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Celebrating Ron Muse

At 1 p.m. on Oct. 24 at the Eureka Athletic Association complex, a Eureka Post 177 Baseball Club alumni game will be played to honor coach Ron Muse, who is stepping down after serving 15 years in various roles. Muse will coach one of the teams in the game. Members of Legion Post 177 will be there, too.

General manager Scott Blackwell said three teams coached by Joe Fortner, Muse and John Burton will participate.

Eureka Legion Post 177 coach Ron Muse
Eureka Legion Post 177 coach Ron Muse

Muse’s son, Kyle, a 2006 Eureka graduate, played for the program under Fortner.

“While Kyle was playing varsity for me, Ron had started coaching our Junior Legion team,” Fortner said. “He probably began around 2005, which is when I moved up to coach varsity. For the 2008 season, Ron moved up to be my assistant coach on the varsity and that was the same year I took over as general manager. We won our first varsity district title that year, which became the first of three in a row (2008-2010). The lower levels were winning as well, notably back-to-back freshman state titles.

“After the 2010 season, Ron stayed with the varsity along with Robert Huckstep, who moved up from freshman level, and I became the GM only. I think it was after 2013 when I finally hung it up and Ron became the GM of the entire program. The 2013 varsity team made it all the way to the state championship game where we came up short to be the second-best team in the state, the highest the program ever finished at the varsity level.”

Players coming back to play are Jacob Wurtz, Corey Jenkins, Hayden Zadrozinski, Andrew Bujnak, Brandon Sarkissian, Zac Husman,
Aaron Vogt, Andrew Colin, Connor Pahl, Jacob Reinkemeyer, Noah Baker, Ryan Mantle, Casey Johnson, Cam Phillips, Evan Spears,
Corey Williams, Will Wood, Pat Leinert, Brett Allen, Greg Dunlap, Devin Brundick, Kyle Weible, Mike Jelinek, Joe Fortner, Gregory Dunlap, Kyle Younger, Brandon Weir, JJ Guenther, and Kevin Sullivan along with some others.

High school girls cross country

MICDS runner Julia Ray
MICDS runner Julia Ray

Defending Class 3 state high school girls cross country champion Julia Ray is showing her freshman campaign was not a high water mark for her.

The MICDS sophomore earlier this month won the Trxc timing Border Wars meet, which was her fourth race of the season. She finished with a time of 18 minutes, 16 seconds. That was her fastest time this year. Before that, Ray won the Parkway West Dale Sheppard Invitational Race 1 with a winning time of 18:39.37.

Lafayette’s Grace Tyson was second in 18:46.48. Coming in fourth was Lafayette’s Hope Ware in 19:13.71. In fifth place was Emily Sipp, of Parkway West, in 19:18.67.

The team title was won by Lafayette with 47 points. Parkway West came in second with 75 points.

MICDS coach Jim Lohr said he doesn’t set expectations for Ray.

“She is such a mature athlete that she usually lets me know her expectations for races,” Lohr said. “She is so intelligent about training and racing that she talks to us about her plans for races based on our week’s work. For instance, she told me at the Arnold Park race that she was going to race in her training shoes just to give her legs a little more work.”

Ray remains a cool customer in any circumstance, he said.

“I am not sure if she feels any pressure. We certainly don’t talk about it,” Lohr said. “We just try and look at where she was a year ago in her training and try and build her confidence by showing her how much further along she is this season compared to last year. I think the jump by our team up two classes to Class 5 will make it a tougher challenge to repeat but Julia wants to compete against the best.”

Lohr likes what he has seen from Ray this season.

“Usually after the race, we give Julia a few minutes and then ask her what she thinks of her race and time. She understands race strategy as much as anyone in our program ever has,” Lohr said. “Her time at West was pretty good since she ran the same time there as she did at Arnold Park on a more difficult course. She is racing on some pretty tired legs due to where she is in her training program right now but she has been able to stay consistent in her performance.”

Lohr enjoys working with Ray.

“I would like to say that Julia is such a great girl to coach and she inspires our staff and our team to improve, Lohr said. “She has helped us raise the expectations of our program.”

High school boys cross country

Marquette senior Connor Del Carmen won the Parkway West Dale Sheppard Invitational Race 1 with a time of 16:04.84. Finishing second was Nikolas Malek, of Lafayette, in 16:08.01.

As a team, Marquette came third behind St. Louis University High and Festus with 105 points. Lafayette was fourth with 122 points.

Del Carmen had won an earlier race this season on the same course, Marquette coach Mike Ebert said, which he used to his advantage.

Ebert liked how his Mustangs ran as a team.

“Ethan Koop had his first race of the season, and Stone Burke ran a great finish to take fourth,” Ebert said about his two all-state harriers from last fall. “Braden Thoele and Daniel Altamirano ran well in the middle of the race, and Will Bryson and Adam James both competed well in a deep, fast varsity race.

“It was a solid result for this time of the season. Almost our entire district was at the meet, and a lot can change in the next four weeks, so we’ll need to keep improving.” 

In the Parkway West Dale Sheppard Invitational Race 2, Chaminade won the meet with 50 points to shade No. 2 Clayton’s total of 53 points. Coming in third was Priory with 107 points. The medalist was Chaminade’s Conrad Hogenkamp, who ended with a time of 16:42.36. Teammate Henry Hardeman was second in 16:55. Finishing third was Priory’s Brody Whalen in 17:05.68 and MICDS’ William Falk was fourth with a time of 17:46.39.

