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Tom Rackers

Stories by Tom

Press Box: Let's make a deal

Cardinals, Royals could add some pieces for postseason

With two months remaining in the season, the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals are in prime positions to make it to the postseason. But they need to be armed and dangerous to finish off the competition and get the state partying like it’s 1985.

Jeffries returns to assist Crusaders

Sometimes you just have to be asked.

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Chinn asks for help while taking over as Helias coach

Matt Chinn knows he can’t do this alone.

Helias' Frank has success in her favorite race

Helias sophomore Kylie Frank’s favorite event is the 800-meter run. “I’m really bad at pacing myself and the 800 is a race where you just run as hard as you can and see if you can hang on,” Frank said.

Malmstrom stepping down as Helias head track coach

But will continue to lead bass fishing program

Chip Malmstrom knows he is going to miss track and field. Maybe not today, but he will miss it.

Press Box: Five little words can mean so much

News Tribune Sports Commentary

In a story posted Friday on, an email exchange about scheduling a softball game between Missouri and Missouri State escalated quickly from “let’s pick a date” to “your program is not very good.” Only the last part was a lot longer. And with some vividly descriptive words.

Shea takes fourth for Helias

At Class 4 state track and field championships

Kaitlyn Shea had a goal in mind Friday afternoon heading into the girls 3,200-meter run in the Class 4 state track and field championships.

Another state title for Fatima's Haller

Freshman adds track victory to cross country win

Strategy played a big role Friday afternoon for Brianna Haller.

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Timing works for Helias’ Shea in Class 4 track championships

The timing is right. Now it comes down to the times.

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Blair Oaks’ Elder celebrates state golf title

Tanner Elder entered the final hole of the Class 2 state golf championships not quite knowing where he stood in the individual standings.

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Eagen to lead Helias girls basketball program

Sarah Eagan believes she is ready to be a head basketball coach.

Late score sends Kewpies past Lady Jays for district title

A second of hesitation was all it took.

Blair Oaks looks for Class 2 golf honors

It’s the final competition for Kory Franks at Blair Oaks High School.

Lady Jays open district soccer with decisive win

“I did not expect the score to be as lopsided as it was,” Lady Jays coach Eddie Horn said after Jefferson City opened Class 4 District 11 Tournament play with a 7-1 victory against the Sedalia Smith-Cotton Lady Tigers at the 179 Soccer Park.

Lady Crusaders blank Lady Lakers in soccer

The Helias Lady Crusaders are figuring things out.

Lady Jays soccer edges Kickapoo 1-0

Playing games is the fun part. Practice sometimes can be a necessary evil.

Lady Crusaders score early in OT, beat Blue Devils

“We feel like we were better team, it was nice that we came through and got the goal,” Helias coach Brad Dempsey said after the Lady Crusaders defeated the Quincy (Ill.) Blue Devils 1-0 in overtime on a rainy Saturday afternoon at the 179 Soccer Park.

Press Box: Dizzying amount of coaching changes hit central Missouri

News Tribune Sports Commentary

I’ve been at this job for a lot of years and I don’t remember anything like the slew of coaching changes we’ve seen in just the past few months.

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Lady Jays ease to crosstown soccer win

The crosstown soccer showdowns are usually tight affairs and Wednesday night’s edition between the Jefferson City Lady Jays and Helias Lady Crusaders was expected to be no different.

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Helias gets past Blair Oaks in baseball

The Helias Crusaders and Blair Oaks Falcons have been brothers in the tough-luck club for much of this season.

Inconsistent Helias falls to Visitation Academy

In practice, they see it. It’s just not showing up on game day.

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Metzger named Helias boys soccer head coach

Mike Metzger has been a fan of the game of soccer for his entire life. Now the 34-year-old will get the opportunity to pass along that passion, as he is the new head coach of the Helias boys program.

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Lady Jays stick to plan in 2-0 defeat of Broncos

The plan is simple. The execution isn’t.

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Lady Crusaders earn comeback win in soccer

The Helias Lady Crusaders kept knocking on the door until they finally broke it down.

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Lady Jays top Hickman 2-1 in soccer

For 50 minutes, the Jefferson City Lady Jays had things their way.

