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Sights from State | 12.05.20

  • 1 min to read
Sights from State | 12.05.20

ALL OR NOTHING

Soon, Missouri football stadiums will be empty: stands vacant, turf grass bare. It wasn't clear at the beginning of the season whether they'd fill this year. But, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the teams played on — and when it came down to the wire, thousands of fans turned out for the state championships.

With victories for the Blair Oaks Falcons, Jackson Indians and Windsor Greyhounds and losses for the Maryville Spoofhounds, Platte County Pirates and Mid-Buchanan Dragons, our visual journalists present ‘Sights from State’ — the magic and wonder of high school football.

Raegann Frankum and Khania Clark cheer for the Dragons

Mid-Buchanan High School juniors Raegann Frankum, left, and Khania Clark cheer for the Dragons during the first half of the game against Windsor High School on Saturday at Blair Oaks Athletic Complex in Wardsville. Both students said the experience of the Class 1 state final game was "awesome."

Dalton Witherspoon yells in victory

Windsor High School junior Dalton Witherspoon yells in victory to the school's crowd of supporters after winning the Class 1 state championship on Saturday at Blair Oaks Athletic Complex in Wardsville. Witherspoon led the team in rushing yards, racking up 2,386 yards before the final game.

Children play with a football during halftime

Children play with a football during halftime at the state championship game between Windsor and Mid-Buchanan on Saturday at Blair Oaks Athletic Complex in Wardsville. The kids played into the third quarter in the unusually warm December weather.

Lillian Punteny conducts the marching band

Platte County drum major Lillian Punteny conducts the marching band during halftime on Saturday at Ray Hentges Stadium in Jefferson City. The Pirates went into the locker room down 21-0.

The Blair Oaks band performs during halftime

Blair Oaks junior Sami Hart watches her drum major as she plays the marimba on Saturday at Adkins Stadium in Jefferson City. The Falcons performed a medley of songs as their halftime show, including "Into the Unknown" from Frozen 2.

Platte County senior wide receiver Colby Rollins cries

Platte County senior wide receiver Colby Rollins cries as he walks onto the field for the awards ceremony at the end of the Class 5 state championship game Saturday at Ray Hentges Stadium in Jefferson City. Platte County lost to Jackson 42-7.

Isaiah Davis hugs Kannen Turley

Jackson sophomore cornerback Isaiah Davis, right, hugs Jackson senior wide reciever Kannen Turley after scoring a touchdown against Platte County during the Class 5 state championship game on Saturday at Ray Hentges Stadium in Jefferson City. Jackson finishes the season with 14 wins and no losses.

Line judge Edward Hogan falls to the ground

Line judge Edward Hogan falls to the ground after colliding with a Platte County coach on the sideline during the fourth quarter of the Class 5 championship game on Saturday at Ray Hentges Stadium in Jefferson City. The team was given a warning after a previous play for having coaches too close to the field.

Jackson fans celebrate after Platte County lost 42-7

Jackson fans celebrate after Platte County lost 42-7 at the Class 5 state championship game on Saturday at Ray Hentges Stadium in Jefferson City. Jackson maintained possession of the ball for 36 minutes and 43 seconds of the game in total.

Jackson High School Rhet Liley holds the trophy

Jackson High School Rhet Liley holds the MSHSAA Class 5 state championship trophy on Saturday at Ray Hentges Stadium in Jefferson City. Jackson made it to the Class 5 championship in 2019, but fell short to Carthage High School.

Jake Wheatley inspects his team’s state championship trophy

Windsor High School senior Jake Wheatley inspects his team’s state championship trophy on Saturday at Blair Oaks Athletic Complex in Wardsville. Wheatley would then lead the team in a post-game prayer.

The Blair Oaks coaching team poses for a celebratory photo

The Blair Oaks coaching team poses for a celebratory photo after winning the Class 3 state championship on Saturday at Adkins Stadium in Jefferson City. This victory came two years to the day after their last state title win.

Marshall Mankini and Will McKnight embrace

Windsor High School junior Marshall Mankini and defensive coordinator Will McKnight embrace after the Greyhounds beat the Dragons 43-20 on Saturday at Blair Oaks Athletic Complex in Wardsville. This marked Windsor’s first appearance and win in a Class 1 state championship.

Photos by Jackson Estwanick, Michelle Gutierrez, Nicole Gutierrez, Daniel Shular, Evann Twitchell and Owen Ziliak.

Produced by Marco Postigo Storel and Madi Winfield.

Cover photo by Owen Ziliak.

Football is more than simply the action on the field. While everyone else stares at the big green box, eyes fixed under bright lights, we look the other way: at the relationships, reactions, moments and memories unfolding in the sidelines. Follow along each week as our visual journalists present ‘Sights from State,’ an extension of the Missourian's Friday Nights Sights series.

  • Fall 2020 Photo Editor, majoring in International Photojournalism. Reach at mpsbb7@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

  • Assistant director of photography (ADOP) at Vox Magazine. Previously ADOP, photo editor, staff photographer, reporter at the Columbia Missourian. Reach me at madiwinfield@mail.missouri.edu or at @madiwinfield on Instagram and Twitter.

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