Softball player Rita Santillan of McDonald County and football player Zach Jones of Mount Vernon have been named the Globe high school athletes of the week for the week ending Aug. 31.
This is the fourth consecutive year the Globe sports department will select athletes of the week. Coaches are encouraged to nominate athletes of the week by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org before 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Santillan, a senior, reached base three times with two doubles and a walk and drove in two runs in McDonald County’s season-opening 5-1 victory at Carthage on Aug. 30.
“Offensively we work the short game a lot with her,” Mustangs coach Skyler Rawlins said. “But she’s increased her power numbers over the last year.
“She’s fast. She covers a lot of ground. If the ball is in the air, not many balls hit the ground if she’s out there.”
Santillan has been a starter the last three years. This is her second season starting in center field after starting in left field as a sophomore.
“She’s a competitor,” Rawlins said. “She’s stepped up and become one of our leaders.”
Jones, a senior, threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Rafe Darter as time expired and then found Cale Miller with the 2-point conversion pass to lift Mount Vernon to a 22-21 win at Monett on Aug. 30.
Jones engineered a 10-play, 69-yard drive in the final 1:23 after Monett had taken a 21-14 lead. Jones finished 15-of-27 through the air for 232 yards and two touchdowns.
“I thought he did a great job,” Mountaineers coach Tom Cox said. “He’s had games where he had better numbers, but Monett is really good up front defensively. He was under pressure all night long and got sacked a few times.
“He did a good job of getting the ball to receivers, particularly in the second half, particularly in the last minute, 23 seconds to get us in position to win the game. He showed a lot of poise, especially in that last drivew. It showed what a year of experience can do for him, even in the first game of the year and against a team like Monett.”
Jones followed that performance by completing 11-of-14 passes for 231 yards and four TDs while playing only the first half in the Mountaineers’ 43-22 victory over Nevada on Sept. 6.
COACHES CAN NOMINATE athletes of the week by emailing email@example.com before 5 p.m. Wednesday. Please attach a close up head and shoulders shot of the athlete to the email. Awards on Sept. 15 will be based on performances from Sept. 2-7.