Honoring the best of the fall sports season

The fall sports season is in the books.

Mark it down as yet another chapter full of excitement and triumph for the Lake area as there were plenty of campaigns across eight different sports that each school could be proud of. From adding more hardware to trophy cases to tangoing with the best athletes and teams in Missouri, the Lake Sun is proud to continue its tradition in 2019 of recognizing the best who went out and embarked on a journey to remember.

TOP ATHLETES

Gavin Schulte, Camdenton Boys Swimming

Camdenton junior Gavin Schulte is no stranger to our superlatives, being recognized for his efforts in the pool a season ago. However, the junior swimmer out of Camdenton who became the program’s first All-State swimmer simply continues to raise the bar and did so once again in 2019. Schulte earned his first state medal in the 50 freestyle last season finishing eighth, but that was just the beginning. The junior won 14 individual races and helped the 200 freestyle relay team win a race as well while finishing with two Ozark Conference titles in the 50 and 100 freestyle races. He was back at state in the Class 1 meet where he moved up the podium in the 50 freestyle to fourth place while also finishing seventh in the 100 freestyle to leave the pool with his third career state medal. The best part is that he has another season left to bolster that resume even more and navigate the waters for a young program that just wrapped up its fourth season of existence.

Kassidy Hull, Eldon Girls Golf

Eldon junior Kassidy Hull is back on the list of superlatives after turning in yet another season as one of the best golfers in the state of Missouri. Qualifying for the state tournament is just an expectation for a golfer who has reached state in all three seasons of her high school career. However, Hull has steadily improved finishing 22nd as a freshman in a tournament that was cut short due to weather, seventh in 2018 and now third as a junior. Hull was just 15 strokes behind the leader this time around as Springfield Catholic’s Kayla Pfitzner defended her state title, but there was plenty to be proud of along the way. The junior won her second straight individual Tri-County Conference and district titles and surely has her sights set on the top prize entering her final campaign as a Mustang.

TOP TEAMS

Camdenton Football

It does not get much better for a football team than what Camdenton put together in 2019. Entering the season with high expectations off an 11-2 campaign that ended in the Class 4 state quarterfinals, the Lakers marched right back to that round unbeaten at 12-0 with an Ozark Conference crown and the program’s 28th district title in program history before falling to a Webb City team that may have been the only team in the state capable of stopping them. The combination of a high-flying passing attack in Coach Jeff Shore’s “Purple Tide” offense that produced 47.8 points per game and a lethal “Purple Haze” defense that only allowed 16.8 made for exciting football that reset some of the program’s record books. When challenged, like the games against West Plains and Glendale, the Lakers rose to the occasion and came through in crunch time to remain unbeaten. Camdenton gave Webb City all it could handle in the quarterfinals for the first 24 minutes with the game being tied at half before the Cardinals pulled away for a 62-34 win. Webb City, by the way, will be playing for a state championship this weekend and the Lakers may have been the toughest team left on the slate.

Osage Cross Country

The girls and boys of Osage cross country know how to pick up the pace. Runners may enter the season at various levels, but there was seemingly no slack by the end as the Indians finished races in a fairly tight pack that allowed the teams as a whole to do well overall in the standings. Pushing each other in practice allowed the girls and boys to sweep for a pair of Tri-County Conference championships in 2019 and eventually send multiple runners from both teams to state. That accomplishment has become a staple of the program as all seven runners representing the girls made the cut as a team while the boys nearly did the same, sending a pair of Indians to compete with the best Class 3 runners in Missouri. The Osage girls finished 13th out of 16 teams, but the Indians did finish the state meet in Columbia with an All-State runner in Chase Grosvenor.

TOP COACHES

Jason Long, Osage Boys Soccer

The Osage boys soccer program has made strides forward under the direction of Coach Jason Long. After an 11-13-1 finish in his first season at the helm in 2018 in where the Indians reached double digit wins for the first time in four years, Long guided the Indians to a 13-11 campaign in 2019 that included an eight-game winning streak, the program’s first winning season since 2012 and first district championship appearance since 2013. An even more impressive feat considering that Long and Athletic Director Clinton Hague decided to beef up the schedule with tougher competition. The final battle of the year resulted in a tough 1-0 heartbreaker that was dealt by a 16-3 Springfield Catholic team, but this program has some momentum and time will tell if this club can continue to push forward and perhaps obtain some hardware in the near future.

Matt Frey, Eldon Girls Golf

The hardware continues to come in for Eldon with Coach Matt Frey leading both the girls and boys. This past spring he led the boys to a 26-1 record in match play, its first Tri-County Conference title since 2004, a district championship and fourth place finish at state that resulted in a team trophy for the first time since 2001. The girls have earned their fair share of accolades as well with a conference championship and back-to-back district titles on the links this fall while Kassidy Hull and Gracie Petet represented the Mustangs at state. Hull went on to earn All-State honors for a second straight season. That total comes to two straight conference team titles, three straight district championships and a trophy from state- all since 2017. Not a bad resume whatsoever and Frey is hoping all of this current success leads to continued growth of the sport at Eldon as he looks for future Mustangs to continue that success on the links in the years to come.

HONORABLE MENTION ATHLETES

Caroline Beckmann, Eldon Volleyball

Eldon sophomore Caroline Beckmann spent plenty of time above the net in 2019. She finished the season with 352 kills, 232 digs, 46 blocks and 31 aces in 70 total sets and earned All-State honors in the process.

Chase Grosvenor, Osage Cross Country

Osage senior Chase Grosvenor had quite a run- no pun intended- in his final season with the Indians. Grosvenor defended his Tri-County Conference title, helping his team to win the team championship as well, while also winning an individual district title. He finished 15th in the Class 3 state meet in a field of 169 runners to earn All-State honors as well that are reserved for the top 25.

HONORABLE MENTION TEAMS

Camdenton Volleyball

The Camdenton volleyball team had a pretty successful year in 2019, finishing 23-11-3 with a trip to the district championship game before ending the campaign with a loss to a 32-5 Willard team that made a run to the state quarterfinals. It was the program’s best finish in nine years and the first time the Lakers reached 20 or more wins since a 26-8-1 campaign in 2010.

Osage Girls Tennis

The Osage girls tennis team had another successful season on the courts. After finishing 10-2 a season ago, the team went 11-3 this year and are 21-5 since Coach Danielle Lutz took over the program. The doubles duo of Elise Davis and Kylie Misenheimer also made another postseason run to sectionals after finishing with All-State honors a season ago.

HONORABLE MENTION COACHES

Broc Silvers, Versailles Football

Versailles may have had a rough 0-6 start against teams with a combined record of 45-23, but the Tigers finished strong winning three of their final five games to go 3-8 before falling to top-seeded 10-1 Fair Grove in the district semifinals. Coach Broc Silvers found a way to keep his team motivated and his scheme allowed players like Coby Williams and Dallas Waller to flourish and set multiple school records in the process.

Anna Leezer, Camdenton Boys Swimming

The Camdenton boys swim team has maintained its presence at state, qualifying swimmers for a third straight season in a program that is just in its fourth year of existence. The Lakers had six qualifying swimmers for a second straight year and finished 21st as a team in 2019, moving up 13 spots from a 34th place finish a season ago.