High school boys lacrosse

MICDS lacrosse coach Andy Kay
MICDS lacrosse coach Andy Kay

Several local players earned berths on the Mid American North team in the Nike All-Star game played the last weekend in September in Baltimore. The team was coached by MICDS coach Andy Kay.

He was honored to be selected to lead Mid American North.

“Because our club (Project Missouri) has a high success rate for helping the best Midwestern players excel at a high level, I was lucky enough to be selected as a coach of this year’s team,” Kay said.

The 2021 team was outstanding and made the national semifinals. The 2022 team was competitive, Kay said, but failed to advance to the championship bracket.

Kay had MICDS midfielder PJ Behan, De Smet Jesuit midfielder Chris Anderson, and De Smet Jesuit defensemen Kyler Paddock and Gavin Bomstad on his team.

“Those guys went through a tryout process in Indiana six weeks ago,” Kay said. “(It was a) tremendous honor for them and exciting for the sport in our area. All of them are tremendous leaders who happen to be very good lacrosse players. Our guys were great between the lines and demonstrated that they can play at the highest of levels.

“It helps them because they get the opportunity to play against the best players in the country. Every game we played featured opponents who are consistently ranked in the top 100 nationally. You just don’t get that here locally.”

MICDS’ Cam Curry played on the 2021 team as a midfielder.

“He is an exceptional kid and one of the top players in the Midwest,” Kay said.

High school girls golf

Lafayette Lancers senior Brooke Biermann recently won the Suburban Conference Yellow Pool girls golf championship played at Crescent Farms Golf Club. She shot a 1-under 71 to win medalist honors by seven strokes.

“Brooke had a solid day,” Lafayette coach Katrina Clark said. “Her round got a little shaky in the middle but she was able to turn it around with two birdies on the closing stretch. Overall, a solid day.”

Biermann also won the league title as a sophomore.

“It is nice to see her reign as conference champ again,” Clark said. “I know she has bigger goals for the season, but starting as conference champ is always nice.”

Biermann picked up when the high school season finally got under way from how she played over the summer.

“Brooke’s summer was impressive,” Clark said. “Her best finish was in California where she faced some of the top juniors in the world and finished second. She was the only player in the field to shoot under par all three days. She was extremely proud of this finish.”

In the team standings, the Lancers were second. Summit won with a team score of 335, edging Lafayette by three strokes.

“They were very excited for our first 18-hole event. It’s been a long time,” Clark said. “It was a perfect fall day to get our tournaments started. The greens were rolling nice and the wind was howling. It is always a test thanks to the tight layout but the wind made it even more challenging.”

Kate Worley was 11th at 86. Caitlin Przybylski tied for 13th at 88. Caroline Boyette was 20th with a 90 and Grace Stafford tied for 23rd with a 97. All the girls are juniors.

“I was especially pleased with Kate Worley and Caitlin Przybylski. They had very solid rounds,” Clark said. “The whole team is realizing good scores don’t require perfection. We are also learning we have potential to go much lower if we can clean up our play around the greens. Caroline and Grace were solid, but I know they want to be in the 80s.”

Clark had a good reason to want to beat Summit for the team title.

“Our goal was to win conference as we know we can beat Summit,” Clark said. “They are a solid team and conference was on their home turf. I’ll be interested to see how we do against them the rest of the season. It is always a battle between our teams, which is fun as their coach (Corey Choate) is my brother.”

High school girls tennis

Lafayette seniors Emma Tobin and Erin Reynolds fell in the Class 3 District 2 Tennis Tournament doubles finals at Parkway South to Eureka’s Harper Lashley and Lauren Ulrich 6-2, 6-1.

Lashley, a senior who was a state qualifier in singles last year, and Ulrich, a junior who did not play at state last year, defeated Kaitlin Callaway and Paige McPhillips, of Kirkwood, 6-2, 6-0 in the semifinals.

High school football championship sites

The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) has announced sights for its Show-Me Bowl games. They will be played at different locations this fall.

Due to venue usage conflicts with Faurot Field in Columbia, MSHSAA will use three high schools in mid-Missouri to host the 11-man football games. Blair Oaks, Helias Catholic and Jefferson City have agreed to host games.

More information will be coming about who will host what game, according to the MSHSAA. If one of the host schools advances to the Show-Me Bowl, their game will be played at one of the other two locations.

High school softball, boys soccer state dates

The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) has announced changes to the postseason dates for both softball and boys Soccer. Due to COVID-19 related issues, including venue limitations and travel concerns, modifications to the postseason have been made.

Modifications for softball were necessary for the championship semifinal and final rounds. The semifinal round will now be hosted by a member-school on Oct. 24 for Classes 2-5. For Class 1 semifinals, the contests will now be played on Oct. 27 at a member-school. The Killian
Softball Complex, in Springfield, will host all five championship finals. Third-place games will not be contested. The championship games will be played Oct. 29-31.

Changes were also made to the Boys Soccer post-season calendar. The window to complete the district tournament has now been shortened for Classes 3 and 4. Those district tournaments will now occur between Oct. 31
-Nov. 4. The sectional round for both Class 3 and Class 4 will be held Nov. 7. The quarterfinal round for all four classes will now be Nov. 10.

The semifinal round for all four classes will now be played Nov. 14 at a
member-school site. The championship games are scheduled to be on Nov. 20-21. The site of the four championship games is yet to be determined. Third-place games will not be contested.

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