Ever since watching his first football game as a young kid, John Stull has dreamed of playing college football for the Missouri Tigers. That dream is now reality. The senior from Rock Bridge gave Missouri a verbal commitment Tuesday night. “It lifts a tremendous amount of pressure off my shoulders,” Stull said. “I’m really excited and I feel I can play better in the games now because I can play without a worry and get after it and do my thing.”
Turnovers might have put the Missouri football team in a hole during Saturday’s 51-20 loss to No. 2 Texas. But special-teams play kept it there. The special-teams unit had been arguably the most consistent aspect of Missouri’s play through the first three weeks of the season. The return teams had made big plays, kicker/punter Adam Crossett had improved considerably since the conclusion of last season, and there was a general air of confidence when offense or defense wasn’t on the field.
Opinions differ as to what characterizes a rivalry. Some say it’s proximity. Others say it is the history between the teams. Still others say it is an increase in intensity. For the two major Columbia high schools, separated by just more than four miles, playing one another is always an anticipated matchup.
Columbia was well-represented in Tuesday’s Class 2 District 4 Tournament and will be in the state tournament later this month, too; Hickman and Rock Bridge will send a combined six golfers to the state tournament later this month. Rock Bridge shot a 362 to place second in the district tournament and will take three golfers to state. It was only two strokes behind Helias, which clinched the district title. Hickman shot a 372 to finish in third place.
The lights on the Hickman football field were bright. The smells of grilled burgers and hot dogs wafted through the muggy, late-autumn air. A large crowd roared with every pass, run and strong defensive play. But, this wasn’t a Friday night Hickman home football game. This was Senior Night for the Hickman boys’ soccer team.
After a frustrating defeat in which a ranked team lost to an unranked one, game-tying shots ping off goalposts, and your team falls just short of a win that would keep it in consideration for postseason play, there’s not a lot of positive things to say. Unless, of course, Justin Robinson is on your team.
After losing the second game of Tuesday’s match to Camdenton, Hickman setter Jessie Strother slowly crouched to the ground, balled up with an unbearable pain in her lower back that’s becoming all too familiar for the freshman. Strother’s 25 assists were enough to propel the Kewpies to victory over Camdenton 25-19, 21-25, 25-17. But no one except Strother was sure she would play in the third game.
As an unheralded 5-foot-9 fourth-string running back among bigger, taller superstars, Missouri’s Jimmy Jackson didn’t figure to get a lot of attention at Memorial Stadium on Saturday against Texas. But with Tony Temple and Earl Goldsmith, two of the Tigers’ top three running backs, injured, Jackson not only saw some playing time but also made the most of it, rushing five times for 36 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown run five minutes into the game that tied the score at 7.
ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Cardinals are about to find out if their late-season pitching swoon was just a collective exhale after months of dominance, or a reason for concern. St. Louis, coming off its second straight 100-victory season, opens the postseason today in a best-of-five division series against the San Diego Padres, who were only 82-80. But the Cardinals’ recent pitching struggles could be the equalizer.
It’s been a strange couple of days for the Rock Bridge volleyball team. First, senior Amanda Hanson suffered a concussion in a car accident on Wednesday, and required stitches on her face.
KANSAS CITY — The day after, everybody was still blinking their eyes and wondering how in the world this happened. How could the Kansas City Chiefs, with what they think is one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL, let a robust 18-point lead dissolve into a disquieting 37-31 loss?
One game after Tony Temple busted a career long 59-yard touchdown run, the sophomore was held to 0 yards on Saturday; not by a stifling Texas defense, but by an ankle injury. Temple, a key element of Missouri’s running game and special teams, saw no action in the team’s 51-20 loss to No. 2 Texas at Memorial Stadium and his status for the Tigers’ next game at Oklahoma State is uncertain.
ST. LOUIS — The final day of the regular season was doubly pleasing to St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan. His team won its first NL ERA title since 1969 and his son, Chris, hit the winning home run. “I’m proud of them both,” Duncan said after the Cardinals posted their 100th victory by rallying past Cincinnati 7-5 Sunday in the last regular-season game at Busch Stadium. “A lot of work goes into winning an ERA title, these guys have to really put their nose to the grindstone and be consistent.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — A week after spending the first quarter on the sideline for violating team rules, Plaxico Burress redeemed himself with one of the best days of his career. The sixth-year wide receiver had two touchdown catches among a career-high 10 receptions Sunday as the New York Giants defeated the St. Louis Rams 44-24. In addition to Burress’ two touchdowns, Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw scoring passes of 1 yard to Amani Toomer and 31 yards to Jeremy Shockey.
If there was ever a sign of things to come, this was it. The game was barely a minute old, and Missouri was driving from its own 25-yard line, looking to jump ahead against a Texas team ranked No. 2 in the country. Quarterback Brad Smith, under pressure, threw a pass that ended up in the arms of Texas’ Brian Carter, who returned the ball to the Missouri 3-yard line and paved the way for running back Jamaal Charles’ touchdown one play later.
Missouri’s Brad Smith might call Youngstown, Ohio, home, but in the much-hyped matchup with a fellow dual-threat quarterback at Memorial Stadium, Columbia turned into Vince Young’s town. Young finished the game, a 51-20 Longhorn win, with 13 carries for 108 yards on the ground and 15-of-22 for 236 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Young had three carries for more than 30 yards, the first which came with the game tied at 7 in the first quarter after Young faked a handoff to Jamal Charles.
Midway through a typical Missouri practice, Ali Kreklow, 10, and her brother Ryan, 8, are running around Hearnes Center, climbing on the referee’s stand, borrowing their mom’s camera phone to take pictures as she is trying to serve a ball, and getting hugs from the No. 7 team in the nation. Wayne Kreklow has won a state, college and professional championship. His wife Susan Kreklow has won a college national championship and has earned conference, regional, and national coaching awards.
There are many things that play a large role in Leslie Fischer’s life. Her father, her golf game, her friends and her faith. Not necessarily in that order.
During Rock Bridge’s football games, you don’t have to be watching to know when Andrew Adams makes a tackle. That’s because sitting in their regular seats in the last row before the press box, are Adams’ parents, Dave and Susie along with his neighbors. Collectively, they form the loudest cheering section at Rock Bridge.
If Kip Bayte were an animal, he’d be a banty rooster. At least that’s what Southern Boone assistant football coach Andy Curtis thinks. Curtis saw enough similarities between his senior wide receiver/cornerback and the small, feisty farm animal, to give Bayte presumably his oddest nickname to date.