Stories by Tom
News Tribune sports commentary
SPORTS COMMENTARY: When Frank Haith came to Columbia three years ago from Miami as the new head men’s basketball coach, it was met with a resounding “Who?” The moment he stepped on that plane Thursday afternoon at Columbia Regional Airport headed for Tulsa, it was met with a resounding “What?”
It was the kind of game that might spark a player.
In girls soccer win against Hannibal
The spirit was willing. The legs, understandably, were a little weak.
The Helias Lady Crusaders tallied a goal in the first minute, then tallied another in the final minute.
Will Robertson’s three-run home run lifted the Fatima Comets to an 11-0 win in five innings against the Lutheran: St. Charles Cougars in the fifth-place game of the Capital City Invitational at Vivion Field.
In their first game, the Fatima Comets could muster little offense. In their second, they put some runs on the board.
In Capital City Invitational opener
The Fatima Comets had their opportunities against the Hickman Kewpies in their Capital City Invitational opener Friday afternoon. But they just couldn’t pick up the big hit when they needed it.
In a game that featured more fouls than total shots, it was almost fitting the final decision came down to a penalty kick.
Hayden Lee stepped to the plate determined to come through. The Helias senior designated hitter entered the batters box with Wednesday’s game against Hickman tied at 6 with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The district field looks just about the same for the Helias Crusaders. The road to the Dome, that’s another story.
The learning process continues for the Jefferson City Lady Jays. But it looks like they are starting to put some things together.
As Falcons start golf season
The Blair Oaks Falcons enter the golf season with as potent a 1-2 punch as you’ll find in the area. Any potential team success this season will be finding players behind the duo of Kory Franks and Tanner Elder.
The golf season starts today for the Jefferson City Jays. Who will be where in the lineup once postseason play starts is a question that won’t be answered until later.
Working on short game
The short game is always the last thing to come around in golf. The Helias Crusaders saw that in the preseason and they saw it again as they opened the season Wednesday.
Last year, the Helias Crusaders and Lady Crusaders went to every track and field meet they could put on the schedule.
Sometimes, a change is welcomed. “I was just ready to do something different,” Doug Light said Monday afternoon after it was announced by the school he was stepping away from his duties as athletic director at Helias at the end of the school year.
KO’d in PKs
Jefferson City dropped a 1-0 decision in penalty kicks to Ursuline Academy at the 179 Soccer Park.
The Helias Crusaders enter the baseball season with more than few questions to be answered.
It was a great way to start the season.
The Jefferson City Lady Jays return 10 starters and another handful of letterwinners from a team that advanced to the Class 3 soccer quarterfinals last season. But that was last year. With Eddie Horn taking over as head coach, there are changes on the way.
Uninspired Tigers just playing out the string
No one can tell a tale of woe like a Missouri Tiger sports fan. And the current one is a doozy.
A big Linn crowd didn’t have a lot to cheer about in the first two quarters Wednesday night. The Wildcats got them on their feet in the final two periods. Down by 19 at the half to Father Tolton in a Class 2 sectional game at Fleming Fieldhouse, the Wildcats got things together in the final two quarters in a 69-49 loss to the Trailblazers.
Already down two starters, the California Lady Pintos probably didn’t think it could get any worse. Well, maybe it could.
Saturday at state wrestling
The better days may indeed be ahead for the Jefferson City Jays wrestling program. But the last three have been pretty good.
Wrestling lessons learned
The Helias Crusaders had just two wrestlers qualify for the Class 3 state tournament. But Nick Gaines and Jacob Schulte didn’t go through preparations alone last week.
Jacob Schulte did exactly what he needed to do.
It was an up-and-down opening day for the Jefferson City Jays. The ups were four Jays advanced to the quarterfinals with first-round victories Thursday night in the Class 4 state wrestling championships at Mizzou Arena. The downs were the other four Jays state qualifiers finished 0-2 and were eliminated from the tournament.
