Camdenton's Kennedy and Pride of the Lake Band receive top honors at Sports Commission Awards

MICHAEL LOSCH, Lake Sun Sports Editor
Camdenton's Aeryn Kennedy.

It was a night to honor the best in the region and Camdenton’s athletes and programs have not been strangers to this annual event held in Springfield.

The Sports Commission Awards, originally scheduled for June 15 and pushed back to August 10 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, recognized more than 140 student-athletes and 28 teams representing southwest Missouri high schools in 31 different categories. There were 24 different sports recognized and the categories also included girls and boys team of the year, girls and boys athlete of the year, marching band, cheerleading and dance team.

Among all the nominations, Camdenton had four who were selected as finalists featuring Aeryn Kennedy, Paxton DeLaurent, Gavin Schulte and the Pride of the Lake Marching Band. By the end of the evening, Kennedy was recognized as the best in girls soccer and the Pride of the Lake Marching Band also took home the top prize.

Here are the bios recognizing the accomplishments of each athlete and program over the past school year or recent years and why they each had a seat at the table on August 10.


In 2020, Camdenton became only the second Missouri marching band to ever hold a national ranking (No. 30) through the national marching band ranking website The Pride of the Lake Band won Class 2 and the finals at the Sullivan Festival, took the Class 2 title and third overall at the Iowa Bands of America Regional, besting the eventual Class 2 national champion, Marian Catholic of Chicago and 2019 BOA grand national finalist, O’Fallon (Ill.) The band also was second overall at the Broken Arrow Invitational and tied for ninth at the Bands of America St. Louis Super Regional- one of only two Missouri bands to reach the finals.


When soccer coaches across the Ozarks talked about players to watch this past spring, Kennedy’s name was among the first mentioned. She already signed with NCAA Division I Marquette after recording 102 goals and 30 assists the past three seasons, including 29 goals as a junior. She also was on pace to break Camdenton’s career goals and scoring marks held by former standout Whitney Snow.


Most folks assume Camdenton only plays football, but the reality is that the high school is competitive in a lot of sports. Schulte proved it again at the Class 1 MSHSAA Swimming and Diving Championships, placing fourth in the 50 freestyle (21.89 seconds) and seventh in the 100-yard freestyle (48.46 seconds). He placed first and third in those events, respectively, at the Southwest Missouri Swim Championships.


DeLaurent quarterbacked Camdenton to the Class 4 state quarterfinals. In Class 4, he was the Offensive Player of the Year by the MFCA, Region and Ozark Conference. He also was First Team All-State by the MFCA and the media. DeLaurent threw for 4,034 yards, completing 236 of 491 passes (66.4 percent), including 54 touchdowns and was intercepted 11 times. He also rushed for 394 yards and scored seven touchdowns.

The Pride of the Lake Marching Band.