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Sports Briefs: Feb. 26

Parkway West Doubles girls champs [from left] Erin Slutzky and Callie Hummel with Bella Bertarelli and Grace Maloney. [Photo provided by team]

High school racquetball

Parkway West’s Erin Slutzky won two championships in the 2020 Missouri High School Racquetball Association [MOHSRA] Doubles Tournament at Vetta Concord. 

“It was definitely a good last doubles tournament for my senior year,” Slutzky said. “I’m also looking forward to playing doubles at high school nationals now.”

In varsity girls doubles, the Parkway West duo of Callie Hummel and Slutzky were the top seed and won the division. The girls defeated the second-seeded team of Bella Bertarelli and Grace Maloney, of Lindbergh, 15-6. 

In mixed doubles, Slutzky and Ethan Wood won first place with a 15-7 decision over Longhorn teammates Alex Lancia and Hummel. 

“First, it’s a big deal for the team to have two teams in the finals,” Slutzky said. “Second, it’s definitely more laid back because the coaches aren’t coaching, and we’re just having fun on the court.”

Other local athletes did well, too.

Ethan Wood and Erin Slutzky [Photo provided by team]

In boys doubles, Lancia and Wood were seeded third but reached the championship match. They lost 15-3 to Andrew Porterfield and Nick Schulze, of St. Louis University High.

Maggie Leath and Janka Gerber, of Lafayette, defeated Lindbergh’s Emma Voellinger and Meg Ortwerth 11-9 to win fifth place in girls doubles play.

CBC’s Spencer Keith and Jake Schmidt won the boys intermediate bracket with a 15-8 victory over SLUH’s Daniel Phillips and Max Telken.

High school boys basketball

CBC senior standout guard Caleb Love will be busy when the high school season ends. The 6-foot-3 Love, who signed to play at North Carolina, has been selected to play in the Iverson Roundball Classic. The all-star game is named after former Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson. The event will be played April 24 at the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington, Delaware, home of the 76ers G League team, the Delaware Blue Coats.

It’s the second All-American selection for Love, who also has been chosen as a McDonald’s All-American.

Love is the fourth area player to be selected to ever play in the Iverson Classic. Playing in the game before him were East St. Louis’s Jeremiah Tilmon [2017], Webster Groves’ Courtney Ramey [2018] and Belleville West’s EJ Liddell [2019].

Love also has been selected to take part in the 23rd Nike Hoop Summit on April 10 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. That game is an international showcase, as the best players on Team USA compete against the world’s best players aged 19 and under. 

Love is the sixth area player selected for the Hoop Summit and first CBC player since Larry Hughes in 1997. The other area standouts selected were Chaminade’s Jayson Tatum [2016] and Brad Beal [2011]; East St. Louis’ Darius Miles [2000]; and Cardinal Ritter’s Loren Woods [1996]. St. Charles West’s Ryan Robertson was on the inaugural team in 1995 with Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury.

Girls squash

The MICDS middle school girls’ team recently went to the U.S. Squash Middle School Nationals in New Haven, Connecticut.

“It was the first time in over 10 years,” coach Robyn Williams said.

Williams said MICDS middle schoolers Annabelle Medler, Avery Summers, Charlotte Derdeyn, Bridget Clennan, Abigail Derdeyn and Hannah VanValkenburg, took part in the 2020 U.S. Middle School Team Squash Championships at Yale University. 

“The middle school team qualified for Division One, which includes the top 16 teams in the country,” Williams said. “It was a phenomenal weekend of squash and enjoyable experience for our middle school players who gained valuable match experience in the top division.”

The girls played four matches, losing to the 2019 Middle School team squash champions – The Baldwin School, of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. The MICDS girls also lost narrowly to Agnes Irwin School, of Philadelphia.

The MICDS girls scored wins over Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, from Philadelphia, and The Shipley School, of Bryn Mawr. 

“Based on their performance at nationals, our MICDS Girls’ Middle School team is currently ranked the 13th best team in the nation,” Williams said. 

Joining the 1,000-point club

Westminster’s Brennan Orf [Photo provided by team]

Parkway Central’s Devion Harris and Westminster’s Brennan Orf each recently passed the milestone of scoring 1,000 points in their high school careers.

