Thomason and OL/DL Kaden Decker.

After a three-and-out by Neosho to start the game, Ozark looked to follow suit before quarterback Cannon Cox ripped off a 46-yard run on fourth-down-and-3 from midfield, setting up a 5-yard third-and-goal touchdown run on an end around from Ethan Pritchard to put the Tigers up 6-0 with 7:35 left in the first quarter.

Neosho’s offense, which was limited to 33 yards of offense in the first half, again went three-and-out, and Ozark went on a nine-play scoring drive that culminated in a 15-yard rushing touchdown by Thomas Rushing late in the first period to push the lead to 12-0.

Ozark went up three scores with less than six minutes left in the first half when Tylr Bolin scored on a 33-yard touchdown run to make the score 19-0.

The Tigers, who rushed 26 times for more than 260 yards in the first half, scored their fourth touchdown in five possessions of the first two quarters when a 35-yard gallop from Bolin set up a 5-yard rushing score from Cox to make the score 26-0 with 2:10 left in the second quarter.

Bolin had 112 yards and a touchdown on the ground in the first half, with Cox close behind at 93 yards and a score.

Ozark opened up the second half as it closed the first, putting points on the board. The Tigers marched down the field and used a 4-yard touchdown run from Bolin, his second of the game, to push the margin to 33-0.

Neosho earned good field position for the first time in the game after Cox fumbled on Ozark’s ensuing possession, with the Wildcats’ Thomason recovering near midfield. Neosho’s drive moved to the 30-yard line before Auch fumbled a run to the outside on third down to give the ball back to the Tigers.

The Wildcats earned another takeaway on the ensuing defensive possession when Marcus Duncan stripped Cox of the football, giving Neosho the ball inside the OHS 35-yard line. An 8-yard run from Jared Siler and back-to-back 6-yard runs by Perry put the Wildcats inside the 10. Neosho got as close as the 7-yard line before the drive stalled for a turnover on downs.

Ozark answered back quickly, with Jacob Kronebusch finding paydirt from 75 yards out to push the lead to 40-0 with 9:43 left in the game.

Neosho got on the scoreboard with 2:27 left in the game when Logan Whetzell ripped off a 43-yard touchdown on play-action to make the score 40-7.


Bolin led Ozark with 141 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, while Cox carried the ball 12 times for 121 yards, two touchdowns and two fumbles.

Siler led Neosho with 74 rushing yards on 22 carries. Perry added 42 yards on 11 carries.


Ozark travels to Webb City for a district semifinal matchup at 7 p.m. on Friday.



Neosho 0 0 0 7 — 7

Ozark 12 14 7 7 — 40



OHS—Ethan Pritchard 5 run (two-point fail)

OHS—Thomas Rushing 15 run (two-point fail)



OHS—Tylr Bolin 33 run (Jace Easley kick)

OHS—Cox 5 run (Easley kick)



OHS—Bolin 4 run (Easley kick)



OHS—Jacob Kronebusch 75 run (Easley kick)

NHS—Logan Whetzell 43 run (Landon Kivett kick)

STATE RUNNER-UP: Webb City fights until the end, falls in title game

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. —  The Webb City Cardinals didn’t go down without a fight.

With the state’s ultimate prize up for grabs, and down to their final three outs, Webb City rallied in both the seventh and eighth innings.

In the end, it wasn’t enough, as Webster Groves held off Webb City 5-4 in an eight-inning thriller for the Class 4 crown on a wind-chilled Friday at the MSHSAA Fall Softball Championships at the Killian Softball Complex. 

“I couldn’t be prouder of them,” Webb City coach Shauna Friend said moments after handing out her team’s runner-up medals. “They fight until the end in every single game and nothing was different today. They never give up and they didn’t today either. I told the girls they have nothing to hang their heads about. They wanted to win it, it just didn’t work out.”

The Cardinals forced extra innings by plating two runs in the bottom of the seventh. And after the Statesmen once again took the lead in the top half of the ensuing frame, the Cardinals pushed across a single tally in the eighth before stranding the tying and go-ahead runs on-base.

“That’s one thing about this ballclub…we don’t stop,” Webb City two-way senior standout Haidyn Berry said. “We fought our hardest. We can look at that scoreboard and be proud. We fell short, but we competed and I’m proud of the girls. Even though it didn’t go our way today, I’m extremely proud to be the leader of this team. This was something special.”

The champions of the Central Ozark Conference, the Cardinals finished the fall with a record of 27-6. The Cardinals also have a new piece of hardware for the trophy case. 

Friend said this year’s squad definitely left its mark. 

“I want them to be remembered as a team that was so much fun to watch because they are,” Friend said. “They’re a great group of young ladies, on and off the field. They’re talented, but they also have the character you want to see in a team.” 

Webster Groves (16-2) secured its first-ever softball championship. 


Webster Groves senior right-hander Maddie Buske (12-1) was the winning pitcher. Buske allowed four runs on eight hits and four walks while striking out 12 on a day she threw 148 pitches.

“She had really good command of her pitches,” Friend said. “We struggled at the beginning, but we made adjustments and we were making better contact later in the game.” 

Four players had two hits apiece for the Statesmen—Alyssa Moran, Kelly Collins, Hannah Jansen and Ava Fitzgibbon.

Webb City senior Haidyn Berry delivers a pitch during Friday’s title game. All photos by Lucas Davis.

In the final outing of her stellar prep career, the right-handed Berry (25-6) surrendered five runs on 12 hits and a walk. She struck out eight. The hard-throwing Berry tossed 122 pitches, with first-pitch strikes to 30 of 37 batters. 

Emma Welch and Shea’lee Key had two hits apiece for the Cardinals, who were looking to secure the program’s third championship. 


The title game, which was played in less than ideal field conditions after several days of rain, was a memorable one.

The Statesmen struck first by pushing across two runs in the top of the third inning. Fitzgibbon singled to left and Moran reached on a bunt. After an out, Webster Groves’ Jansen lifted a two-run double to right-center.

The Cardinals threatened in the bottom half, as Bri Batson walked and Welch singled with one out. But Buske retired both Berry and Peyton Hawkins to maneuver out of trouble.

Webb City got on the board in the fifth, as Key and Welch both singled. With two outs, Berry came through in the clutch by smacking a run-scoring single into left.

The Cardinals nearly tied the game in the sixth. After a 13-pitch at-bat, senior Alyssa Jennings drew a leadoff walk. Kaylyn Gilbert’s bunt moved Jennings into scoring position. Buske fanned Emalee Lamar for the second out. Next, Hannah Wells lifted a fly ball into center, but Webster Groves’ Moran made a diving, run-saving catch to end the inning. 

“That was a great play by their center fielder,” Friend said. “That was a game-changer.”

The Statesmen added a single tally in the top of the seventh on Jansen’s RBI single.

Once again, the Cardinals didn’t go quietly. 

In the bottom of the seventh, Key led off with a sharp single into left-center, bringing up Batson, the nine-hole hitter. 

On a 2-1 count, Batson launched a game-tying, two-run home run over the fence in left. She was mobbed at home plate after rounding the bases. 

“That was fantastic to see one of our seniors come through,” Friend said. “I knew she had it in her. I’m just very proud of her.” 

Webb City senior Bri Batson hit a game-tying home run in the seventh inning.

The team’s starting third baseman, Batson said connecting for her second homer of the season was a moment she’ll never forget. 

“I went up there clear-headed and I just wanted to help my team,” Batson said. “It was a great feeling to be there for my team one last time. I felt it was gone off the bat. As soon as I saw the ball flying I knew it was gone. It was an amazing feeling.” 

