Column: Spring sports programs not wasting time in long awaited debuts
What a start it has been for spring sports programs around the Lake area.
Multiple first place finishes and team victories at track and field meets, walk-off victories on the baseball diamond, hat tricks on the pitch and some success on the golf course and tennis court as well.
After waiting for two long years to make a return, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling everything a year ago, these programs are not wasting any time establishing some early success. If this becomes a trend, these next couple of months could be fairly exciting in terms of what can be accomplished.
In track and field there were three programs who bested their competition and brought home wins in their respective meets as the Camdenton and Eldon girls and Versailles boys took care of business across the board and racked up their fair share of points. No team scores were kept at Osage, but the girls and boys enjoyed plenty of success there, too. Overall, the Lake area saw 21 first place finishes in various events, showing the athleticism this area can produce.
Over at Camdenton, a baseball team that was a district champion the last time the Lakers got to enjoy a full season in 2019 is off to another fairly good start. The Lakers are currently 5-0 on the year and have outscored their opponents by 32 runs, averaging 6.4 more runs than the opposition. That kind of pace should add a few more wins to the resume.
Meanwhile, the ball clubs at Eldon and Macks Creek are not undefeated. However, they both had the privilege of enjoying wins in the most dramatic of ways this past week in walk-off fashion. Eldon’s Jacob Bishop and Macks Creek’s Trever Smith stepped up to the plate and stepped up for their team when their clubs needed them the most.
Putting a ball in the back of the net can be a good habit to pick up on the soccer pitch and Osage’s Grace Larson and Camdenton’s Alli Johns have not wasted any time doing that this season. Larson, a freshman, recorded a hat trick in the first high school soccer game of her career in a 5-1 win at Laquey and has scored five goals in the first two games. Johns, a junior, netted a hat trick in a 4-0 Ozark Conference opening win against West Plains and has scored four goals in the first six games.
The links have been kind to School of the Osage this season as the boys golf team has won its first two meets. In the first outing against Waynesville and Lebanon, the Indians cruised to a victory with a team scorecard of 175, besting the other two teams by no less than eight strokes. Zach Krantz led the way with a match medalist performance of 36 on his scorecard after nine holes. In a Tri-County Conference match with rival Eldon and California, the Indians managed to best the field by at least two strokes. Andrew Bryant led the way in this outing, tying Eldon’s Aidan Wells for match medalist with a score of 39 after nine holes.
On the tennis courts, Osage has won 21 of its first 27 matchups in the first three events of the year. The boys began with a 9-0 sweep over Boonville and achieved the same result at Fulton with the only defeat coming in a 6-3 loss to a defending district champion in Helias Catholic.
There is much that remains to be seen and a long way to go before the postseason arrives. However, it has been an encouraging start after such a long absence and that may be a small victory in itself.
Welcome back, spring sports.
Michael Losch is the Sports Editor at the Lake Sun. He can be reached at email@example.com or 573-346-2132