Helias soccer falls 2-1 to Duchesne

The Helias Lady Crusaders gave up goals in the first two minutes and the last two minutes Saturday and dropped a 2-1 decision to the Duchesne Pioneers at the 179 Soccer Park.

Press Box: New media clashes with baseball’s unwritten rules

News Tribune Sports Commentary

I’ve seen more than a handful of no-hitters through the years. I mostly cover Helias in baseball and the Crusaders have been blessed with some pretty good pitchers in that time. But a perfect game?

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Just enough on offense for Lady Jays

In soccer win against Battle

The Jefferson City Lady Jays spent so much time in the Battle end of the field Thursday night, the Spartans should have charged them rent.

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Shea signs to run at SEMO

Kaitlyn Shea knew almost immediately it was where she wanted to go to college.

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Multiple-run innings propel Helias to win

The Helias Crusaders hung crooked numbers on the scoreboard in three different innings Tuesday on their way to an 11-1 victory against the Moberly Spartans at the American Legion Post 5 Sports Complex.

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Blair Oaks baseball falls behind early, drops 11-2 decision to Fulton

Digging out of an hole is no fun.

Weather brings end to Helias-Rolla game

The Helias Lady Crusaders and the Rolla Lady Bulldogs tried to beat Mother Nature on Wednesday.

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Helias’ Dempsey not worried after loss to St. Dominic

It’s early April, not the middle of May. Wins and losses don’t really matter right now.

Andy Pitts leaves Helias for job in Minnesota

Andy Pitts, who has served as defensive coordinator for the Helias football team for the past four years, has accepted a position as an assistant coach at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn.

Press Box: Missouri basketball looking for someone to sit next to Anderson

News Tribune Sports Commentary

While we’ve been watching the best of the best play in college basketball, some of the rest are trying to catch up. The Missouri Tigers are one of the rest.

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Crusaders fail to capitalize in 3-2 loss to Pirates

Missed opportunities

The Helias Crusaders pushed across a run in the bottom of the fourth inning Thursday to take a 2-1 lead against the Boonville Pirates. But they also left two runners in scoring position in the inning. Then left the bases loaded in the fifth and sixth. And the Pirates took advantage.

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Jays golfers ahead of schedule

Normally, it can take some time for a team to hit its stride. This is not a normal year for the Jefferson City Jays golf team.

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Weather halts Helias-Fatima contest; game reverts to tie

After pushing across a run in the top of the ninth inning to take a 2-1 lead, the Fatima Comets were just three outs from a win Tuesday against the Helias Crusaders.

Crusaders a close group on golf course

It’s a good problem to have. In preseason golf practice, the Helias Crusaders have had five players average within 1.5 strokes of each other. Now it’s a matter of getting them all to improve a little more.

Helias track teams focused on long-term goals

Until May rolls around, the Helias Crusaders and Lady Crusaders are treating the track and field season as an extended practice.

Helias poised for strong baseball season

The pieces appear to be there for the Helias Crusaders.

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Blair Oaks figures to contend for top honors in golf again this season

What’s better than a 1-2 punch?

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Lady Jays looking to improve on last season’s third-place finish

A healthy number of starters returning, most at key positions, from a Final Four team should mean continued success this season.

Missouri to face South Carolina today in SEC tourney

Kim Anderson likes to split basketball seasons into four portions — non-conference, conference, conference tournament and the postseason.

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Helias job too good for Rulo to pass up

Tim Rulo wasn’t in any hurry to leave South Callaway High School.

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Rulo named football coach at Helias

Comes from South Callaway

Tim Rulo was named head football coach at Helias High School on Monday afternoon.

Press Box: Offseason will provide Anderson opportunity to regroup

News Tribune Sports Commentary

One more, two at the most. Then Kim Anderson can take a deep breath, step back and really begin to put his touch on the Missouri men’s basketball program.

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Linn boys struggle on offense in loss to Salisbury

The Linn Wildcats had a plan on what they wanted to do offensively Wednesday night.

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Missouri to face Auburn on Senior Night

Keith Shamburger and Keanau Post likely won’t be remembered as top players in Missouri basketball history.

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Bruins run away from Lady Crusaders down the stretch

For 21/2 quarters Thursday night, the Helias Lady Crusaders hung with the Rock Bridge Bruins.