Orf reached the milestone in the Wildcat’s recent game in the Lindbergh Tournament against Riverview Gardens. He scored 19 points in a 62-42 victory. 

“It was exciting hitting the goal because I was in the club with my sister and very few Westminster athletes have done it,” Orf said. “But I would prefer postseason success over this milestone because we have not had it the past few seasons.” 

Westminster coach Dale Ribble said he likes how Orf goes about his business.

“He has played very well this year and in the three years he has started for us,” Orf said. “Brennan is a complete player. He is a good scorer, excellent rebounder and outstanding passer. He is a great teammate, fierce competitor and humble leader. He gives great effort all the time.

“He has improved each year and has been a hard worker to improve all aspects of his game. We love coaching Brennan. He is a team captain and is an outstanding servant leader. He leads with wisdom and action. His teammates listen and respect Brennan for who he is and what he does on and off the court.”

Harris reached the scoring mark for Parkway Central in a 48-44 win at Summit. The 6-foot-7, 225-pound Harris was at 987 points going into the game. He scored 19 points in the victory.

“I was very excited to pass my 1,000-point milestone,” Harris said. “It was a great accomplishment in my life.”

His coach and teammates agreed.

“I think Devion was proud of what he accomplished but didn’t show a lot of emotion about it until his teammates began to celebrate with him,” Colts coach Aaron Mueller said. “He cracked a big smile because his teammates were so excited for him. They’ve started joking with him, calling him ‘Mr. 1,000’ to make him uncomfortable.”

Harris became the 10th Colt to top 1,000 points in the program’s history. At the top of the list is DeAndre Campbell, who graduated in 2019 with 2,092 points.

Parkway Central’s Devion Harris celebrates his 1,000th point with his teammates. [Photo provided by team]

High school boys soccer

Veteran boys soccer coach Terry Michler recently received a big honor.

The National Federation of High Schools named Michler as the 2019 Boys Soccer National Coach of the Year.

Michler, who coaches at CBC, became the first boys soccer coach in the country to eclipse the 1,000-career win mark as he guided the Cadets to a 14-11-2 mark last fall. The legendary coach has a career mark of 1,004-294-117 in his 49 seasons at CBC. 

Michler, 72, began his coaching career by spending two seasons as the head coach at Bishop Hogan in Kansas City. He then took over at CBC in 1971.

He hit the millennial mark when the Cadets beat Nixa 3-0 on Oct. 19 at the Art Finley Shootout in Jefferson City.

Michler, who is a member of both the St. Louis Soccer and Missouri Soccer Coaches halls of fame, has won nine state titles with CBC.

Besides his eighth national award, Michler has been named the NSCAA [National Soccer Coaches Association of America] Coach of the Year in 1985; the StudentSportsSoccer.com Coach of the Year in 2004; the NFHS Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2018; the National High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2015 and the All-USA Today and Top Drawer Soccer Coach of the Year in 2018. 

High school baseball 

The Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association recently named De Smet Jesuit’s David Stewart as the Class 5 Coach of the Year for 2019.

The Spartans won the Class 5 state title with a 6-4 win over Marquette.

“Beyond these championships in athletics, we’ve had a lot of great stories this year at De Smet,” Stewart said at a recent school ceremony in which the state championship banner was raised. “Athletics have the ability to bring people together for a common goal. It’s a great thing to watch people love each other and play for each other. There’s a quote I like that reads, ‘Bad teams have no leaders. Good teams are led by coaches. Great teams are led by players.’”

After beating Marquette, the Spartans finished the season with a 14-13-1 record.

High school football 

De Smet Jesuit junior defensive tackle Mekhi Wingo has given his verbal commitment to Missouri. He is the first official commitment of Mizzou’s 2021 recruiting class.

High school recruiting services rate Wingo as a three-star prospect. 

The 6-foot-1, 285-pound Wingo helped lead the Spartans to a Class 6 state championship last fall in a solid season during which he recorded 97 tackles and 15 sacks. Wingo was named the Class 6 Defensive Player of the Year by the Missouri Football Coaches Association. He also was the Metro Catholic Conference co-defensive Player of the Year.

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