Honoring the best of the 2018 fall season
The temperatures are chilly and snow has met the ground.
Unfortunately that means the fall sports season has come to an end, but as usual, it did not come and go without a few highlights along the way. Therefore, the time has come for a Lake Sun tradition as our superlatives look back on the best of the fall season and recognize those who made it one to remember.
Obtaining some hardware has become a hobby for the Camdenton softball program. Once again, the Lakers earned a couple of titles after the program won its second outright Ozark Conference championship in three years with an unblemished 9-0 record in conference play and its third straight district championship. This season, Camdenton won 10 straight games on its way to a 17-6 finish and it took a walkoff grand slam in a Class 4 sectional game at Ozark to bring the season to an end. That kind of success does not happen in softball without consistent production and this year was no different whether it was the record-setting arm of pitcher Haile Farris with a school record 257 strikeouts or the record-setting bat of Shelby Webster with a school record 15 home runs among others. The Lakers produced eight All-Conference players and All-District players to go with five All-Region players and three All-State players and every starter was All-Conference or All-Region. A foundation has been created and it will be up to returning and future Lakers to make sure that success continues.
Broken school records, a 9-game win streak and a fight to the finish in the Class 4 quarterfinals against the defending state champion were among the highlights in an impressive 11-2 season that saw Camdenton capture its 27th district championship in school history. The Lakers decided to revamp their offense by breaking away from decades of running tradition to utilize the pass more and it was an astounding success as the offense produced 383.3 yards and 46.3 points per game while the defense buckled down and allowed just 204 yards and 17.4 points per game respectively. A stout offensive line and a reliable receiving corps that produced five Lakers with over 500 receiving yards were consistent throughout the year allowed that to happen. The Lakers went on to give defending state champion Webb City all it could handle in a 1-point loss before the year was through.
Eldon sophomore Kassidy Hull, Girls’ Golf
Eldon sophomore Kassidy Hull did not disappoint in her second season on the links after a freshman campaign that produced plenty of its own excitement. After becoming the school record holder for the lowest 9-hole and 18-hole rounds in her first season with the Mustangs that featured nine medals in 9-hole matches and an appearance at the state tournament, Hull came back to finish 7-1 in 9-hole match play this season with two regular season tournament titles, a district championship and All-State recognition after finishing seventh amongst a field of 90 golfers at the Class 1 championship in Maryville. Hull finished just seven spots away from All-State honors last season, but she would not be denied in 2018 as she became the first All-State golfer in the history of the program. With another two years to go, time will soon tell how much Hull continues to raise the bar on the links for the Mustangs.
Camdenton sophomore Gavin Schulte, Boys’ Swim
Camdenton sophomore Gavin Schulte had little trouble gliding through the pool this season as he turned in several first place finishes in his individual events and also helped the relay teams find success as well. By the end of the season, the sophomore’s hard work allowed him to become a state qualifier in multiple events. Schulte had a busy weekend at the St. Peters Rec-Plex in St. Louis where he went on to compete in four events at the Class 1 state championship. His success did not stop there either as the sophomore set a program record and became the first All-State swimmer in school history with an eighth place finish in the 50 freestyle. Schulte also finished 16th in the 100 butterfly and helped the 200 freestyle relay team finish 17th and the 400 freestyle relay team capture 20th.
Broc Silvers, Versailles Football
Perseverance paid off for the Versailles football program. When Coach Broc Silvers took over the program in 2013, the Tigers finished the season without a win and went on to win just a single game a year later. Now, after going through a tough trio of 3-win seasons, the Tigers finished 7-5 and not only put together their first winning season since 2010, but also played in their first district championship game since 2009. The players bought into what Silvers and his staff were selling on both sides of the ball and it resulted in Class 2 Versailles finishing 4-1 against larger Class 3 schools including a win over state-ranked Southern Boone. The Tigers went on to battle with 7-time defending state champion Lamar in the district championship and were unable to slow down their fellow Tigers, but playing in that game set a bar that should ignite a fire in the program and have the players motivated to continue that kind of success. With Silvers at the helm, it seems Versailles may have turned a corner and time will soon tell if that just happens to be the case.
