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 of the best. Despite our efforts to argue the case, these three seniors were the unanimous picks for best athletes, being great both on and off the field.
1. Robbie Mueller, Senior, Osage Soccer: Thanks to some fancy footwork, senior Robbie Mueller has established a new Missouri High School career scoring record in a 3-1 win for the Class 1 Osage Indians over Class 3 Lebanon. Mueller, after four seasons of playing, has broken a record set by John Pisani at CBC that has stood for 46 years.. During his game against Lebanon, Mueller tied and broke the previous record of 138 goals, scoring all three of the goals in Osage's win.
Mueller scored 17 goals his freshman year, the team's first ever soccer season. Beginning as a Class 1 program, the team moved to Class 2 his sophomore year, in which he scored 29 goals, before scoring 59 goals in his junior year, placing him within 33 goals as he started his senior season back at Class 1.
Despite having broken a long-standing state record, Mueller was very humble when asked about his achievement, giving credit to his teammates, coaches, friends, and most of all, his parents. Mueller even thanked his teammate, Wyatt Whitman, after the record-breaking game for lending him a pair of cleats, as his finally gave out after years of wear-and-tear. He finished his career with 173 goals.
Mueller also served as the kicker for the football team, when his role on the soccer field took a night off.
Osage will remember Mueller as not only a state record holding athlete, but as one of the Indians who gave Osage its start in soccer, and as one of the finest athletes to ever come out of School of the Osage.
2. Murphy Ward, Senior, Camdenton Football: In his senior season, the Lakers' tailback set a new career rushing record, claiming his place in Laker history. During the Lakers' game against the Waynesville Tigers, Ward broke the record by breaking off a nice run, before pounding the ball in for a touchdown. With a school record to his name, and a great offensive line opening holes for him, Ward helped lead his team to their third state quarter final appearance in three years, the first group in Camdenton history to have done so.
Ward's powerful rushing style and ability to locate holes and explode through them allowed him to finish his career as one of the best running backs to ever come from the Camdenton football program.
3. Sheyne Stafford, Senior, Eldon Football: Stafford served as the workhorse of the Eldon Mustangs this season, shouldering the majority of the workload and offensive yards and scores for the Mustangs, and for his efforts, Stafford became the new owner of the single season rushing record for the Mustangs. Stafford completed his senior season with an astounding 1800 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns.
Stafford's abilities on the field are due to his speed and vision, both of which gave him the ability to find gaps and evade defenders. Teammates say Stafford is not only a great teammate, but also a good student. Stafford's hard work and talent, on and off the field, are the embodiment of what the Eldon football program stands for.