With the fall season officially over, the staff of the Lake Sun decided to take a look at the season and select the best of seven different categories. With so many talented athletes, teams and coaches, some of the decisions were tough to make. Here are our picks for this season’s best and most improved teams.
1. Osage Lady Indians Golf Team: The Lady Indians put up a great season, playing some great games before winning the district match as a team at Dogwood Hills, the Indians’ first district win in golf. The girls accomplished this thanks to not only a great first place finish by sophomore Taylor Hayes, but solid performances by freshman Devin Henderson, senior Katelyn Weeks and fellow senior Jada Thacker.
The team then advanced to the conference match, held at Eldon, where the team was eliminated, all but sophomore Taylor Hayes.
Hayes would then go on to state, where, after a great two days, she finished fourth overall at the state level.
2. Osage Indians Boys’ Soccer Team: The Indians’ soccer team, led by prolific scorer Robbie Mueller, finished the season with a 16-5 record. With a high-power offense, the Indians made a strong case for being one of the top teams in their conference, but after dominating Richland 7-0 in the first round of districts, the Indians fell to Crocker in a disappointing 3-0 loss, ending their season.
While the Indians had one of the best scorers in the state, the Indians' ability to play as a team and pass the ball well led them to greatness.
3. Camdenton Cross Country: The Lakers cross country team, as a whole, put up some great times this season, especially on the girls side. The boys team had some great runners over the course of the season, led by top runners Jeremy Ryan and Connor Brady. Brady fell just short of placing for state, but Ryan continued on, where he ran a good race to finish 92nd overall.
On the girls team, freshman Tessa Weber and sophomore Faith Scheidemantle led the team to a district win, with the team advancing to a conference race. Weber would finish the race in 4th, before advancing to state to finish 14th overall.
Most Improved Team
1. Eldon Football: Until last season, the Mustangs had struggled to win a game. But within three years of the hiring of Shannon Jolley, the Mustangs turned around, finishing their 2011 season with a 6-5 record. This season, the Mustangs topped their previous season with an 8-5 season, and to top it all off, they finished it with a district title, the first one in a long time. With the way Jolley and his crew have been running things, though, this could be the first of many titles to come.
2. Camdenton Soccer: Last season, the Lakers experienced a rude awakening from their previous 15 win season, as they finished 7-17 in 2011. This year, the team turned it around, winning 14 games, while losing 11, and losing in the second round of districts to Jefferson City in a 3-0 match.
The Lakers were able to turn around their program, thanks in part to the previous season's experience and hard work by the returning team to improve. Coach Jason Ingold and crew put in a great season, one they will hope to build on next year.
3. Eldon Softball: There’s no better way to start a turn around by taking a 9-11 2011 season and turning it into a 12-7 2012 season, which is exactly what the Mustangs did this year. Coach Dusty Purnell and crew played a great season, and with a talented roster, managed to make a run in the district tournament before falling to Southern Boone in the second round. The Mustangs' excellent defense and batting expertise gave them a solid advantage throughout the season, and with a solid group of young players on the roster, the Mustangs were able to excel on the field.