Webb City was unable to do further damage later in the seventh, however, and the game went into extra innings. 

The Cardinals were unable to keep their momentum, as the Statesmen rallied for two runs with two outs in the top of the eighth. 

Carissa Castro singled and then Taylor Knapp’s fly ball dropped in right-center, giving Webster Groves a 4-3 lead. Fitzgibbon followed with an RBI double to left for a two-run advantage before Berry got out of the inning. 

“They got a couple timely hits and that was the difference in the ballgame,” Friend said. 

Once again down to their final three outs, Webb City made things interesting in the bottom half of the eighth. Jennings, in her final at-bat as a Cardinal, doubled to left to start the frame before Gilbert drew a walk to put two on-base with no outs.

Buske struck out Lamar, but Wells delivered a run-scoring single into center, cutting Webb City’s deficit to one.

With Gilbert at third and pinch runner Brynna Cupp at second, Buske secured the championship by inducing a pair of pop outs off the bats of Key and Batson. 

With that, Webb City settled for the runner-up plaque.

“I’m extremely proud of this team,” Friend said. “They have so much drive, so much team chemistry and really just great character with every single player. That’s what carried us this season.” 

Webb City also finished as the state runner-up in both 2013 and 2000. 

The Cardinals will lose key performers Berry, Jennings and Batson to graduation, but the remainder of the lineup will return with the goals set high in 2021. 

Just minutes after her prep career concluded, Berry addressed the underclassmen before the team left the field. 

“Haidyn is a fantastic person in general and she was a fantastic leader for this team,” Friend said. “She wants the best for every one of her teammates. She wants those juniors to come back fighting next year. I can’t say enough about her.” 


While they were left wondering what could have been after the season-ending setback, the Cardinals noted finishing the campaign in the championship game was a special occasion.

“This was a great experience and I’m glad we went out with a bang and didn’t give up,” Batson said. “We didn’t lay down for them. I love my team. We did what we could and I’m proud of these ladies.”

“Going out with a bang is what we wanted to do and that’s what we did,” Berry said. “This was a fun year with a fun group of girls. When I was a little girl I always wanted to play here. I’m going to remember that I had the best teammates ever and our coaches were awesome. We had great community support. It means everything to me. Even though we didn’t pull out the win, it’s a dream come true to get here.” 




Webb City’s seniors pose with the runner-up plaque after the game on Friday in Springfield. Photo by Lucas Davis.


Webb City coach Shauna Friend talks to her team after the state title game. All photos by Lucas Davis.


Webb City coach Shauna Friend comforts Bri Batson after Friday’s state title game.


The Cardinals shared hugs after the state title game loss.


Bri Batson is greeted at home plate by her teammates after hitting a game-tying home run in the seventh inning.

FOOTBALL: PSU’s Brian Wright thankful to get abnormal first season underway

Even though his first season as the Gorillas’ head coach was thrown into flux with the COVID pandemic, Pittsburg State’s Brian Wright couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to be coaching his players this Saturday when PSU hosts Nebraska-Kearney at 12:05 p.m. at Carnie Smith Stadium.

“I can’t explain how truly grateful we are because on Saturday, we are going to be one of only five Division II games that will be played,” Wright said. “We’re pretty fortunate to have the administration, to have Jim Johnson, our athletic director, really work hard for us to get us some football games this year. 

“We’ve learned from all of this that you have to be thankful and grateful for the opportunities that you get because it might be stripped away from you. We’ve learned to really focus on the process and daily routine of trying to get better, making constant improvement on getting better as a human being, as a student and as a football player.”

Pittsburg State’s Brian Wright makes his head coaching debut against Nebraska-Kearney on Oct. 31. Photo by Reid Williams/PSU.

Wright’s first offseason as the PSU head coach was halted just two practices in when the MIAA canceled the remaining schedule for spring sports in the middle of March because of the COVID outbreak, which included spring practice for football. In early August, news broke that the NCAA Division II Presidents Council decided to call off the fall sports championships because of the pandemic. About a week and a half later, the MIAA followed suit, suspending conference athletics until Jan. 1.

Suddenly, the Gorillas’ 2020 season was in serious jeopardy of not happening. That was until it was announced by Pittsburg State in September that the Gorilla football team would return to the gridiron for a shortened season. Pittsburg State will play a five-game schedule, with two home games (UNK on Oct. 31 and Western Colorado on Nov. 21) and three road games (at Missouri Western on Nov. 7, Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 14 and West Texas A&M on Nov. 28).

“You have all the practice and you do all the homework, but you don’t really know where you are at until you take the test,” Wright said. “We need to go out there and take the test to see what we know and how we execute when the lights are on, there is another team across the ball and it’s live. Sometimes, guys really thrive when it’s game day, and I am really looking forward to seeing who that is.”

“We are building our program, so any games we get at this time are going to help us build and get better for the future,” Wright continued. “We want to teach our guys how to prepare to win. We need games in order to do that. We need to teach them what a Tuesday practice or a Thursday walkthrough looks like during a game week. They need to learn how to take a game plan and go execute it, and we just need to get guys reps and game experience.”

It was crucial for Pittsburg State to fill out some sort of a schedule for the fall season if possible. Though the option of playing in the spring was there, that never really sat well with Coach Wright for a couple of simple reasons: You are risking players’ health in terms of injuries when playing a spring schedule and then turning around with little recovery time to play again in the fall. It also allows the team to hopefully revert back to a standard routine and schedule.

“I really wanted no part of spring,” Wright said. “I wanted to get anything we possibly could this fall. We want to get back to a normal recruiting calendar and a normal spring ball calendar. And hopefully, get back to normalcy in the fall of 2021. We were trying to build more for that than just playing games in the spring.”

The Gorillas have a new offensive and defensive scheme under Wright and his staff, and not having any significant spring practice time put them behind the eight ball in terms of evaluation. 

“We watched them in the weight room, but we didn’t get the actual football side of things,” Wright said. “That was very difficult because typically you would take your spring practice and really dissect it at the end, evaluate it and get a really good grip and handle on where you are at as a football team and as a program. You would get a sense of where we need to recruit, what schemes we may need to change to adapt to what we have. We lost that time, and usually you have that time throughout summer as well. 

“We had to get going right in September, start practicing and really kind of go on the fly with what we have. We tried to install at a pretty fast pace and get as much in early on as we could. We have kind of trimmed it from there after six weeks or practice to what our guys are good at.”

As far as the new offensive scheme goes, the Gorillas will be working uptempo out of a spread-based offense predominantly with a single-back look in 3-by-1 or 2-by-2 sets. The goal is to spread opposing defenses out to open up running lanes, then using play action to stretch the field. 

Of course, when it comes to the spread offense, the quarterback is always the topic of conversation heading into the season. Sophomore Mak Sexton, who saw action in 11 games last season, freshman Chad Dodson Jr. and junior Matt Harman, who played in 10 games a year ago, are all in the mix. 

“All three of them have done a good job for us,” Wright said. “Really Mak and Chad have kind of led that group. We will probably see both of those guys playing for us.”

Pittsburg State senior linebacker Morgan Selemaea practicing ahead of the start to his final season with the Gorillas. Photo by Reid Williams/PSU.

On defense, Pittsburg State is based in a three-man front, playing multiple formations from there. The goal is to pressure offenses off the edge while remaining stout in stopping the run.

