Defending Class 3 state champion Parkway Central Colts picked up a tournament title to begin their boys volleyball season.
Parkway Central defeated host Francis Howell Central and won 25-15 and 25-20 to win the Francis Howell Central Invitational for the first time.
“We always hope to do well in this tourney, but we know there are a lot of good teams there and we will have to work very hard for anything we get,” Parkway Central coach Tom Schaefer said. “The field was strong and included De Smet, CBC, Howell Central, Pattonville, Parkway North, Parkway South, Fort Zumwalt West and Chaminade among others.”
Last year, the Colts lost in the semifinals.
Parkway Central went 3-0 in pool play with wins over Parkway South, Pattonville and Fort Zumwalt North. Schaefer was pleased with how his squad played against quality opponents.
“Parkway South played great defense, blocked well and really challenged us to start the day,” Schaefer said. “Then, we had to play Pattonville right after that. They have an outside hitter, Austin Bonte, who is one of the best players in the area. It took a lot to slow him down and still manage to cover the rest of their players. We finished off the day with a win over Fort Zumwalt North with contributions from my whole team.”
Parkway Central advanced and scored wins over Parkway North and De Smet in quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.
“The playoffs always are tough, especially when you face a rival like Parkway North,” Schaefer said. “They played us well and took us to a third set, but we were able to get a good start in that last set and win the match. Next up was De Smet, who is a very solid team with several weapons. We controlled the ball really well in this match and were able to keep them on their heels defensively to stay just ahead of them throughout the match.”
A quick beginning in the championship match against Francis Howell Central helped the Colts, Schaefer said.
“We got a good start in this match and got out to a lead early. I was really proud of my guys and how they still had their focus after a long day,” Schaefer said. “We managed to keep control of the match most of the way. The second set got close near the end, but my guys stepped it up once more and finished strong for the tourney championship.”
Several Colts were standouts in the tournament.
“Mark Diekroeger and Sam Pannett were our 1-2 punch,” Schaefer said. “Both are outside hitters and led the way offensively for us. Daniel Buffum is an outstanding libero playing fantastic defense for us and a major part of our serve receive. Jack Meier is our setter running our 5-1 offense and controlled our game plan of attack throughout the day.”
Schaefer was proud of his team’s performance.
“This was a very good tourney win for us,” Schaefer said. “We like to play tough tournaments to help us grow as a team and find out what we need to improve on throughout the season. We looked really good at times, but there are definitely areas the other teams showed us we need to get better at.”
Parkway Swim Club
The Parkway Swim Club improved its performance from last year in the recent Central Region VIII Sectionals meet in Columbia.
The club placed seventh overall combined as a team. Earning a fifth-place finish in boys team scores, the highest boys team finish in Ozark LSC. The girls finished in 12th place.
Parkway competed against swimmers and teams from Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arkansas and a small part of Illinois and Iowa. There were 49 boys teams and 45 girls teams that scored points in the huge meet.
“While we finished sixth overall combined last year as a team, we did move up this year from 764 points to 912 points,” Parkway Swim Club coach Jon David Williford said. “It was highest boys team finish in five years and the most points we’ve scored in over five years. Parkway swimmers did a great job in the spring sectionals.
“Many of the girls team members had just come off of high school state, so it was a quick turnaround for those of them who focused on high school state. Overall, I thought we competed well and had many team records broken especially in boys relays. We have a very strong team heading into our summer long course season.”
Karisa Franz, a junior at Cor Jesu, had a first-place finish in the 100 butterfly with a time of 54.19 seconds. In the 50 backstroke, she finished fourth; was eighth in the 200 IM, seventh in the 100 backstroke and fourth in the 50 butterfly.
Members of the Parkway sectional team were Sarah Bonnett, Josh Brown, Hayden Christiansen, Victoria Coombes, Kayde Cross, Dominic Cyr, Barclay Dale, Joe Feder, Karisa Franz, Nick Hepburn, Haley Hume, Spencer Hyatt, Annie Kreikemeier, Joey Lemon, Abby Levine, Tyler Lewis, Rebekah Lipski, Brooke Muckerman, Claire Muckerman, Carter Murawski, Abigail Nebot, Kate Nelson, Sarah Nelson, Maria Newton, Madison Nguyen, Natalie Nguyen, John Ransin, Maggie Ripp, Shelby Ripp, Noah Scheurermann, Kylee Sullivan, Graham Wells and Amanda Yu.
High school baseball
The Eureka Wildcats won the recent St. Charles West Tournament. Eureka won all four games in the tourney.
In the championship game, Eureka scored a 10-4 win over Northwest.
Adam Fuqua hit .400 in the tournament. The senior center fielder led the team in stolen bases with six. His on-base percentage was .600. He walked five times with no strikeouts. Fuqua also drove in six runs.
Fuqua, who also plays football, has been accepted to West Point when he graduates this spring.
“Absolutely, Adam had a great tournament,” Eureka coach Jim Daffron said. “We had a lot of other guys play well, too. Noah Baker had a good tournament. Our starting pitchers did great.”
Eureka won the tournament in 2015. Last year, the Wildcats fell in the championship game to St. Dominic.
“It’s very nice to win this tournament,” Daffron said. “The boys are motivated and winning like this does a great deal for their confidence. It’s a great way to start the season.”
This time, Eureka met St. Dominic in the semifinals after getting past Duchesne and Warrenton. The Wildcats defeated the Crusaders.
“That was satisfying for the team,” Daffron said. “To come back the next year after losing the championship to them and to win against them was a good win for us. They have a lot of great athletes and they are very well coached.”
High school boys tennis
This spring, Parkway South senior Carson Haskins returns as the current three-time defending state Class 2 singles champion.
Haskins has a remarkable 69-0 record, having won every set played in his high school singles career. He is closing in on setting several Missouri State High School Activities Association state records. He could become the first player in 30 years to win four consecutive titles.
Should he win state again, Haskins will be the first player to win four consecutive titles in the large schools class. He could earn several other major firsts as well.
Should he remain undefeated, he will be the first player to finish with a 100-percent winning percentage in matches played. He also will be the first player to finish with a 100 percent winning percentage in sets won. He will have the most consecutive high school career wins, and most career wins in dual meets.
Haskins currently is ranked No. 18 in the nation in his age group. He is ranked No. 1 in the plains states and is ranked No. 1 in Missouri.
“Carson Haskins returns to anchor the No. 1 spot,” Nick Tanchuris said. “He has been a great leader for us on and off the court. He loves being a team player and makes an effort to play a doubles match with everyone on the team throughout the season. He recently committed to play for Indiana and has aspirations of turning professional after his college career.”