You know a football season was historic when it is still being talked about after the turn of the calendar year.
That is the case for Joplin football and its incredible run in 2019.
Now, Joplin fans around the community have more historical significance to talk about when it comes to the Eagles, as coach Curtis Jasper revealed the team recently had 46 submissions into the record book by the conclusion of Joplin’s 13-1, Class 6 state runner-up finish.
“It is amazing,” Jasper said. “It speaks to the hard work of a lot of people. That is the cool part. There are a lot of individual records and team records, and none of them would have been possible without a group effort.”
Of the 46 records, 39 of which culminated in 2019 with five records for the 2018 season and two in 2017, that have been submitted to MSHSAA, or will be submitted in the near future, Joplin has three individual top-10 game performances, seven top-10 individual performances, 12 top-10 individual career performances and five top-10 team performances.
“The crazy thing about looking at these records is a lot of the teams or players that move up on these lists or set new records either run the ball all the time or throw the ball all the time,” Jasper said. “For us to be balanced and still have the ability to set new records, or move up lists, by a quarterback, running back, wide receiver and kicker is pretty cool.”
Senior quarterback Blake Tash highlights the record-setting performances this season after finishing with a career completion percentage of 73.6 percent, a new overall record for the state of Missouri. Tash’s career completion percentage is also being submitted to the National Federation of State High Schools Association as a new national record. Tash is also tied for second all time in career 100-plus-yard passing games with 35.
“I would just like to thank my teammates and my coaches,” Tash said. “Without them, it wouldn’t have been possible.”
“It is amazing to be that accurate over a three-year period,” Jasper said. “And he didn’t squeak it out. He broke the state record by more than five percent and the national one by two percent. He is an amazing player, leader and quarterback.”
Another Joplin player who found himself setting a new career record was senior place kicker Garrett Landis, who now holds the top career mark in the state for point-after-touchdowns (PATs) made with 211. Landis also holds the third all-time mark for points by a kicker for a career with 226 points.
“His hard work, coming in as a freshman, really paid off for him,” Jasper said. “You could tell he was talented, but he kept working at getting stronger and more accurate. Kicking is a craft you have to spend a lot of time on, and he worked tirelessly on it to be great.”
Other players who moved up in the state record books were senior wideout Zach Westmoreland and senior running back Isaiah Davis.
Westmoreland’s 106 receptions and 1,631 receiving yards in 2019 put him sixth all time in each category. In his career, Westmoreland’s five interceptions returned for a touchdown puts him second all time in the state, while his 255 receptions over his career is good enough for third all time.
Davis’ 45 rushing touchdowns in 2019 put him in a tie for seventh all time, while his 2,283 rushing yards moved him into 20th.
When asked what his favorite record that was set this season, Jasper took a second to think before answering. He settled on the team’s 2019 season completion-percentage of 76.1 percent, good enough for best all time in the state.
“I think the team completion percentage record was my favorite because you had Blake carry the majority of the load, but we also had two other quarterbacks come in and complete passes at a high rate,” Jasper said. “It is also cool because not only do you have your first-team receivers catching passes, but you had a lot of other guys catching balls, too. We had 11 different players catch a pass this season.”
While the results on the field and in the record books are great to look back on, Coach Jasper hopes the 2019 season inspires future classes on what can happen if you truly give every ounce of effort for your team.
“I think the main teaching point is if you focus on the process and doing the right things, this is a product of it,” Jasper said. “You have to work hard in the offseason, work hard each week of preparation in the season and work hard at being a great teammate year round. If you do that, results like this will happen.”
Record submissions for Joplin football
Individual Single Game
Points by a kicker—11, Garrett Landis, 10/26/18 vs. Kickapoo, (No. 14 MSHSAA record book)
PATs made—11, Landis, 10/26/18 vs. Kickapoo (Tied No. 4 MSHSAA)
PATs attempted—11, Landis, 10/26/18 vs. Kickapoo (Tied No. 4 MSHSAA)
Receiving yards—266, Zach Westmoreland, 11/1/19 vs. Jefferson City (No. 14 MSHSAA)
Receiving touchdowns—4, Westmoreland, 11/1/19 vs Jefferson City (Tied No. 8 MSHSAA)
Total Points—288, Isaiah Davis, 2019 (No. 13 MSHSAA)
Points per game—20.57, Davis, 2019 (No. 16 MSHSAA)
Points by a kicker—80, Landis, 2019 (No. 12 MSHSAA)
PATs made—77, Landis, 2019 (No. 9 MSHSAA)
Completion percentage—75.8%, Blake Tash (No. 3 MSHSAA)
Completion percentage—74.5%, Tash, 2017 (No. 6 MSHSAA)
Rushing yards—2,283, Davis, 2019 (No. 20 MSHSAA)
Rushing TDs—45, Davis, 2019, (Tied No. 7 MSHSAA)
Receptions—106, Westmoreland, 2019 (No. 6 MSHSAA)
Receptions per game—7.57, Westmoreland, 2019 (No. 13 MSHSAA)
Receiving yards—1,631, Westmoreland, 2019 (No. 6 MSHSAA)
Receiving yards per game—116.5, Westmoreland, 2019 (No. 14 MSHSAA)
Receiving TDs—21, WEstmoreland, 2019 (Tied No. 12 MSHSAA)
Interception returns for TD—3, Westmoreland, 2019 (No. 3 MSHSAA)
Points by kicker—226, Landis, 2016-19 (No. 3 MSHSAA)
PATs made—211, Landis, 2016-19 (No. 1 MSHSAA)
Completions—537, Tash, 2017-19 (No. 11 MSHSAA)
Completion percentage—73.6%, Tash, 2017-19 (No. 1 MSHSAA, No. 1 NFHS)
Passing yards—6,591, Tash, 2017-19 (No. 14 MSHSAA)
Passing yards per game—178.13, Tash, 2017-19 (No. 16 MSHSAA)
100-plus passing yards games—32, Tash, 2017-19 (Tied No. 2 MSHSAA)
Rushing yards per game—117.7, Davis, 2017-19 (No. 17 MSHSAA)
Rushing TDs—76, Davis, 2017-19 (No. 11 MSHSAA)
Receptions—255, Westmoreland, 2016-19 (No. 3 MSHSAA)
Receptions per game—6.22, Westmoreland, 2016-19 (No. 6 MSHSAA)
Receiving yards—3,537, Tash, 2016-19 (No. 8 MSHSAA)
Receiving yards per game—86.27, Westmoreland, 2016-19 (No. 10 MSHSAA)
Receiving TDs—41, Westmoreland, 2016-19 (No. 10 MSHSAA)
All purpose yards—6,069, Westmoreland, 2016-19 (No. 13 MSHSAA)
Interceptions—14, Westmoreland, 2016-19 (No. 11 MSHSAA)
Int. returned for TD—5, Westmoreland, 2016-19 (No. 2 MSHSAA)
Punt return average—22.14, Westmoreland, 2016-19 (No. 4 MSHSAA)
Punt return TDs—4, Westmoreland, 2016-19 (No. 7 MSHSAA)
Points per game—47.28, 2019 (No. 17 MSHSAA)
Touchdowns—95, 2019 (No. 11 MSHSAA)
Total points—662, 2019 (No. 13 MSHSAA)
Total offensive yards—6,210, 2019 (No. 8 MSHSAA)
Total yards per game—477.69, 2019 (No. 10 MSHSAA)
Completion percentage—76.10 %, 2019 (No. 1 MSHSAA)
Completion percentage—68.7 %, 2018 (No. 3 MSHSAA)
Completion percentage—74.6 %, 2017 (No. 9 MSHSAA)