Without a conference crown or postseason championship to play for, it’s obvious what the motivation is for the Gorillas and every other Division II team in action—the opportunity to play the game they love. And for the Pittsburg State senior class of 10 — whose leadership during all of the uncertainty was invaluable — that especially rings true.

“They’ve been instrumental in us getting through this time,” Wright said. “We’ve needed them for sure, there is no doubt about that. I think they’ve gotten the team’s respect because the team understands what they’ve had to go through. Those (seniors) had to make some really tough decisions on whether they were coming back or not. I think the team respects that a lot of these guys have given everything they have even though it’s five games. They are playing because they have the opportunity to play the game they love with no championship or no playoffs. That can be difficult.” 

Of course, the cherry on top of getting to finally make his debut with Pittsburg State, Wright opens his career against the Lopers just after noon in front of the home crowd on the sidelines of Brandenburg Field. 

“It’s pretty cool to think that our first opportunity here as a new staff is right here at home,” Wright said. “The Gorilla Walk probably won’t be quite the same, but I just think the fact that we get to open up here is pretty special.”

Webb City set for state title game, change to batting order helps Cards finish strong

A recent change to the batting order has helped the Webb City Cardinals put together a strong finish to the fall softball season.

Now, the Cardinals are all set to play for a state championship. 

Webb City (27-5) takes on Webster Groves (15-2) at 10 a.m. on Friday in the championship game of the Class 4 state tournament at Killian Softball Complex in Springfield. 

It’s Webb City’s first title game appearance since 2013, and the Cardinals will look to secure the program’s third state championship (2004, ’07). 

“It’s been several years since Webb City’s been in the Final Four, so we’re excited about that step we’ve made,” Webb City coach Shauna Friend said. “The goal is always to get to the championship game and win it. The girls are excited, full of energy and full of intensity. They’re ready.”

Webb City advanced to the title game with last Saturday’s dominant 10-2 semifinal win at Platte County, while Webster Groves advanced to the finale with a 4-3 win over Rockwood Summit in nine innings.

It’s the first title game appearance for the Statesmen, who have won 10 of 11 games ahead of Friday’s showdown. 

“Anyone that gets this far is going to be a solid team,” Friend said. “We’re going to have to come ready to play. We just have to play the way we’ve been playing all season. The girls are upbeat and have a lot of energy. Unfortunately, the weather this week has kept us indoors. But they’re definitely ready for Friday.”


Coach Friend switched up her team’s batting order ahead of the district championship game with McDonald County. The move has jumpstarted the team’s offense. 

Peyton Hawkins was moved from the leadoff spot to the No. 3 position, while Haidyn Berry was moved up to No. 2 from the three-hole. Emma Welch was inserted into the table-setter role as the leadoff hitter. 

“Haidyn was starting to get intentionally walked, so we wanted to move her up in the lineup,” Friend said. “Peyton’s been hitting the ball really well all year long, with contact and power. She’s providing good protection behind Haidyn. Emma hasn’t missed a beat at leadoff. She’s great there.” 

Simply put, if teams attempt to pitch around Berry, they have to immediately deal with Hawkins and cleanup hitter Alyssa Jennings with a runner on-base. 

“We thought the change would benefit us, and it’s worked out real well for us,” Friend said. “You can’t go wrong with those top three in the lineup and Alyssa at cleanup. They’ve been hitting the ball well all year.”

A junior outfielder, Welch is hitting .413 with a .479 on-base percentage. She’s recorded 43 hits, scored 31 runs and driven in 31. A senior two-way standout, Berry is hitting .452 with a .529 on-base percentage. Berry has recorded 47 hits, with 18 home runs and 48 runs batted in. The home run total is second-best in state history for a season (Carlie Sanders of Hillsboro hit 21 in 2017). 

A junior shortstop, Hawkins owns a .444 batting average and a .528 on-base percentage. She’s recorded a team-high 48 hits and scored a team-best 44 runs.  A senior center fielder, Jennings is hitting .365 with 31 hits, nine homers, 27 runs and 23 RBI. Junior catcher Kaylyn Gilbert bats fifth or sixth. She’s hitting .337 with 33 hits and 23 RBI.

Junior infielder Emalee Lamar hits fifth or sixth and owns a .408 batting average with 40 hits, 29 RBI, 26 runs scored and seven homers.  Junior outfielder/designated player Hannah Wells bats seventh in the order and has a .405 batting average with 32 hits and 19 RBI. 

Junior second baseman Shea’lee Key and senior infielder Bri Batson hit at the bottom of the order. Key is batting .349 and Batson is hitting .247.  Juniors Brynna Cupp, Maggie Crossley and Ripley Shanks are other players who could start in the outfield.

Berry has been dominant in the circle all fall. Berry is 25-5 with a 2.14 ERA. She’s struck out 226 in 186 innings. 

She tossed a no-hitter in the district championship game against McDonald County and earned the pitching win against Bolivar in the quarterfinals and Platte County in the semifinals. 


Webster Groves’ ace in the circle is senior Maddie Buske, who has a record of 11-1 this fall. A 5-foot-4 right-hander, Buske gave up three runs, one earned, on eight hits in the semifinals, striking out six. In her team’s 5-1 quarterfinal win over Farmington, Buske struck out 12 and gave up just two hits. She’s struck out 103 batters in 75-plus innings this season. 

Leading hitters for Webster Groves are Hannah Jansen (.609 BA, 39 hits, 39 RBI), Kelly Collins (.537 BA, 36 H, 16 RBI), Myah King (.483 BA, 29H, 25 RBI), Ivy Clark (.411 BA, 23 H, 19 RBI), Carissa Castro (.375 BA, 18 H, 11 RBI) and Ava Fitzgibbon (.357 BA, 15 H, 10 RBI). 

In the semifinals, King hit a walk-off single in the ninth after blasting a home run earlier in the contest. Shortstop Collins and catcher Jansen had three hits apiece, while King and Taylor Knapp added two hits apiece. 


Webb City is ranked first in Class 4 by the Missouri Fastpitch Coaches Association, while Webster Groves is ranked fifth. The Cardinals have already beaten four other ranked opponents—Platte County, Bolivar, McDonald County and Neosho. 

The Statesmen average 11 runs per game, while Webb City has scored 8.3 runs per game. Both teams are only allowing three runs per contest. 

Friday’s start time was moved up from noon due to Thursday’s games being postponed due to poor field conditions. The earlier start time eliminated a planned send-off for the Cardinals.

One of Webb City’s late-season losses came to Rock Bridge. The Bruins (28-0) face Lee’s Summit North (28-3) in the Class 5 title game.


Webb City last appeared in a championship game in 2013, a 7-1 loss to Lee’s Summit for the Class 4 crown. 

Kaitlin Beason was Webb City’s starting pitcher in the game. Desirea Buerge had three hits, while Lacy Resa and Beason added two hits apiece. 

Webb City won the Class 3 title in 2007 with a 2-1 win over North Callaway, with Kylie Jones hitting a go-ahead homer in the top of the seventh. The Cardinals beat previously undefeated Cape Notre Dame 3-0 in the semifinals, as Nicole Hudson struck out 15. 

The Cardinals won the 2004 championship with an 8-0 win over Kearney, capping an undefeated season. Webb City was the runner-up in 2000, falling to Pleasant Hill 2-1. 



What: Class 4 championship game

When: Friday, 10 a.m.

