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Sports briefs: July 8

College soccer

CBC graduate Curt Miller (Source: CBC High)

CBC graduate Curt Miller, a Wildwood native, has signed a letter of intent to play for the St. Louis College of Pharmacy (STLCOP) men’s soccer team.

Miller is transferring from Kansas to join the Eutectic squad this fall. He played varsity for three years for CBC. Miller earned second-team all-Metro Catholic Conference honors and helped the CBC Cadets win two Class 4 Missouri state championships.

Besides high school soccer, Miller played for the 99 Elite St. Louis Scott Gallagher club team. That squad won the Missouri State Cup Champion title in 2018.

STLCOP Coach Jack Jamieson said Miller will be an outstanding addition to the men’s soccer program. He noted that Miller is an excellent student in addition to an outstanding soccer player.

“Curt comes to us with a great deal of competitive soccer experience from both high school and select soccer levels, which will pay off immediately,” Jamieson said. “He will be an impact player for our team. His ability to read the opposing teams’ offense will help to solidify the defensive end of the field. He brings outstanding individual skills, talent and has a team concept. Most importantly, Curt is the type of player who will make other players around him better. He is going to be the consummate teammate. We are extremely pleased to welcome Curt Miller to our program.”

Local players win scholarhsips

Priory’s two-time state wrestling champion Dalton Bingman has received a scholarship award as one of the recipients of the 2020 Carl Fricks Sportsmanship Scholarships.

The scholarships are awarded by the St. Louis Sports Commission’s young professionals group – the Sports Commission Associates – and recognize high school seniors from the region who embody outstanding sportsmanship. Bingman will continue his education at Washington University in St. Louis.

Other scholarship winners were Naomi Ferguson, Margie Lodes, Mark Moore, Brandon O’Dell and Jordyn Grimes.

Grimes received the top scholarship award of $15,000 in recognition of the selflessness, respect and good sportsmanship she displayed during her basketball and track and field career at Fort Zumwalt North High in St. Charles County. She plans to attend Webster University this fall.

O’Dell received a scholarship award of $7,000. He attended Northwest High and is enrolled at Quincy University.

Ferguson graduated from MICDS and will continue her education at Brown University. Lodes graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy and will attend California State University – Monterey Bay. Moore attended Hillsboro High School and will continue his studies at Webster University. All three will receive $2,000 scholarships.

“It’s especially meaningful to award the Sportsmanship Scholarship this year,” Frank Viverito, president of the St. Louis Sports Commission, said in an official release. “Knowing our six recipients had their senior year upended by the pandemic, we hope this recognition at least brings a bright moment to them and their families.”

Grimes was a Fort Zumwalt North standout in basketball and in track and field, where she also served as a captain.

Bingman, who also played football for the Rebels at Priory, was described by Coach Jake Parent as the kind of athlete that wants to win, but in the right way.

“What his competitors realized is that he would go out and hit you as hard as possible, and then pick you up right after,” Parent said. “In other instances, the opponent would get a good play on Dalton, and he would offer his congratulations on a job well done, and then Dalton would go back and do better next time.”

Priory’s wrestling coach Christopher Jennings also commented on Bingman’s positive attitude toward opponents.

“His junior year he was going to be wrestling for the state championship, but still took the time to watch guys that were his opponents throughout the season,” Jennings said. “When he was warming up for the championship match, I saw him walk over to a guy from Moberly that he had several tough matches against that season and congratulate him on placing third. Dalton is more concerned about good people and will go out of his way to help them.”

Ferguson said that her focus on helping others also served as a means of helping herself heal. “During the last minute of my district game against Villa Duchesne my sophomore year, I collided with the goalie and suffered my second ACL tear within three years of my first one,” Ferguson wrote in her application essay. “Because I still wanted to be there for my teammates in every way possible off the field, I decided to become team manager for the remainder of my high school career, and I could not have made a better decision. As team manager, I shot film at games, kept stats, set up drills, participated in practices if they were down numbers, and supported my teammates in every way I could.” 

While Ferguson could not play due to injury, she refused to abandon her teammates and the game she loves.

Lodes said she wanted more than to set personal best times during cross country runs. She wanted everyone to achieve their personal best. 

Coach Julie Bergfeld said, “In a meet with a challenging field of runners, Margie finished in a much slower than normal time. She explained that she had stopped during the race to assist a runner from a competing team down on the course. Margie, quite naturally, had stopped to help the girl, which of course slowed her time. She has a natural habit of conversing with others during competition to keep things friendly. It was always in her, no matter the weather, nor fatigue, to chat with competing teams’ runners and encourage or congratulate those who either were running with her or those who finished around her.”

Youth softball

The 2020 Adam Starling Softball Youth Skills Camp at the Ellisville Athletic Association will be held July 13-16 from 8-10 a.m. on Fields 3 and 4.

As of this fall, Starling will have coached at Marquette High for 18 years. The camp is for students entering grades four through nine in the fall of 2020. The camp’s focus will be on the fundamentals of throwing, fielding and hitting. Campers will engage in competitive drills throughout the week and playing practice games. Players will need to bring their own equipment and be responsible for any item brought to camp. 

For more information, contact Starling at starlingadam@rsdmo.org.

Professional basketball

Ahearn

De Smet Jesuit graduate and former Spartans varsity coach Blake Ahearn has been added to the coaching staff for the Memphis Grizzlies basketball team.

As the Grizzlies prepare for the presumed resumption of the NBA season, they’re adding Ahearn as their sixth assistant coach on staff.

To assume the new position, Ahearn will leave his spot as head coach of the Austin Spurs, the G-League affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs. With the Grizzlies, among other duties, Ahearn will participate in player development efforts, including shooting development.

Ahearn has multiple ties to the current Grizzlies staff. Ahearn played on the Austin Toros during the 2008-09 season, when Grizzlies Coach Taylor Jenkins was an assistant coach. Jenkins would go on to become head coach of the Toros, just as Grizzlies assistant Brad Jones did later. Ahearn joins Grizzlies assistant coach David McClure as former Toros players on the current Grizzlies staff.

A native of St. Louis, Ahearn played collegiately for Missouri State University, then spent almost a decade playing professionally in the United States and abroad. 

Ahearn has been the head coach of the Austin Spurs since 2017, guiding the Spurs to a G-League title in 2018.

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