What a difference a year can make.
Just over a year ago at this time, the world was a much different- and scarier- place.
A worldwide pandemic was just getting started, the future was full of doubt and in the midst of the chaos, an entire season was lost as high school athletes and coaches in the Lake area and across the country were robbed of the joy of competition. At the time, the least the Lake Sun could do was recognize some of those senior athletes who never had the chance to enjoy one final high school season in our "Senior Salute" series.
Thankfully, that was not the case this spring as spring sports programs made their return for the first time in two years. And, in doing so, Lake area athletes and programs did not disappoint, either. State championships and district championships were won, honors were earned and memories were made- the most important part of all.
So, here is our long overdue spring sports superlatives as we carry on a Lake Sun tradition and are proud to bring the spring version back for the first time since 2019. Here is who made our list.
Camdenton senior Park Wormek, Track and Field
An entire high school track and field career came down to one race and one stretch of hurdles spanning 110 meters for Wormek in the Class 4 state meet in Jefferson City on May 28. Talk about performing under pressure, because the senior went out with a state championship in the final race of his high school career. After finishing third in the state 110-meter hurdles as a sophomore in 2019, Wormek had his sights set for the top of the podium. Unfortunately, he would have to wait until his senior season for that next opportunity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously breaking the school record earlier in the 2021 season that was held by his football coach Jeff Shore- a time of 14.6 seconds that stood since 1986- Wormek topped that time with a 14.48 and it turned out his coach’s old time was good enough for a state title this spring as Wormek beat out a fellow racer by 14/100th of a second to do it. In doing so, he can take a little momentum with him to a track and field career at the University of Central Missouri.
Osage senior Sara Wolf, Track and Field
There is plenty that Wolf can look back upon and smile about in her four years with School of the Osage. She was an All-State volleyball player and a 4-time state qualifier in cross country, and wrapped up her basketball career as the leading 3-point shooter in program history. She also was an All-State 800-meter runner in track and field as a sophomore and didn’t even get to have a junior season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so she was prepared to go all out as a senior. That is precisely what she did, running in four different events and the maximum amount of laps any individual athlete could run at a meet. In the Class 3 state meet on May 29 in Jefferson City, she did not disappoint with four state medals in the 3,200-meter run, 800, 4x800 relay and a state championship in the 1,600. By the end of the day, she had run the equivalent of four miles in a display of heart and sheer willpower in her final opportunity to represent Osage before beginning a cross country and track and field career at Saint Louis University.
Versailles Boys Track and Field
In a sport that relies upon the performances of many individuals, Versailles made a hobby of winning some track and field meets in 2021. After winning the first two meets of the year by racking up the team points with success across the board, it was a fairly good sign of things to come and that included the second Tri-County Conference championship in program history and first since 2018. Coach Aaron Allen described a team with depth that could rely upon one another and an atmosphere of support amongst his athletes. They seemed to deliver more times than not and by the end, a trio of state medals were won by Michael Bell, Justin Hamrick and Max Coleman amongst the best Class 3 athletes at the state meet.
Camdenton Boys Track and Field
Running in an event at state is one thing, being able to do it with a teammate is quite another and the boys track and field program at Camdenton enjoyed some of those unique opportunities this year in a season that included the program’s first district title in 15 years. Teammates Angel Dickerson and Joel Mason pushed each other all year and won medals in the Class 4 state 100 and 200-meter dashes, teammates Parker Wormek and Brayden Blackman did the same in the 110-meter hurdles and both walked away with state medals, and those bonds made the team better overall as state medals were won in five different events. The program will lose some of its top performers in Wormek, Blackman, Mason and Dane Lapine, but the younger returners have been shown the way forward.
Tyler Sevon, Camdenton Girls Soccer
Starting out with a new program, and without a previous season to build some continuity due to the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling 2020, Sevon did not have such a bad first year leading the Lakers this spring. With a fairly young roster, comprised of just three seniors in 2021- and a defensive back line that featured three freshmen- Sevon and company finished 16-11 with the program’s first district championship in a decade. Among the 27 games played in 2021, 14 of them were decided by a single goal or penalty kick shootout and the Lakers found some composure capturing victories in 14 of them. With many players returning, the coach is optimistic about the foundations of the program in the years to come after a trip to sectional play in year one.
John Baumstark, Osage Boys Tennis
Baumstark was looking forward to his first tennis season with the boys program at Osage in 2020- that did not happen. The COVID-19 pandemic put things on halt for a year but the coach said it was an opportunity for his players to make the most of things upon their return, not taking a single thing for granted. They got the message loud and clear this spring as the program swept the district tournament round with a trio of titles in singles, doubles and team play. And, the coach previously sent out emails to all teachers so that a home crowd atmosphere could be created when Osage hosted the district championship. It was the program’s first district title since 2016 when the program won four straight and five titles in six years. The season came to an end at 10-10, just shy of a state bid, but Baumstark’s players will surely remember what district titles and an opportunity to take a shot at state feels like.
HONORABLE MENTION ATHLETES
Zoe Martonfi, Eldon Girls Track and Field
Martonfi provided a glimpse of what may be a career full of achievements after finishing with three medals in the Class 3 state meet. Competing in the 100-meter hurdles, triple jump and 300-meter hurdles, Martonfi also moved up the podium with each performance and her best result came in the 300 hurdles where she was 9/100th of a second a way from a state championship.
Aidan Wells, Eldon Boys Golf
In the final outing of his high school golf career, Wells managed to finish as one of the state’s best in the Class 3 Tournament at Crowne Point Golf Course in Farmington. After 36 holes, Wells tied for 15th to earn All-State honors amongst 71 golfers in the field.
HONORABLE MENTION TEAMS
Camdenton was looking to regain the momentum from a district championship season in 2019- the last time there was a season before COVID-19 cancelled 2020. Led by Class 5 All-State performers Kam Durnin and Conner Miller, the Lakers went 15-11 in 2021 and made a run to the district semifinals after knocking off a higher seed with a comeback in the district opener against St. Francis Borgia (16-9).
Eldon Girls Track and Field
Winning a fair share of meets throughout the season, the Eldon girls found some of that momentum they previously enjoyed in 2019 with the highest team finish at state in program history- a fifth place result that was just one shy of a state trophy before COVID-19 cancelled 2020. An injury to one of the team’s top returning athletes in the regular season prevented the program from being at its true best in 2021, but she and many others will be back and seeking to continue the success the program has established over the years.
HONORABLE MENTION COACHES
Jason Long, Osage Girls Soccer
Long was looking forward to his first season leading the girls program in 2020 before COVID-19 and when it was time to finally step back on the pitch in 2021, there was a short bench and not a ton of depth. Even so, the program went 9-14 overall and were just one overtime win a way from a district championship appearance.
Jason Trusty, Macks Creek Baseball
Coming off a district championship appearance in 2019 before the pandemic hit in 2020, Jason Trusty was tasked with leading a fairly young team in its first season of fall baseball in program history with the hopes of building some camaraderie in the spring of 2021. It was the coach’s final season with the program before taking on a new role in the school district, and a 6-13 record this spring is not a bad place to leave it, considering the team went 1-13 in the fall. Trusty steps down after more than 10 years in charge of the baseball program.
Michael Losch is the Sports Editor at the Lake Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-346-2132
This article originally appeared on Lake Sun Leader: The best Lake area athletes, teams and coaches of the 2021 spring season