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Tom Rackers

Stories by Tom

Helias football's comeback falls short

HANNIBAL — Except for the final score, it was all but decided at halftime.

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Prep Football: Helias to take on familiar foe in Hannibal

Instead of heading southwest tonight, the Helias Crusaders are going northeast. But other than that, not a lot has changed for the Crusaders from Week One to Week Two.

Bottom of order shines as Helias beats Battle

Entering the softball season, the Helias Lady Crusaders had a pretty good idea of what they were going to get out of the top four hitters in the lineup.

Helias girls plan to improve in the field

The Helias Lady Crusaders went through some growing pains last season.

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Helias girls golf team looks to build on last year’s success

The Helias Lady Crusaders brought home a Class 1 state golf trophy last season by finishing fourth.

Press Box: Trying to simplify what’s going on in St. Louis

News Tribune Sports Commentary

What’s more exciting than billionaires talking with billionaires about trying to make more money? Well, pretty much everything. But since one of the billionaires is Stan Kroenke and he currently owns the St. Louis Rams, there is some local interest in this situation.

Some good, some not so good for Helias in opener

First game, new head coach, understandably there were some nerves Friday night.

Jays soccer looks to fill void left by Boone as season begins

Sometimes, it’s not who you have back. It’s who you don’t.

Helias falls to Nixa in first game of year

It was one of those games where the scoreboard really doesn’t tell the whole story. The Helias Crusaders dropped their season opener Friday night, falling 31-9 to the Nixa Eagles. But a tweak here and an adjustment there and the outcome could have been closer.

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Lady Jays looking for strong golf season

If things progress as normal, the Jefferson City Lady Jays figure to be right in the mix when the golf postseason rolls around.

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Rulo ready to lead Crusaders

This is nothing new for Tim Rulo. But he believes he’s better prepared this time.

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Crusaders take on Centralia, Blair Oaks in Jamboree

The Helias Crusaders knew what they were going to do in Friday night’s Jamboree.

Helias hits ground running under Rulo

You can always count on people saying the summer is too short. But since you can’t get more time, it’s best to take full advantage of the time you have.

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Conway says he’s in for the long haul with the Lady Jays

More than anything, the Jefferson City Lady Jays’ basketball program needs stability at the top. Brad Conway is ready to fill that need as its new head coach.

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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Eagan 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.