Where: Killian Softball Complex, Springfield

How to listen:

How to watch:

Tickets: Fans can check ticket availability by going to:

Volleyball: Mustangs end season in district title match

The McDonald County Mustangs ended the 2020 season one win short of a district championship.
The host and top-seeded Branson Pirates defeated the third-seeded Mustangs 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-17) in the championship match of the Class 4 District 10 volleyball tournament on Wednesday night.
The Mustangs finished the season with a record of 20-15.
“Such a fun ride this season,” Mustangs coach Logan Grab tweeted. “This group has done tremendous things for the MCHS Volleyball Program, and the future is bright.”
McDonald County defeated second-seeded Neosho 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-23) in the semifinals.
Against the Wildcats, Sydnie Sanny had 12 kills, Erin Cooper had 27 assists, Kaycee Factor recorded 43 digs and Katelyn Ferdig had three aces.
Branson (19-11-1) advanced to Saturday’s sectional in Carl Junction, where they’ll meet either Harrisonville or Belton.

The McDonald County Mustangs pose with the district runner-up plaque. Courtesy photo.

After semifinal win over Carthage, Joplin falls in district title game; Saunders steps down as head coach

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Staci Saunders experienced a wide range of emotions after emerging from the locker room on Wednesday night inside Carthage High School.

The veteran Joplin High School volleyball coach was feeling proud that her Eagles were able to pull off a semifinal upset and reach a district championship game.

At the same, Saunders couldn’t help but feel some sadness, as the night’s loss ended not only the 2020 season, but also her time as the program’s head coach.

Third-seeded Joplin suffered a season-ending 3-0 (25-10, 25-9, 25-16) loss to top-seeded Lee’s Summit West in the championship match of the Class 5 District 12 tournament.

The setback came after the Eagles upset second-seeded Carthage 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-22) in the semifinals.

After the finale, Saunders announced that she will not return as coach next season. She informed her team of her decision to step down moments after the loss.

“I’m feeling great because we played in a district championship game, but I’m feeling sad because I just announced to the girls that I will not be coming back,” Saunders said. “I’m very happy we ended the way we did. This is a really good group to end on. It’s just time to have new people bring a fresh breath of air to Joplin volleyball. We’re a tight group and it was a hard decision. There’s a lot of tears right now. It is time. I’ll have three kids in college next year, and I want to see them.”

Saunders spent the last 10 seasons as Joplin’s head coach after previously being an assistant at her alma mater for 12 years. 

Joplin coach Staci Saunders is pictured during Wednesday’s match with Lee’s Summit West. It was Saunders’ last outing as Joplin’s head coach. Photo by Shawn Fowler.



A 1992 graduate of JHS, Saunders played volleyball for the Eagles. She assisted Sandy Shelley for 12 seasons before taking over as head coach in 2011. 

Coach Saunders’ daughter, Addison, concluded her prep career on Wednesday night. 

Addison was just eight years old when her mother was named head coach of the Eagles. Older sister Mari Katheryn graduated last year. Like Addison, son Jake is a senior at JHS this year. 

Saunders won her final match inside Kaminsky Gymnasium, as the Eagles defeated Neosho last Tuesday. 

“I know this is what’s best for me and my family,” Saunders said. “It’s bittersweet. I wanted to go out with Addi. I’ve coached Addi and Aubrey Ritter since they were little.” 

“I’ve been an Eagle my whole life,” Saunders added. “I was raised and played in Kaminsky. I started my first coaching job at Joplin High. Being an Eagle means something to me and I’m really proud to be an Eagle. I bleed red and navy. I’ll be rooting for the Eagles the rest of my life. I hope one day I’m cheering on my grandkids there.” 

Coach Saunders noted that longtime assistant coach Amber Travis will also be relinquishing her coaching position. 


Staci Saunders shared a moment with daughter Addison (12) during Wednesday’s district tournament in Carthage. Photo by Shawn Fowler.


Carthage had defeated Joplin 3-0 during the regular season, but the Eagles pulled off the upset with an inspired performance. 

“Oh my gosh, I couldn’t be prouder of those kids,” Saunders said. “We have no stars on our team. We need all six kids working together. We always say, ‘keep grinding.’ I felt like this was our best team volleyball. Everybody contributed. We hit well, we passed well, we dug well…we did everything well. We took them out of their game. They were having to play out of system.” 

The first set was tied at 22 when Joplin scored three straight on Emma Floyd’s block and kills from Addison Saunders and Allie Lawrence. 

The second set was tied at 16 when the Eagles scored three straight. Late kills from Floyd and Saunders, along with a Carthage attack error, gave Joplin the set.

The Eagles led 8-1 and 16-8 in the third set. Joplin never relinquished the lead, although Carthage pulled within four with Chloe Black serving. 

The Eagles finished strong, as Lawrence and Angelina Schramm had late kills. 

“I felt like we played gutsy,” Saunders said. “We played with confidence. We came in knowing we could win if we played our best volleyball and we did play our best volleyball.” 

Ritter had 10 kills, while Lawrence and Addison Saunders had seven kills apiece and Schramm added six kills. Saunders handed out 15 assists, while Baileigh Riley had 14 assists. 

Ritter also had a team-high 15 digs and four aces. Kaylie Anderson had 13 digs, Lawrence added 10 digs and Riley had seven digs. Angeline Peralta had five blocks, while Floyd had three blocks.

For Carthage, junior Sydnee Dudolski had 19 digs and 11 kills to lead the Tigers, while Black handed out 17 assists and junior Olivia Bourgault recorded 22 digs. 


The Eagles celebrate their win over Carthage. Photo by Shawn Fowler.


Bradyn Webb’s first season at the helm of the Carthage Tigers concluded with Wednesday’s loss to Joplin.

“It’s really hard to lose, especially like that,” Webb said. “I don’t think we played our best. I know this was their first season with me, so it’s been a big change for them. It’s nice to see when I go in there they’re upset. They’re not OK with losing, and that makes a statement for next year. I have a lot of returners who are hungry to win.”

Webb also gave Joplin credit.

“I think that was a great game they just played,” Webb said. “We made a lot of unforced errors and they made hardly any. That’s the best I’ve seen them play. Staci has done a great job with them.”

Carthage’s seniors are Black, Rylee Anderson and Grace Schriever, who missed the match after having to quarantine. The Tigers (14-14-1) will return a solid core next fall. 

“My first season has been great,” Webb said. “We’ve made strides since our first game. We played our best against Ozark and Nixa. Moving forward, I told those kids to remember this feeling because that can push you and make you better for next year.” 

Chloe Black (1) was one of Carthage’s seniors. Photo by Shawn Fowler.



The Eagles were unable to pull off a second upset, as Lee’s Summit West showed why they were the district’s top seed. 

“I feel like we played very hesitant and we weren’t playing with confidence,” Saunders said. “The COC is a tough conference, so we’re used to playing tough opponents. Lee’s Summit West is good, but we see teams like that all the time…Ozark, Nixa. We played safe and scared instead of playing confidently. Credit Lee’s Summit. They played very steady and put it to us.” 

With plenty of firepower at the net, the Titans led 11-2 in the first set and never looked back. 

Lee’s Summit West took a commanding 13-3 advantage in the second set en route to victory. 

Joplin led 6-3 in the third set after a kill from Lawrence, but the set was soon tied at seven. Ritter’s kill tied the score at 10, but the Titans gained the momentum for good and pulled away. Lee’s Summit West finished the final set on a 15-6 run. 

Four players recorded two kills apiece against the Titans— Lawrence, Ritter, Schramm and Peralta. Addison Saunders had four assists, while Ritter and Anderson had five digs apiece for the Eagles (15-15-1).

