Camdenton Lakers, Osage Indians, Eldon Mustangs, Versailles Tigers and Climax Springs Cougars
Athletes representing the Lake area were synonymous with accomplishment this fall.
School record books were updated, history was made and new heights were reached as unforgettable memories came to fruition for athletes, coaches and fans. As temperatures begin to cool down around the Lake, the Lake Sun continues its annual tradition of recognizing the athletes, teams and coaches who turned in remarkable performances this fall sports season.
Amber Wilson, Camdenton Golf
Camdenton senior Amber Wilson did not hold back in her final season on the links with the Lakers. The University of Missouri-St. Louis commit won 10 out 11 events on the year and finished her career as the Class 2 runner-up state champion with the second best score in the state. Her time as a Laker came with plenty of other accolades as well as she earned two straight conference titles, four All-Ozark Conference selections, three straight district championships, four All-District selections and three straight All-State honors by finishing as one of the top 15 golfers in Missouri. Now, the senior will soon test her mettle and look to continue that streak of success in the college ranks.
Kendall, Reger, Versailles Cross Country
Versailles senior Kendall Reger has raised the bar for the young Versailles cross country program. After rigorous work in the offseason, Reger went on to medal in every single race he ran in 2017, earning All-Conference and All-District honors while also setting a new school record of 16 minutes and 55 seconds on a 3.1 mile course. Reger represented the Tigers for the first time at state a season ago as a junior where he finished 72nd in the Class 2 race. This year, he vastly improved his standing moving up 45 spots and sharpening his time by 50 seconds to finish 27th out of 170 runners with a time of 17:42, nearly earning All-State honors reserved for the top 25.
The Camdenton softball team did not skip a beat in 2017 as the Lakers accumulated 20 plus wins for the third straight year and won their second straight district championship. Key players may graduate, but new ones step right in and play their roles well. It was a particularly great year for junior Haile Farris who broke the single season strikeout record with 205 (6.6 strikeouts per game) on Senior Night against Bolivar and junior Shelby Webster who broke the single season home run record with 10 on the year. However, Coach Rick Calbert has often said that one of the best things about the team is that there was usually not a single player in the lineup that did not make a contribution to a win. Camdenton will look to continue on that tradition in 2018.
It was truly a historic season for the Eldon football program as the Mustangs put together the best season they have ever had with an 11-2 record that included a run of eight straight wins. Those two losses (Blair Oaks and Mount Vernon) came to teams that are currently playing in the state semifinals. After winning his third district title at the school and first since 2013, Eldon coach Shannon Jolley described his team as a family and said that all of their success stemmed from his players caring for one another and taking care of each other. The play on the field certainly showed it as the Mustangs won a school record 11 games, scoring 47.6 points per game while allowing 27.3 points per game with an average margin of victory of 27.4 points. Thanks to a strong offensive line, Eldon senior Isaiah Merida also shattered some records of his own. The running back broke the single-game rushing record with 337 yards and seven touchdowns in a 72-69 shootout win over Owensville in week two and the single-season rushing record with 1,844 yards to go with 27 total touchdowns on the year. Overall, the memories made beneath the Friday night lights this season will certainly not be forgotten.
Miriam Hill, Osage Cross Country
The cross country program at School of the Osage has been a model of consistency under Miriam Hill’s tenure. Despite losing some talented runners to graduation, the girls won the small school division at the Laker Invitational at Ha Ha Tonka State Park in Camdenton earlier this season, won the Tri-County Conference Championship in Eldon and went on to qualify the entire team to the Class 3 state meet in Jefferson City for the second straight season by finishing as one of the top two teams at districts. All seven girls earned All-Conference honors by finishing in the top 15 and they went on to finish as the 13th best team in the state of Missouri by running as a tight pack and pushing each other to finish with faster times. The boys may not have quite as many accolades, but still put up strong finishes that saw Derrick Puckett, Chase Grosvenor and Payton Bartlett earn All-Conference honors. Puckett also went on to finish as an All-District runner and represented the Indians at state. Osage has simply had a consistent presence at state with Hill at the helm and it is a tradition the program certainly intends to continue.