At Class 4 state wrestling tournament
If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. This week’s Class 4 state tournament will bring a conclusion to one of the best seasons in the history of the Jefferson City Jays wrestling program. So don’t expect to see much different from the eight Jays qualifiers when the tournament starts today at 5 p.m. at Mizzou Arena.
Helias has two in Class 3 state wrestling tournament
Nick Gaines and Jacob Schulte just need to focus on what’s in front of them.
A piece of advice if you ever have the opportunity to walk into the Jefferson City Jays wrestling room before practice. Keep your head on a swivel.
Sam is seen, not heard in aftermath of announcement
SPORTS COMMENTARY: Heard enough about Michael Sam? Sorry, that story is not going away anytime soon.
In boys basketball
“We let another team get out of here with a win in overtime,” Jefferson City coach Blair Thompson said after the Jays dropped a 73-72 decision Saturday afternoon to the Rock Bridge Bruins.
The results were similar. The post-game attitudes were 180 degrees different. On Tuesday, the Jefferson City Lady Jays fell 55-19 at home to the Hickman Kewpies. Thursday night, the Lady Jays dropped a 61-23 decision to Rock Bridge at Fleming Fieldhouse.
You have to look long and hard to find any potential weaknesses for the Hickman Kewpies.
Helias hit its first four 3-pointers to take an eight-point lead after one quarter and cruised to a 74-46 victory against the Soldan Tigers at Rackers Fieldhouse.
Will Fife had three good reasons in selecting the University of Missouri to continue his track and field career.
Big fourth quarter for Lady Tigers
It was back and forth. Until the fourth. The Ozark Lady Tigers used a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter Monday night to defeat the Jefferson City Lady Jays 46-39 at Fleming Fieldhouse.
The St. Joseph’s Academy Angels jumped into a pressure defense midway through the first quarter of Wednesday night’s game against the Helias Lady Crusaders at Rackers Fieldhouse. That keyed a strong 12-minute stretch for the Angels, who defeated the Lady Crusaders 59-43.
Alec Bise was the lone senior in the starting lineup on Senior Night for the Jefferson City Jays. Extra pressure? Not that you could tell.
On a cold night, the Jefferson City Lady Jays picked a bad time to go cold. The Helias Lady Crusaders were there to take advantage. Helias outscored Jefferson City 12-1 in the second quarter Monday night on its way to a 44-29 victory at Fleming Fieldhouse.
After taking a break last season, the girls basketball version of the crosstown showdown is back.
Jefferson City Lady Jays coach Dan Ridgeway had a simple explanation of what happened Saturday afternoon. “They did exactly what we thought they would do and we didn’t do a very good job of stopping them from doing what they wanted to do,” Ridgeway said after Jefferson City dropped a 54-44 decision to the Waynesville Lady Tigers at Fleming Fieldhouse.
The final score was lopsided — getting maximum points in the nine of the 14 matches will do that. But you could see a little bit of competitive life returning to the crosstown wrestling showdown.
The defense played well enough to win. On the other side, the offense had its problems.
It was a very good Capital City Wrestling Invitational for the Jefferson City Jays. Now it’s time to go back to work.
The Jefferson City Jays had a little something extra Friday. The Jays picked up bonus points in 15 of their 24 victories on the first day of the Capital City Wrestling Invitational at Fleming Fieldhouse.
Overachieving has been the calling card of the wrestling season so far for the Jefferson City Jays. They will have a chance to continue that run this weekend when they host the Capital City Invitational at Fleming Fieldhouse.
Takes football position at Georgia Southern
Shane Meyer has stepped down as head basketball coach of the Jefferson City Lady Jays to take a position with the football program at Georgia Southern University.
The Jefferson City Jays are taking overachieving to a new level. Without a senior in the starting lineup Tuesday night, Jefferson City remained undefeated in duals this season with victories against Rockhurst (35-33) and Rock Bridge (45-25) at Fleming Fieldhouse.
News Tribune sports commentary
Everybody has done something stupid. But there’s regular college kid stupid. And then there’s getting caught in a vehicle with expired license plates that allegedly smells of marijuana, has paraphernalia and nearly a pound of weed in it. That’s taking stupid to a new level.