A quick rant through the week in sports:
• Area high school athletes and teams have put the finishing touches on another great springs sports season.
• Joplin’s Jeremy Lynn fought off cramps and Rockwood Summit’s Dylan Steffens to win the Class 2 tennis singles championship on Saturday.
• The state title was a nice parting gift as the senior prepares to compete at the University of Minnesota next season.
• St. Mary’s-Colgan’s baseball team run-ruled Silver Lake 10-0 on Friday, lifting the Panthers to the Kansas Class 3A state championship.
• It certainly has been a nice stretch for coach Mike Watt and the Panthers. Watt led Colgan to his first state championship in 1993. Twenty years later, Watt directed Colgan to his 13th state title as coach. Colgan has a state-record 17 titles in school history.
• The CNC as a whole also has had a nice stretch in baseball. Colgan’s championship gave the league its seventh state title in 3A and 14th state title overall since 2002.
• Baxter Springs, the winner of four those titles in that time frame, recently hired longtime Miami baseball coach Chris Mercer. In 13 seasons for the Wardogs, Mercer totaled 297 wins and three state tournament appearances.
• Lamar captured its first track and field championship last week after missing by a point a year earlier.
• It’s almost difficult to believe that two years ago, the Tigers had never won a team state championship in any sport. Two years later, Lamar has won four with two in football, one in cross country and one in track.
• And don’t forget, Lamar also has tallied two runner-up finishes during that time (track and golf).
• Lamar’s Sam Bailey, Ben Bailey and Austin Boice finished 1-2-3 in the discus to give the Tigers a nice head start at the Class 2 state meet. Boice also won the shot put, and Lamar’s 4x800 relay team of Josh Garfield, Zachary Ray, Landon Compton and Drew Buckner also earned first-place medals.
• McAuley Catholic’s Victoria Foley not only repeated as state champion in the discus, she set a Class 1 state record with a throw of 128 feet, 9 inches.
• The old record of 128-2 had stood for 31 years.
• College Heights Christian’s Ryan Beaver won the Class 2 1,600 meters, finishing about 13 seconds shy of the state record set by College Heights’ Caleb Hoover in 2009.
• The state titles don’t end there. Jasper’s Jed Kaderly won the Class 1 shot put, while Mount Vernon’s Shane Williams won the Class 3 long jump and Girard’s Drew Davied won the Kansas Class 4A high jump.
• There also are other team accomplishments worth noting. The Carl Junction girls soccer won its first district and sectional titles in the young program’s history. McAuley baseball won its first district championship since 1982.
• Yes, I know there are accolades I’ve failed to mention. But that may be the best compliment that can be given to this area. If I included all of them, this column might never end.
• So congratulations to all on a great season. I’m already anxious for the fall.
A quick rant through the week in sports:
- High School Sports
Webb's Cornish adds dad to staff
Landon Cornish, boys basketball coach at Webb City High School, has landed an assistant with considerable experience.
Carl Junction's Irwin, Wall to try out for U.S. junior team
“Have Volleyball Skills. Will Travel.”
Joplin's Kealin Smith to compete in Under Armour baseball tourney
Kealin Smith, a Joplin High School product who has signed to pitch at Coffeyville Community College next season, will compete in the Under Armour Baseball Factory Southwest Championships from July 31-Aug. 4 in Azusa, California.
Gibson elevated to head coach
Zach Gibson, whose last name is familiar in Miami wrestling, has been promoted to head coach at Miami High School.
Greenfield names Thompson girls basketball coach
Brandon Thompson, an assistant coach for the Cassville R-IV schools last season, has been named girls basketball coach at Greenfield High School.
After long break, Rusty Barker back as Commerce basketball coach
Rusty Barker is returning as boys basketball coach at Commerce High School.
Area baseball players receive all-state honors
Carl Junction and Monett shared the Big 8 Conference title and turned in splendid overall efforts this prep season.
Hocker returns as Pierce City's football coach
Brad Hocker, who’s returned as head football coach at Pierce City High School, has an important two weeks coming up.
Galena's Cook to play in Under Armour tournament
Kyler Cook, who will be a senior at Galena High School, was selected to compete in the Under Armour Baseball Factory Southwest Championships July 31-Aug. 4 in Azusa, California.
Exeter graduate Higgs returns home to coach
Colt Higgs is happily returning home to Exeter.
- More High School Sports Headlines
- Webb's Cornish adds dad to staff