Joplin football player Zach Westmoreland and Carthage cross country runner Jenari Lopez have been named Globe high school athletes of the week for the week ending Nov. 2.
Westmoreland, a senior, had a huge impact in Joplin’s 68-16 rout over Jefferson City in the Class 6 District 3 opener on Nov. 1. Westmoreland hauled in eight passes for 265 yards and four touchdowns in one half of play.
“We have Isaiah Davis, but to have a tremendous player like Zach, defenses have to make the decision to either stack the box or pull people out to help on him,” Joplin coach Curtis Jasper said. “Zach really makes defenses tip their hand, and he is a real weapon to have.”
Westmoreland, who recently committed to Southern Illinois, has caught 73 passes this season for 1,200 yards and 18 touchdowns along with 140 rushing yards and two rushing scores. Defensively, Westmoreland leads Joplin with six interceptions, with two returned for touchdowns. He also has a punt return for a touchdown.
“Zach is a tremendous athlete,” Jasper said. “He was first-team all-state last year and is having a better season this year. He has continued to mature on and off the field, providing great leadership.”
Lopez, a senior, finished ninth in the Class 4 Sectional 3 race on Nov. 2 with a time of 18 minutes, 57 seconds to qualify for the state meet.
“To be honest, she probably finished a little better than I thought she would,” Carthage coach Andy Youngworth said. “It’s a very talented sectional that we are in. … It was a loaded field and she ran with the front of the pack for the bulk of the race. … It should give her a lot of confidence heading into state.”
Lopez qualified for the state meet for the fourth time as an individual runner.
“To qualify for state all four years, and be that consistent with the sectional and district we are in, it says a lot about her,” Youngworth said. “I would like her to run track, but she, like a lot of my girls, loves soccer. In the winter and spring, I don’t see her a lot because she is getting ready for that sport. She gets the most out of herself running against kids who are the best in the state that train year round. She competes hard at a very high level.”
COACHES CAN NOMINATE athletes of the week by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org before 5 p.m. Wednesday. Please attach a close up head and shoulders shot of the athlete to the email. Awards on Nov. 17 will be based on performances from Nov. 3-9.