Playing for the final time in a Joplin uniform were Addison Saunders, Ritter, Riley, Anderson, Shahla Kellhofer and Mya Johnson.

“This is one of the most fun groups I’ve ever coached,” Saunders said. “It’s not a me mentality, it’s we before me. Coaching Addison Saunders is probably my greatest joy in life. And Aubrey Ritter. They’ve been three-year starters. Those two will be on my Mount Rushmore of players I’ve loved to coach. Our juniors are stellar. Our seniors did their job. They’re really great humans and it makes it fun to coach kids who are great humans.” 

Joplin hadn’t appeared in a district title match in more than a decade.

Lee’s Summit West topped fourth-seeded Raymore-Peculiar 3-1 (25-20, 25-10, 24-26, 25-15) in the semifinals.

As the district champion, the Titans (18-6) advanced to Saturday’s sectional in Nixa. 

The Joplin Eagles pose with the district runner-up plaque on Wednesday night at Carthage High School. The season ended with a loss to Lee’s Summit West. Photo by Shawn Fowler.
Junior outside hitter Sydnee Dudolski led Carthage all season long. Photo by Shawn Fowler.


Senior Aubrey Ritter did a little bit of everything for the Eagles this season. Photo by Shawn Fowler.
Allie Lawrence hits at the net against Lee’s Summit West. Photo by Shawn Fowler.


Joplin’s Allie Lawrence and Angeline Peralta block at the net against Lee’s Summit West. Photo by Shawn Fowler.


The Eagles celebrate a point against Carthage. Photo by Shawn Fowler.


The Carthage Tigers huddle around Coach Bradyn Webb on Wednesday night. Photo by Shawn Fowler.

VOLLEYBALL: Logan Jones sets single-season assist record as Carl Junction defeats Webb City 3-0 in the district championship

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Every time area-rivals Carl Junction and Webb City meet up on the volleyball court, you get the best out of both teams.

In a rematch of last season’s district title clash, Wednesday night’s Class 4 District 11 championship match inside the Cardinal Dome was no different, as two of the best teams in the state of Missouri battled in a tightly-contested matchup that saw the Bulldogs walk away with a 25-19, 25-19, 25-23 sweep of the Cardinals to earn the right of playing in the sectional round of the state tournament.

“It’s a little surreal right now,” Carl Junction coach Cheryl Sharples said. “You try to take it all in, but I am just so proud of my kids. They played so well tonight. I thought the most important thing was for us to stay grounded and play our game, forcing them to beat us. I felt like if we could do that, good things would happen, and they did.”

“I am very proud of my girls,” Webb City coach Rhonda Lawrence said. “We played very well, and we had worked on some strategic things that we used, and they worked, to help us get those close scores. (Carl Junction) is a very good team and I felt like we gave them as good of a run as anyone else.”

Aside from the district championship, it was also a record-setting evening for the Bulldogs, as sophomore setter Logan Jones set a new single-season record for assists. Jones finished with 38 assists in the win over the Cardinals, giving her 859 total assists in 87 sets played for the season for a new school record. Jones surpassed Bradyn Wall’s mark of 851 assists in 91 sets during the 2013-14 season.

Carl Junction sophomore Logan Jones passes the ball during the Bulldogs’ district championship win over Webb City on Wednesday. Photo by Israel Perez.

“That is great,” Sharples said of Jones’ record. “She is just a sophomore, so she has a lot left to accomplish. I thought she did a really great job of getting the ball to our hitters and putting them in a position to be successful. She does that game in and game out for us.”

Webb City’s season ends with a 24-8-1 record, with the Cardinals graduating five seniors—Maddy Peeples, Sage Crane, Abigail Stork, Anna Hettinger and Ella Cates.

“I have been extremely proud of my girls all year long,” Lawrence said. “We’ve had to deal with a lot of different lineup shifts — and not necessarily COVID-related, just something weird here and there — and they have been so resilient. That, to me, teaches them about so much more than just volleyball. … I couldn’t be more proud to be the coach of Webb City volleyball.”

“This is going to be rough,” Lawrence continued about losing her seniors. “Maddy has been a huge part of our offense for the last two years. Sage has been a staple for us for the last three years. Her and Abby have been joined at the hip. Anna has been our setter the last two years, and I thought she really stepped up tonight. And Ella did a great job playing the right side any time I called on her. Those are huge holes to fill.” 

A five-point service run by Jill Kennedy early in the first set staked Carl Junction to an 8-3 lead. Salma Lewis had two kills, with Jones adding one. 

Webb City scored five on the next six points to trim the lead to 9-8, with Peeples coming away with three kills in that span, with an ace from Crane.

Webb City’s Maddy Peeples earns a kill in the Cardinals’ loss to Carl Junction on Wednesday in the district championship. Photo by Israel Perez.

Carl Junction held a 22-19 lead when Kennedy earned a block at the net, which was followed up by two errors from Webb City to close the first set in favor of the Bulldogs. Lewis had eight kills in the opening game.

“I thought it was really important to come out and take that first set,” Sharples said. “That was really key for us because they have taken the first set from us twice (this season). You just keep putting doubt in their heads when you can take a set away from them, and I felt like that gave us a mental edge.”

“Salma was really dominant,” Sharples said of Lewis’ first set. “She was seeing the block really well and hitting around it, taking what they were giving her and just executing.”

Olivia Vediz had a four-point service run early in the second set, which included three aces and a kill by Jessa Hylton, to give Carl Junction an 8-6 advantage. The Cardinals answered with two kills from Brenda Lawrence to go along with a kill and block from Mackenzie Storm to climb back in front for an 11-9 margin.

Webb City led 18-17 late when Hylton earned a kill for CJ to force a sideout, with Vediz coming up big again in service to give the Bulldogs all of the momentum. Carl Junction scored four straight points on two errors, an ace and a kill by Hylton to stretch the lead to 22-18.

A kill from Webb City’s Kate Brownfield and Hylton led to each team trading sideouts before Hylton finished the set with back-to-back kills to put the Bulldogs on top two games to none. Carl Junction scored eight of the final nine points, with Hylton accounting for five kills.

“We talked about that in the timeout,” Sharples said of her team’s play to close the second set. “I said, ‘Guys, do you realize what we were down here before we came back and took control?’ Our serving got them out of system quite a bit, which made them go to one option for a hitter, and that makes it so much easier on our defense and blocking.”

“Jessa is an amazing hitter,” Lewis said. “Our energy is so important for this team. I think since we are all so close, being able to build each other up really helps us gain momentum.”

Carl Junction’s Salma Lewis earns a tip kill during the Bulldogs win over Webb City on Wednesday. Photo by Israel Perez.

Vediz’s six-point service run after a sideout early in the third set gave Carl Junction a 14-6 advantage. Maggie Brown and Kennedy had two kills each, with Hylton coming away with a kill and block.

Webb City didn’t go away without a fight. After three consecutive sideouts, a three-point service run from Kyah Sanborn brought the Cardinals within striking distance at 15-11. Webb City trimmed the deficit to one, 23-22, late in the match after a kill and a block from Storm followed by a Bulldog attack error.

“Mackenzie has been a big presence for us all year, and I think tonight capped it off in showing how good she is at this point,” Lawrence said. “I can’t wait to see what she does next year because she is going to be a beast.”

“I knew they weren’t going to go away,” Sharples said of Webb City’s fight in the third set. “That lead that we got on them was important, but I think we started to get a little tight because we started thinking about winning. We talked about re-grounding ourselves … and going to work one point at a time.”

