Gary Pinkel was in a Columbia hotel room, taking a phone call from his recruiting coordinator Dave Yost, when he realized just what he had gotten himself into. It was 2000, and the Missouri football team had just named Pinkel to his first BCS Conference coaching job. Yost was there to bring him back to reality.
Most of the positions on the Hickman football team’s season-opening depth chart list two players. Some go three deep. Running back goes five. As the Kewpies prepare to kick off their season Friday at Lee’s Summit North, they do so with no clear-cut heir to Brandon Kendrick, last year’s All-State running back.
Despite not starting, last season was a big learning experience for Hickman soccer player Brent Tegerdine. Tegerdine, a junior goalkeeper, dutifully watched the seniors and soaked up everything he could. He backed up Drew Huckla, last season’s standout senior goalkeeper, and watched his brother and then-co-captain Travis Tegerdine, who now plays for Columbia College.
Brad Smith leveled for a sack. Marcus Woods dropped for a loss.
Three months and six days ago, 1,071 curious Mavericks fans filed into Taylor Stadium, hoping that things would be different. Nine innings later, they had their answer.
With the game tied at 30-all, Hickman’s No. 1 singles player Katie Glenn took a backswing, ready to put away a shot that would even the second set at five games apiece. But what was intended to sound like a solid shot hit off the sweet spot of the racket was instead the shrill sound of a popped string. Glenn lost the point, and soon after, the match.
Playing the first game of the season is enough to unnerve even the most seasoned player. But Tuesday night, the Hickman volleyball players had a new reason for pre-game jitters. They had to sing the national anthem.
The Rock Bridge boys soccer team, a team with a new coach, new system and several new players, opened the regular season Tuesday evening. The Bruins are preparing to defend their district title by playing a daunting regular-season schedule. Five of their opponents appeared in sectional games last season. Even more challenging is that four of those games are on the road. Not exactly easy for a team with only two players with meaningful varsity experience.
When Rock Bridge, Hickman and Rolla met on Tuesday on the first tee of L.A. Nickell Golf Course, the scene was familiar. The teams took part in the 12-team Crusader Classic Monday, and on Tuesday, they met in a three-team match. Both times, Leslie Fischer led her team to a win.
It took nine innings, but the Hickman softball team kept fighting and captured a 2-1 win against the Kirksville Tigers. Kirksville knotted the game 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, but the Kewpies refused to hang their heads. They kept the score tied into the bottom of the ninth, when junior Jennifer Bieberly came up with runners at second and third and one out. Bieberly ripped the game-winning single up the middle to help the Kewpies improve to 2-0.
Rock Bridge coach Beth Newton likes her volleyball team to play as fast as road runners. Last night’s loss to Helias seemed to her like it was playing in slow motion. The Bruins (0-1) played an improved game compared to last year’s season-opening loss to the Crusaders (1-0), and if it wasn’t for a late breakdown in Game 1, the 25-22, 25-20 loss could have ended differently. The slow play of Helias, however, kept Rock Bridge off-balance all night long.
A strong pitching performance by junior Kelsey Oerly helped the Rock Bridge softball team win its home opener against Sedalia Smith-Cotton 10-5. Oerly got the win for the Bruins (2-2), shutting down the Tigers’ offense for the first four innings before re-entering the game in the sixth inning to close out the victory.
Leslie Fischer couldn’t have been happier about her and the Rock Bridge girls’ golf team’s play Monday. Rock Bridge finished first in the 12-team tournament with 345 stokes at the Crusader Classic outside of Jefferson City at Redfield Golf Club. Fischer led the Bruins with an 81 and finished in a first-place tie.
KANSAS CITY – Nick Punto made good on his second chance. After striking out in the eighth inning with a runner on third, Punto hit a two-run double in the 10th inning to lead the Minnesota Twins past the Kansas City Royals 3-1 Monday night.
Brad Smith, you have a backup. And he just graduated from high school three months ago. The Missouri football team released its final depth chart for Saturday’s game against Arkansas State, and chief among the surprises was that Chase Daniel, a true freshman, passed both redshirt junior Brandon Coleman and redshirt freshman Chase Patton, a Rock Bridge graduate, to become the No. 2 man behind Smith.
She doesn’t play like a freshman, she has the confidence of a senior and she has been waiting for this opportunity since the seventh grade. On the eve of Hickman freshman Jessi Strother’s first high school volleyball game, where she’s expected to start tonight against Hannibal at setter for the Kewpies, she displayed self-confidence not normally shown by most 15-year-olds.
Six players remain from the Mavericks’ 23-man opening day roster. Half are pitchers and two start on the infield. The other, Thomas Bowker, gleefully fills in wherever and whenever he can.
The Mid-Missouri Mavericks met with the Boone County Commissioners Monday afternoon to discuss the team’s proposal for a new privately-funded stadium. “We made a presentation regarding the possibility of building a new stadium out at the fairgrounds,” Mavericks’ co-owner and president Gary Wendt said. “They couldn’t have been more professional or more receptive.”
This fall, Ashland is looking ahead. A community that waited more than 20 years for its own high school football team is eager to start its second varsity season and just as eager to make the controversy surrounding head coach Mike Hall a fleeting memory. “I think he’s ready to move on, like everybody here, and just get on with the act of coaching and working with the students and school,” said Pat Lacy, Southern Boone High School Athletic Director. “Everybody’s kind of ready to put it behind them and get on with business. I think he’s doing an outstanding job of working with kids.”
Third-base coaches risk serious injury every time they trot out to their designated boxes. There they stand, hands on knees, 90 feet from potential doom. Any batted ball could come screaming their way.