Tim Thebeau, Climax Springs Cross Country
The cross country program at Climax Springs may only be in its second year of existence, but Tim Thebeau has already helped the Cougars get to state. As the father of a Potosi runner who was an individual state champion and helped his team take a trio of Missouri Class 3 state titles while going on to finish fourth in a national race, Thebeau picked up a thing or two he could pass on to his runners at Climax Springs and it certainly caught on. Thebeau helped runners consistently improve their times and a freshman duo in Paige Orr and Abigale Wolfe became the first Cougars ever to compete in the Class 1 state meet. As a result, they gained valuable experience they can carry with them over the next four years. Some Climax Springs boys also nearly made the cut for state and the program overall will only look to grow and strengthen under Thebeau’s leadership going forward. Competing with the best runners in Missouri is certainly a good place to start and a good precedent for future runners to follow.
HONORABLE MENTION ATHLETES
Senior Grace Baucom, Eldon Volleyball
Baucom was named the M.V.P. of the Tri-County Conference and for good reason. The high-flying senior led the team with 333 kills, 64 service aces and 46 total blocks while also recording 215 digs and 157 assists to help the Mustangs finish the year at 23-8-3. Baucom went on to earn First Team All-District honors as well.
Freshman Kassidy Hull, Eldon Golf
Hull bursted onto the high school golf scene and made her presence known early in her Eldon career. The young golfer won nine medals in 9-hole matches, won a tournament title and already broke the school record for the lowest 9-hole (34) and 18-hole (76) scores in program history while also helping set the school record for lowest team score (392). Hull’s efforts took her to the Class 1 state tournament where she finished 22nd with a 92 and just seven spots away from a medal. Unfortunately, the two-day tournament was cut short due to inclement weather.
Senior Faith Parrent, Eldon Cross Country
Parrent showed plenty of perseverance over the course of her cross country career. As a freshman, she broke the school record and would later go on to break her own record, but narrowly missed a trip to state over her first three years. She would not be denied her senior season though and went on to put up the best finish by a female runner at state in school history. Parrent crossed the finish line on the 3.1 mile course with a time of 21:05 to finish 43rd in the Class 3 race of 165 runners.
Junior Josef Bernabe, Camdenton Swimming
Bernabe made history for Camdenton this season by becoming the first Laker ever to compete at the state swim meet. Bernabe, who had come up with the Tridents Swim Club out of Laurie, won numerous medals in the pool this year and went on to compete with 32 of the best Class 1 swimmers in the state for the 50 Freestyle race. Bernabe finished 32nd in the down-and-back race with a time of 23.69 seconds, but he will be back as a senior as one of the leaders for the program which is currently in its second year of existence.
Junior Garrett Mason, Camdenton Cross Country
Mason was yet another Lake area athlete who knocked down barriers. After qualifying for sectionals as a sophomore, Mason broke through and earned his first state bid this season by running a personal best time of 16:37 on his home course at Ha Ha Tonka State Park. By doing so, Mason became the first Laker to go to state since 2012 and he went on to finish 120th out of 159 runners with a time of 17:31 in the Class 4 state race, Missouri’s largest class. He will be eager to come back bigger and stronger as a senior and improve his standing.
Senior Nolan Moriearty, Camdenton Soccer
Camdenton senior goalkeeper Nolan Moriearty was not an easy man to score on this season for the Lakers. The team may have finished 8-17, but in 16 of the team’s 25 total games, Moriearty held opponents to two goals or less and kept his team fighting. In his final game as a Laker, Moriearty posted an eye-opening 29 saves that included two saves on penalty kicks to give his club an opportunity to come back in a 3-1 season-ending loss to Helias Catholic in the district tournament. His presence between the pipes will certainly be missed.
HONORABLE MENTION TEAMS:
Another team that made history this fall was the School of the Osage softball team which claimed its first district title in program history with a 9-4 win over Marshfield after reaching the district championship a season ago. Led by the bats of juniors Grace Faulkner (First Team All-Conference, Second Team All-Region) and Payton Good (First Team All-Conference, First Team All-Region, Second Team All-State) along with the arm of senior hurler Skyler Smith (Second Team All-Region), the Indians battled their way to a 13-11 record before falling to powerhouse Sullivan in sectionals, which had won 10 straight district titles, in a tough 2-1 defensive battle.