Carl Junction and Webb City traded sideouts to close the third set, with Lewis earning kills on the 24th and 25th points to seal the win.

“That felt amazing,” Lewis said. “I am so happy we were able to pull this win off. It feels great.”


Lewis led the way for the Bulldogs with a team-high 23 kills, while Hylton was next in line with 16. Vediz had three aces and a team-high 23 digs, while Kennedy led the team with four blocks.

Hettinger finished with three aces and a team-high 18 assists, while Peeples had a team-high 10 kills. Crane had 19 digs, while Storm finished with six blocks.


Carl Junction (24-6) hosts Willard (27-3-1) in the sectional round of the state tournament on Saturday.

“Here’s the thing, I think that when we are playing well, we are as good as any team out there,” Sharples said. “I think if we can stay grounded and play our game, we have as good a shot as anybody.”

Webb City’s Sage Crane passes the ball during the Cardinals’ loss to Carl Junction on Wednesday. Photo by Israel Perez.

Softball: Class 4 Region 3 team released

Listed below is the Class 4 Region 3 softball team.
Haidyn Berry, Webb City; Katie Brooks, Bolivar; Madeline McCall, McDonald County.
April Zeno, Bolivar; Keira Chrisco, Rolla; McKaylie Forrest, Neosho.
Neveah Dodson, McDonald County; Emma Rakes, Camdenton; Emma Welch, Webb City.
Carlee Cooper, McDonald County; Makenzie McCarter, Rolla; Peyton Hawkins, Webb City; Karsyn Phillips, Glendale; Avery McClure, Bolivar.
Zoey Williams, West Plains.

Volleyball: College Heights tops Thomas Jefferson for district crown

VERONA, Mo.  — A year ago, the College Heights Christian volleyball team suffered a heartbreaking setback in the district championship match.

This year, the Cougars made sure history did not repeat itself.

Top-seeded College Heights Christian earned a 3-0 victory over third-seeded Thomas Jefferson in the championship match of the Class 1 District 8 volleyball tournament on Tuesday night at Verona High School. 

With a solid overall performance, the Cougars defeated the Cavaliers 25-16, 25-18, 25-13.

College Heights (23-3) advanced to Saturday’s sectional round of the state tournament with the win. A year ago, the Cougars were upset by Diamond in the district finale. 

“That upset last year was so disappointing that I didn’t gear the season towards this match like I did last year,” College Heights coach Mary Colin said as her team celebrated behind her. “Last year, the whole season was geared towards that moment and Diamond played awesome against us. It was such a disappointing loss. This year was much different because you never knew if you were going to get to play tomorrow. This season has been about each day. And now we get another day. I’m proud of them. They’re a great group of kids with great chemistry and they rally together.”

Thomas Jefferson knocked off second-seeded McAuley Catholic 3-1 (25-16, 22-25, 26-24, 25-15) in the semifinals. But the Cavaliers (12-14) were unable to pull off a second upset and the season came to an end.

“I am so incredibly proud of them,” Thomas Jefferson assistant coach Britanie Wacoche said. “They came together as a team and worked extremely hard. This is the best I’ve seen them play. For them to do that in the district championship and in the semifinals is awesome. I’m so proud of them.” 

Wacoche, who was leading the Cavs with head coach David Soetaert out sick, said she was pleased with how the team pulled out a hard-fought win over the Warriors (13-17) in the semifinals. 

“We weren’t favored to win any of these matches, so to get a win in the semifinals and give them a battle in the championship is a win in itself,” Wacoche said. 

College Heights advanced to the title match without taking the court for the semifinals, as fourth-seeded Wheaton forfeited due to COVID-related issues. 

“Having the forfeit before, I was a little nervous with us coming in ice cold,” Colin said. “At the same time, they (TJ) had to play a four-set match, so it’s kind of a wash.” 

The first set of the championship match was close early, but an ace from Kaynahn Burk gave College Heights a 13-8 advantage. 

Moments later, Lainey Lett slammed back-to-back kills from the left side and Sarah Painter served an ace, giving the Cougars a 21-13 lead.

The Cavaliers stayed within striking distance, as Sonia Carlson slammed a kill and Winni Hiebert recorded a block, but CHC’s Catie Secker slammed three late kills to finish off the set. 

The intense second set was back and forth most of the way. The score was tied at 18, but College Heights gained the momentum late. College Heights rattled off seven straight points with Secker serving to close out the set. 

“We had some unforced errors earlier in the set,” Colin said. “But the momentum off the service line was nice.” 

College Heights never relinquished the momentum in the third set, as the Cougars led 11-4 and 20-9 en route to victory. 

“I felt they (TJ) returned the ball well and forced us to play offense, which is good and fun,” Colin said. “We were really aggressive. We served well. We played pretty well defensively.”

A senior outside hitter, College Heights’ Secker compiled 21 service points with eight aces to go along with 18 digs and eight kills. 

Also for the Cougars, Lett had 15 kills, while Avery Good had 22 digs and Burk added 17 digs. Painter handed out 29 assists, while Layne Jackson had two blocks. Thomas Jefferson’s stats were unavailable. 

After her squad posed for pictures with the district championship plaque, Colin noted it was a great night for her program. 

“I thought we had a great crowd,” Colin added. “Lots of fans showed up, so that was fun. And this new gym is really nice. It’s big and beautiful and fun to play in. Verona hosted a great tournament.” 


College Heights takes on District 6 winner Summersville (10-10-6) on Saturday in the sectional round at Blue Eye, the champion of District 7. The start time was not yet released. On Saturday, the quarterfinal match will follow the sectional contests. 


The College Heights Cougars pose with the district championship plaque on Tuesday night in Verona. Photo by Jason Peake.

REPORT: Rockhurst player tests positive for COVID, district game with Joplin in jeopardy

In a tweet Tuesday evening, Spectrum Sports-Kansas City reported after speaking with Rockhurst football coach Kelly Donohoe that Rockhurst had a player who played last Friday test positive for COVID. The report added it appears that Rockhurst’s season is over, which means Joplin would win by forfeit. If true, Joplin would advance to play the winner of (1) Raymore-Peculiar and (8) Lee’s Summit on Nov. 6 in the Class 6 District 3 semifinals.

SoMo Sports reached out to local sources who confirmed the report but are waiting on an announcement from MSHSAA for final confirmation.

VOLLEYBALL: Webb City drops opener before rallying to beat Bolivar in 4 sets to open district play

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Second-seeded Webb City dropped the opening set before going on to close the match in four games with a 21-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-20 win over third-seeded Bolivar in the semifinals of the Class 4 District 11 volleyball tournament on Monday. 

“I tweaked the lineup a little bit to just try to give us a little more firepower in each rotation,” Webb City coach Rhonda Lawrence said. “Moving them around a little bit right before districts is risky, but with as much as we play together and practice together, I felt like we just needed to get into game mode. I felt like we started pulling together and got more in sync and into a groove, and that’s when we started making better decisions.”

The Liberators (15-12-2) and Cardinals (24-7-1) had a seesaw opening to the first set before Bolivar took all of the momentum as well as a 21-15 lead following a seven-point service run by Cora Roweton. Dailynn VanDeren had two kills, while Roweton had an ace. Webb City climbed to within three of the lead, 23-20, after a kill by Kearston Galardo and two Bolivar attack errors, but the Liberators finished off the match shortly after with a kill by VanDeren.

