Webb City's Belcher, Parish earn honors

By Michael Davison

Globe Sports Writer

After helping turn a 1-9 team into an 8-2 team that went undefeated in the Ozark Conference, three Joplin High School football players made the Missouri All-State team in Class 6

Webb City, which advanced to the Class 4 semifinals, had two linemen earn spots on the team selected by the Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. The Cardinals were also the No. 2 team in the final poll behind state champion Kearney.

Making the squad for the Eagles were senior running back Mark Fowler, senior linebacker Austin Cartright and junior offensive lineman Andrew Lewis.

"All three have done an outstanding job for us," said Joplin head coach Jesse Wall. "When you look at Mark and Austin, they've done an incredible job for us.

"Mark not only ran for a bunch of yards. He was a leader for our team and the success we had is a credit to him.

"Austin has turned into one of the premier linebackers in the state. He's shown great ability.

"And I'm just glad to have Andrew back next season. He's a special player. One of those you don't get to coach too often. He's smart and he works his tail off."

Fowler, 6-foot, 175-pound tailback, rushed for 1,700 yards and 16 touchdowns on 198 carries. He caught six passes for 72 yards and two scores.

Inside linebacker Cartright, 6-1, 205, had 119 tackles including 14 solos, 17 for a loss and three sacks. He had 10 quarterback hurries, forced three fumbles and recovered one. Cartright defended five passes and had an interception.

Lewis, 6-5, 230 center, helped the Eagles pile up 2,913 yards rushing and 3,858 yards of total offense.

All three Joplin players were members of the all-league first team and played both offense and defense.

Class 4

Seniors Ryan Belcher, 5-10, 210 defensive lineman, and Justin Parish, 5-10, 205 offensive lineman, were named to the first team for Webb City.

The pair helped the Southwest Conference champion Cardinals finish 9-4. Both were first team all-leaguers and two-way starters.

McDonald County's Ricky Brown, 6-2, 185 wide receiver, earned a spot on the first team. He caught 58 passes for 1,030 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Brown was the Southwest Conference player of the year for a team that went 5-4-1.

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