It was yet another good season on the courts for School of the Osage as the Indians put together their third straight winning season and finished the year at 8-3. The Indians picked up a Boonville Tournament title along the way and fought their way to the district semifinals before bowing out to a skilled Helias Catholic team that finished 13-3. The good news is that Osage will return plenty of veterans as five of the six starters at the top of the lineup will be back in 2018. Eliza Koeppen, Kylie Misenheimer, Natalie Brick, Elise Davis and Lily Davis will bring back plenty of experience and look to be even stronger when they return to the courts next fall.
It was another fun season on the links for Camdenton as the Lakers finished the regular season 9-1 and won their second team district title in three years, outpacing the rest of the field by 27 strokes. Camdenton went on to compete at the Class 2 State Tournament in Sedalia and finished 2017 as the sixth best team in Missouri. It was a season that Amber Wilson, Jennah Schell, Coley Rezabek, Allie Crowell and Emily Hunter will not soon forget and Wilson, Schell and Rezabek all finished with All-District honors while Wilson enjoyed her position as an All-State golfer for the third straight year.
The Camdenton football program has continued to move in the right direction. After a tough and rare 3-7 losing season in 2015, the Lakers have bounced back finishing 6-4 in 2016 and 7-3 in 2017. Led by a big, strong and talented line on both sides of the ball, Camdenton averaged 35.3 points per game and averaged 369.4 yards per game while allowing 25.9 points per outing and 309.4 yards per outing respectively. Those efforts produced nine All-Conference football players including Ozark Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year Todd Simpson, and the Lakers earned a spot in the district semifinals before bowing out to another storied program in Webb City. Going forward, Camdenton will look to continue that trend and look to continue winning playoff games in November as it has often done.
HONORABLE MENTION COACHES:
Broc Silvers, Versailles Football
It was not an easy season for Versailles as the Class 2 Tigers often took on larger Class 3 schools throughout the season in conference play, but the program took another step forward under Coach Broc Silvers. Versailles finished the year 3-8, but the Tigers won their first district playoff game under the current format this season after outlasting El Dorado Springs 34 to 29 before falling to a talented Fair Grove team in the district semifinals. Along the way, some school records were broken. Senior wide receiver Kooper Wilson broke the single season reception record (57), yards receiving record (768) and single game catches record (10.). His sophomore quarterback teammate Coby Williams tied the single game touchdown passes record (4) and broke the single season passing record (1.545) while junior linebacker Michael Trotter took the single season tackles for a loss record at 15.5 respectively. Silvers will look to continue pushing his guys forward and the future may be bright if these kind of trends continue.
L.J. Weeks, Osage Golf
Despite having a relatively young team, four golfers in Emily Maher, Destiny Drake, Sydney Riley and Greta Cooks qualified for sectionals with the help of Coach L.J. Weeks. Maher earned All-District honors for the second straight season and Drake advanced to her second straight sectional tournament while Riley and Cooks made the cut as freshmen. The Indians did not qualify for state, but the good news is that everyone will return for 2018 and Weeks will certainly do everything he can to elevate the game of his players and have them right back on the cusp of the state tournament next fall.
Travis Squire, Osage Volleyball
School of the Osage has enjoyed plenty of success on the volleyball court with Travis Squire at the helm. Squire is 50-33-6 in three seasons with the Indians and the team has improved its win total each season including a school record 20 wins in 2016 that shattered the 1991 record of 19 wins respectively. A new record now stands with Osage finishing 2017 at 22-7-2, which included a stretch of 10 straight victories. Senior setter Rose Colonius (1st Team All-Conference) and junior middle blocker Carson Wood (2nd Team All-Conference) were an effective combo all season for the Indians and Squire will look to have his club firing on all cylinders once again in 2018.
Anna Leezer, Camdenton Swimming
The Camdenton boys’ swimming program just wrapped up its second full season and the Lakers had plenty of success with only seven swimmers in the pool. With Coach Anna Leezer’s guidance, Camdenton brought home multiple medals from meets including the Tiger Invitational in Sedalia and Monett. Sophomore Michael Radlund, sophomore Addison Stanley, freshman Dane Lapine, senior Blake Lapine, sophomore Bryce Leuenberger, sophomore Jeremy Bernabe and junior Josef Bernabe all found success in the pool and history was made as Josef became the first Laker ever to reach the state meet. With most of the lineup returning, the Lakers are poised for another big season with Leezer at the helm and the team certainly would not mind growing its ranks either.