“I think they took (Bolivar) a little too lightly even though you warn them and warn them not to,” Lawrence said. “They know you are not supposed to do that, but that is hard to do when you haven’t seen them or have many common opponents. We have a young team, and they are going to make mental errors. We are dwindling those down little by little.”

The Cardinals held a 10-7 lead in the second set before a kill by VanDeren led to a three-point run to give Bolivar an 11-10 margin. Both teams traded points until a tip kill from Anna Hettinger gave Webb City a 21-20 advantage. Maddy Peeples earned a kill to push the lead to 24-21 before an attack error sent the Cardinals to the win.

The third set saw Bolivar open with the first point before a sideout and a seven-point service run by Sage Crane gave Webb City all of the momentum it would need.

“The confidence they have once we get up is the confidence we need to stick with,” Lawrence said. “We need to try and tap into that as quickly as possible, so it was nice that Sage got on a roll that fast. Defensively, we started coming more alive, and offensively, we started clicking a little bit better.”

Consecutive kills from Brenda Lawrence and Mackenzie Storm later in the set put the Cardinals in front 14-6, which turned into a 19-12 lead after a block by Peeples. Webb City scored five of the final six points, five coming on Bolivar errors, to seal the win.

The fourth set saw Webb City jump out to a 9-6 run behind six points in service by Galardo, who had an ace. Back-to-back kills from Roweton evened the match at 10-10 moments later. 

Later in the set, with Roweton in service, the Liberators took an 18-15 lead after four straight errors by Webb City, but the Cardinals responded again. After an error forced a sideout, Webb City ripped off five straight points with Galardo in service to regain the lead, 22-19. An ace from Galardo tied it at 19-19, before a block by Storm gave Webb City the lead.

“That was a good confidence builder to see that we could handle that adversity,” Coach Lawrence said. “We got down with our backs against the wall and we started making better decisions, and were more aggressive to get right back into the groove.”

The Cardinals finished off the win with a kill by Lawrence, an ace from Kyah Sanborn and a kill by Storm.

“They have learned to push through that adversity and play better when their back is against the wall,” Lawrence said. “I really do feel like we are growing, especially the young ones. If we just keep growing and growing, that is going to be tough to beat this time of year.”


Crane, who led the team with 20 digs, had six aces, while Galardo finished with four aces to lead the Cardinals in service. Peeples had 19 kills and 11 digs, while Storm, who had two blocks, finished with nine kills and Brenda Lawrence eight. Hettinger had a team-high 25 assists, while Avery Westhoven had 10 assists and eight digs.


Second-seeded Webb City hosts top-seeded Carl Junction in the Class 4 District 11 championship match at 6 p.m. on Wednesday inside the Cardinal Dome.

“It’s always going to be a fun one with us and CJ,” Coach Lawrence said. “It’s a rematch of last year’s district championship match. … They’ve already beat us twice, but our backs are against the wall, and it’s hard to beat a team three times.”

VOLLEYBALL: Carl Junction sweeps Nevada to open district play

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Carl Junction made it a clean sweep to kick off the Class 4 District 11 volleyball tournament with a 25-17, 25-16 and 25-22 win over Nevada in the semifinals on Monday.

The Bulldogs (23-6) won their semifinal match in a multitude of ways. In the opening set, Carl Junction and Nevada battled evenly through the early portions before a pair of strong service runs built a lead the Bulldogs wouldn’t relinquish. In the second set, the Bulldogs scored the first seven points on the way to a comfortable win. CJ faced adversity in the final set, falling behind by seven points in the later stages of the set before scoring 10 of the next 11 points to regain the lead and the momentum on the way to the sweep.

“I guess that prepares you for whatever could happen in the next round,” Carl Junction coach Cheryl Sharples said. “I thought we started playing a little sloppy in that third game and we made some errors. I thought it was great to see us refocus and come back to take that set.”

“They are a great team, and credit to them for having a great program,” Nevada coach Kori Dodson said. “They have some big hitters. I was proud of our girls for continually fighting, never giving up and finding ways to create points against a strong defensive and offensive team.”

The Tigers end the season with an 8-18 record in Dodson’s first year at the helm. Nevada graduates seniors Hallie Bond, Kadence Trosper, Laney Coons, Ezinnie Mba and Hannah Godsey.

“We fought really hard this season,” Dodson said. “We had a lot of obstacles get in our way between COVID stuff and injuries, plus just being a young team. … I was very proud of them for stepping up to every obstacle and just responding to it.”

“They are a group of seniors who have been through a lot,” Dodson said of her graduating class. “Laney Coons was our energizer bunny on the court. … She brought that energy for us for sure. Hannah Godsey is a great defensive and serve receive player for us. … She is on point in service, too. In regards to the other seniors, they were very involved and passionate about volleyball. Bringing that to the team was great.”

Carl Junction and Nevada opened the first set playing at a back-and-forth pace until a four-point service run by Olivia Vediz — who finished with three aces and 10 digs in the match — gave the Bulldogs an 11-4 cushion. Vediz had two aces during the run.

Nevada scored the next four points before a sideout and three straight points, with the final coming on a kill from Jill Kennedy, during Jessa Hylton’s service put the Bulldogs back on top 15-7. Consecutive kills from Salma Lewis and Kylie Scott followed by a Nevada attack error gave CJ a 19-10 advantage. The Bulldogs finished off the match with a kill by Hylton.

“I thought we played really solid in the first set,” Sharples said. “I think during the first few points in districts, no matter who you are playing, there are always going to be nerves going on. I thought we settled in and played really well.”

With Hylton serving to start the second set, Carl Junction rattled off seven straight points to take full control of the game. Hylton had four aces during the run, while Lewis — who led Carl Junction with 12 kills — came away with two kills.

“She really did serve well, hitting her spots really well,” Sharples said. “She did a really good job of getting her serves in play and being aggressive.”

The Bulldogs used a kill and an ace from Hylton, who finished the night with 10 aces, nine kills and eight digs, to build a 10-point advantage before Lewis earned a tip kill. Another ace by Hylton put CJ in front 19-7. A kill from Destiny Buerge moments later ended the set in favor of the Bulldogs.

The Tigers and Bulldogs played evenly through the first half of the final set before Nevada went on a six-point service run from Emma Leisure to build an 18-11 advantage. Leisure had an ace in the run, while Trinity Gayman added a kill. 

Kennedy, who had eight kills and four aces, earned a kill to force a sideout and the Bulldogs trimed the deficit to 18-17 on a five-point run with Hylton in service. Kennedy had two kills and Hylton had two aces. Following a kill by Gayman and an answer by Lewis, Kennedy went on a five-point run in service to swing the lead back in favor of Carl Junction, 23-19. Lewis had two kills, while Kennedy had three aces in the run. The Bulldogs finished off the sweep shortly after.

“Anytime that you feel like you aren’t playing your best, but you can pull a win out, you’re always happy with that,” Sharples said. “The highlight of that set was definitely our serve. Jill went back there and had two or three aces to pull us even. That was a nice service run there.”


Top-seeded Carl Junction takes on host and second-seeded Webb City in the Class 4 District 11 championship match at 6 p.m. on Wednesday inside the Cardinal Dome.

“It’s always fun because it’s a big rivalry and our kids play club with each other and know each other well,” Sharples said. “It’s always going to be fun, and it’s always going to be a battle. That’s what you expect.”