Danielle Lutz, Osage Girls’ Tennis
Going to state in the first year as head coach is a feat any coach would like to have. That resume currently belongs to Osage girls’ tennis coach Danielle Lutz who did her part to help an Indian doubles team become the first Osage duo to reach state since 2009. Overall, Lutz coached Osage to a 10-2 record in dual play that featured a streak of nine straight wins in including five 9-0 sweeps on the scoreboard. Her players were clearly having fun and it showed throughout the year as the team outscored its opponents 86 to 20 during that stretch. In the postseason, juniors Kylie Misenheimer and Elise Davis went on to finish eighth out of 16 teams in the Class 1 state doubles tournament and time will soon tell what the two have in store for the senior campaigns and how much winning the team will do in 2019. One thing for certain is that Lutz could not have asked for a much better start.
HONORABLE MENTION TEAMS
Camdenton Boys’ Swim
Schulte was not the only swimmer at state as five other Camdenton swimmers in Dane Lapine, Bryce Leuenberger, Josef Bernabe and Jeremy Bernabe and Michael Radlund joined him. In just the third season of the program, the Lakers sent more than one swimmer to state for the first time in school history competing in five different events. Overall, the team captured 34th in the final team standings and the best news is that only one swimmer graduates so there is an opportunity to build and create new milestones.
Eldon Girls’ Golf
It was not only a monumental for season for Hull as she and her teammates finished second in the Tri-County Conference Tournament and went on to become the first team to win a district title in program history. The Mustangs were on their home course for districts and did not disappoint as Hull, Meladee Strickland, Emalee Bennett, Hannah Petet and Reece Henderson outpaced the competition by 16 strokes and went on to compete as a team at sectionals, finishing fourth. For a sport that generally depends on individual success, Eldon showed how much each golfer could rely on each other.
HONORABLE MENTION ATHLETES
Osage senior Carson Wood, Volleyball
Osage senior Carson Wood earned her fair share of accolades in her final season for the Indians. As a team leader in kills all four years with the Indians, including 308 kills this fall with an average of 4.5 kills per set and a 41 percent success rate, her presence could be felt on the court at any time. She was named First Team All-Tri-County Conference, First Team All-District and the conference’s Most Outstanding Player along with Gracie George of California. Her efforts helped Osage finish 21-9-2 this season and the Indians won 20 or more games in three of her four years with the program.
Camdenton junior Paxton DeLaurent, Football
Behind the arm of Camdenton junior Paxton DeLaurent, the Laker offense was like a finely-tuned machine that had little trouble in fulfilling its purpose of reaching the end zone and putting big numbers up on the scoreboard. Camdenton failed to score over 40 points in only four of the team’s 13 games and a lot of those points came through the air as DeLaurent set a school record for passing yards in a single season (3,858) and passing touchdowns in a single season (43) while only throwing nine interceptions. He also showed some mobility by rushing for seven touchdowns for a total of 50 on the season.
HONORABLE MENTION COACHES
Kathryn Allen, Macks Creek Cross Country
After nearly two decades of dormancy, the Macks Creek cross country program was brought back this fall for the first time in 17 years and the decision to do so seemed to be a good one as nine Pirates signed up to run distance races of 3.1 miles at each meet. It also happened to be the first year of coaching the sport for Macks Creek’s Kathryn Allen and she was able to help freshman Molly Phillips qualify for state and compete in the Class 1 championship in Jefferson City. Producing a state qualifier in the first season is a start any coach would be glad to have and time will soon tell if the state meet becomes a hobby for the revitalized program.
Miriam Hill, Osage Cross Country
Another season has come and gone and it was another season where Osage sent multiple girls and boys runner to state with Coach Miriam Hill at the helm. This time, the Indians sent five total runners to the Class 3 championships in Jefferson City (three girls and two boys) and nearly qualified an entire team to state for the third straight year. Micah Hill, Sara Wolf and Sarah Porter represented the girls while Chase Grosvenor and John Markovitz represented the boys and having a consistent presence at state can only lead to good things in the future as the program continues to build.