Volleyball roundup: Thomas Jefferson earns district win, season ends for Seneca

VERONA, Mo. — Third-seeded Thomas Jefferson defeated sixth-seeded Exeter 3-0 (25-15, 25-11, 25-14) in a quarterfinal contest of the Class 1 District 8 volleyball tournament on Monday at Verona High School.
With the win, the Cavaliers advance to Tuesday’s semifinals, where they’ll take on No. 2 seed McAuley Catholic at 6:15. The first semifinal will feature No. 1 College Heights Christian against No. 4 Wheaton at 5.
The title match will follow the semifinals at approximately 7:30.

In Monday’s win, Thomas Jefferson’s Winni Hiebert had five kills, five aces and two blocks, Sonia Carlson had five kills and an ace, Nico Carlson contributed six blocks, three aces and two kills, Kayley Ball had six aces and Laynie Solum added two aces.


CASSVILLE, Mo. — Fifth-seeded Cassville upset fourth-seeded Seneca 3-1 (25-14, 21-25, 25-18, 25-18) in a quarterfinal match of the Class 3 District 12 volleyball tournament on Monday at Cassville High School.
The Wildcats advanced to Tuesday’s semifinals to play No. 1 seed Mount Vernon at 4, while the season ended for the Indians (6-17-2).
Seneca’s Parker Long compiled 11 kills, 19 digs and four aces, while Rylee Darnell had 25 assists and Rylee Nesvold had 27 digs.
Also for the Indians, Jera Jameson had six kills, Myla Hembree had five kills, Ellie Barnes had four kills and Jadeyn Bailey added three kills.
Tuesday’s other semifinal will feature No. 2 Lamar vs. No. 3 Aurora at 5.

Football: Tigers, Cardinals remain on top of Class 5 poll

After their respective Week 9 victories, Carthage and Webb City remained on top of the Missouri Media’s Class 5 prep football poll.
The defending champion Tigers (8-0) received eight of the 10 first-place votes. Webb City (8-1) held steady at No. 2, while No. 3 Jackson (9-0) received the other two first-place votes.
In Class 6, Nixa (7-2) slipped to No. 9 after a loss to Carthage.
In Class 3, Cassville (7-2) moved up one spot to No. 8, while Lamar (7-1) remained at No. 2 in Class 2.
The statewide rankings are compiled by a 10-member panel of sports reporters and broadcasters from across the state. Jason Peake of SoMo Sports is a member of the panel.
Full polls are listed below.

Missouri Media football rankings

Statewide high school football rankings, as compiled by a 10-member panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. First-place votes in parenthesis.

Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW
1. DeSmet (10), 2-0, 100, 1
2. CBC, 3-1, 90, 3
3. Liberty, 8-1, 75, 4
4. Raymore-Peculiar, 7-2, 64, 2
5. Francis Howell, 7-1, 62, 5
6. Rockhurst, 5-3, 46, 6
7. Liberty North, 6-2, 31, 9
8. Holt, 7-1, 29, 10
9. Nixa, 7-2, 23, 7
10. Marquette, 3-1, 18, 8
Also receiving votes: Fox (7-1), 11; Lee’s Summit West (6-3), 1

Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW
1. Carthage (8), 8-0, 97, 1
2. Webb City, 8-1, 88, 2
3. Jackson (2), 9-0, 85, 3
4. Battle, 6-1, 68, 4
5. Platte County, 8-1, 57, 5
6. Fort Zumwalt North, 8-1, 49, 6
7. Grain Valley, 8-1, 43, 8
8. Belton, 7-1, 26, 7
9. Park Hill South, 7-2, 20, NR
10. Chaminade, 2-1, 8, 10
Dropped out: No. 9 Farmington
Also receiving votes: Farmington (7-2), 7; Raytown (6-3), 1; Washington (8-1), 1

Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW
1. Jefferson City Helias (10), 9-0, 100, 1
2. Moberly, 7-1, 85, 3
3. Festus, 8-1, 68, 5
4. Bolivar, 7-2, 66, 7
T5. Smithville, 7-2, 57, 6
T5. West Plains, 8-1, 57, 2
7. Hannibal, 6-2, 55, 4
8. Warrensburg, 6-1, 31, 8
9. Logan-Rogersville, 7-2, 18, NR
10. Lincoln College Prep, 6-2, 10, 10
Dropped out: No. 9 Harrisonville
Also receiving votes: Harrisonville (6-3), 2; MICDS (3-0), 1

Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW
1. Lutheran North (10), 3-0, 100, 1
2. Valle Catholic, 9-0, 87, 2
3. Odessa, 8-0, 80, 3
4. Blair Oaks, 8-1, 72, 4
5. Kennett, 9-0, 54, 6
6. Centralia, 7-1, 46, 5
7. St. Mary’s, 2-1, 37, 7
8. Cassville, 7-2, 26, 9
T9. Maryville, 6-3, 13, T9
T9. Richmond, 7-1, 13, NR
Dropped out: No. T9 Oak Grove
Also receiving votes: Oak Grove (5-1), 11; Park Hills Central (8-1), 7; Southern Boone (5-3), 3; St. Clair (7-0), 1

Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW
1. Palmyra (8), 9-0, 98, 1
2. Lamar (2), 7-1, 90, 2
3. Lutheran St. Charles, 5-1, 78, 3
4. St. Pius X (KC), 8-0, 74, 4
5. Butler, 8-0, 54, 6
6. Lafayette County, 7-2, 44, 7
7. Lexington, 8-1, 40, 5
8. Duchesne, 7-1, 31, 8
9. Monroe City, 7-2, 30, 9
10. MV-Liberty, 7-2, 8, NR
Dropped out: No. 10 Clark County
Also receiving votes: Bowling Green (6-3), 2; Kelly (7-2), 1

Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW
1. Mid Buchanan (10), 9-0, 100, 1
2. Hayti, 8-0, 88, 2
3. Thayer, 7-1, 82, 3
4. Windsor, 9-0, 68, 4
5. Marionville, 9-0, 57, 5
6. Marceline, 8-1, 40, 7
7. Skyline, 8-1, 39, 6
8. Milan, 8-1, 27, 8
9. East Buchanan, 5-3, 21, 9
10. Westran, 8-1, 13, 10
Also receiving votes: Adrian (8-1), 10; Lockwood (7-1), 5.


What a week for Webb City sports

Last week was definitely a successful one for Webb City High School athletics.

For starters, two members of the girls golf team, Sarah Oathout and Sydney French, represented Webb City at the state girls golf tournament on Monday and Tuesday, ending the season alongside the state’s best.

On Tuesday, Webb City’s boys swim team won the Central Ozark Conference meet in convincing fashion. The Cardinals compiled 338 points, with Ozark a distant second with 208.

Next, the Webb City boys cross country team captured the COC championship for the seventh straight season by edging rival Carthage for the top spot. 

The school’s top-ranked softball team recorded a 7-3 Class 4 quarterfinal win over Bolivar on Thursday in front of a huge crowd on the hill. 

Two days later, the Cardinals earned a dominating 10-2 win over Platte County in the semifinals to advance to the program’s first state championship game since 2013. 

Before they host this week’s district tournament, Webb City’s volleyball team defeated rival Carthage last Tuesday to end the regular-season on a high note. 

Not to be forgotten, Webb City’s football team rolled to a 55-0 win over Willard on Friday in the regular-season finale at Cardinal Stadium. The defending state champion Cardinals locked up a first-round bye for the playoffs with the lopsided win. It was the team’s eighth straight win. 

With that, it was a memorable week in Webb City.

“It was a great week and I’m just so proud of all of our programs, our coaches and our kids,” Webb City football coach and athletics director John Roderique said. “It was a phenomenal week for our school, so we’re really proud.”