Stories by Tony
As the Missouri National Guard Shootout enters its fourth incarnation, the event will be getting a bit of a makeover. That’s because two teams — Tipton and Belle — will be making their inaugural appearance in the boys portion of the event, and those two will actually square off with one another. They’ll become just the 13th and 14th different boys programs to take part in the Shootout.
The Joe Machens Great 8 Classic is always full of interesting matchups, but if things go to plan, perhaps the most intriguing will take place on the event’s second day. The day reserved for winner’s and loser’s bracket semifinals normally just sets the table for the final day. There’s added importance this time around because of one of those matchups.
Replacing the leading scorer on a team is always tough, but if you’re going to start somewhere, having eight returning players with varsity experience is a pretty good place to begin. That’s the scenario facing the Blair Oaks Falcons, who open the season at 6:30 p.m. today against Russellville in the first round of the Eugene Tournament.
Looking to pull off a special feat, it seems only fitting the Webb City Cardinals relied on their special teams to do so. The Cardinals won their fourth straight Class 4 state football title thanks in large part two special-teams plays, dropping the Helias Crusaders 28-14 on Friday at the Edward Jones Dome.
The beginning of most sports seasons are exciting. It’s doubly so for the Calvary Lutheran girls basketball team this time around. In addition to the normal anticipation that accompanies the first game, the Lady Lions have another reason to be anxious.
There’s no secret to what the Calvary Lutheran boys basketball team has been spending its time on in practice. “We’ve got a lot of kids back from last year and our main emphasis is to get things going on the offensive end of the floor,” Calvary coach Mark Buffington said as the Lions prepared for today’s season opener at New Bloomfield. “We played pretty good defense, we just had a lot of trouble scoring.” The good thing is, the Lions return a veteran squad that’s seen a ton of playing time at the varsity level.
Blair Oaks football coach Brad Drehle summed it up pretty succinctly following the Falcons’ 28-12 loss to the Lawson Cardinals in Saturday’s Class 2 semifinal contest.
With the sport of high school basketball experimenting with preseason Jamborees for the first time, the Crusaders hosted three other boys teams Friday, and the home team was especially impressive.
With the start of the regular season still 11 days away, Friday night’s Jamboree at Helias came at the perfect time for the Blair Oaks Falcons.
One thing is for sure about today’s Class 2 semifinal football game between the Blair Oaks Falcons and Lawson Cardinals — whichever team moves on will be continuing an unexpected postseason journey.
New conferences, one-and-done freshmen breed unfamiliarity in college basketball
SPORTS COMMENTARY: It used to be that you couldn’t tell the players without a scorecard. Now, things are so complicated you can’t tell the conferences without a scorecard.
In Missouri Class 2 football quarterfinal
The Falcons survived a last-ditch rally attempt from the Palmyra Panthers and escaped with a 28-20 victory Saturday afternoon in a Class 2 quarterfinal contest.
At this point in the season, when you’re one of just eight football teams in your class still playing, you’ll do whatever it takes to stay alive.
Sometimes when you’re a Division I signee, there’s pressure that comes with it since other players are always trying to prove themselves against you. For Blair Oaks’ LeeAnn Polowy, that’s just one more challenge she’s looking forward to meeting. “I feel like people usually bring their ‘A’ game when they play Blair Oaks anyway,” said Polowy, who signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play basketball for Missouri State.
In a game with no shortage of big plays, the Blair Oaks Falcons managed to come up with the three biggest ones.
It’s November, so that must mean it’s time for a meaningful football game between the Blair Oaks Falcons and the South Callaway Bulldogs.
After a couple years of knocking on the door, the Fatima boys cross country team smashed it in. The Comets claimed the first state title in the school’s history in the sport, capturing the Class 2 championship Saturday at the Oak Hills Golf Center.
With their Show-Me Conference compatriot, Russellville, capturing the state title with 87 points, Linn bested the rest of the state and came in with 111 points.
It’s been a dream season so far for the Fatima boys cross country team, and the Comets are hoping they don’t wake up until today is finished.
After a great start and a so-so finish, Blair Oaks coach Brad Drehle was able to sum up Wednesday night’s 35-13 win against Hermann very simply.
So far this season, the Blair Oaks football team has faced some pretty impressive individual talents. They’ll do so again today. Next up on the hit parade is Hermann quarterback Craig Winkelmann, who brings the Bearcats to town for a 7 p.m. contest today in the semifinals of the Class 2 District 6 Tournament.
It’s not often the final score in a 60-7 rout can end up as the play of the game, but that’s what happened Thursday night.
The Falcons will take on another young team when they begin district play against Father Tolton (2-7) at 7 p.m. today at the Falcon Athletic Complex. The teams met in the same scenario last year, with the Falcons opening districts with a 68-13 rout of the Trailblazers.
It’s becoming a common occurrence, but that doesn’t make it any less sweet.
The second season begins tonight for a ton of area volleyball teams as district tournaments kick into high gear.
Blair Oaks can’t overcome seven-run first inning
It didn’t take long for the Centralia Panthers to deliver the knockout blow in the Class 3 softball state championship game. Make that knockout punches.
News Tribune Sports Commentary
If you ever wanted to see the definition of “Can’t leave well enough alone,” you got Exhibit A recently in the form of Frank Haith.
The Falcons scored 41 unanswered points to end Friday night’s game with the Eldon Mustangs, roaring back to take a 48-12 victory at the Falcon Athletic Complex.
Racking up an amazing day at the plate, and throwing in an outstanding defensive play for good measure, Blair Oaks senior outfielder Sara Jones led the Lady Falcons to a 10-1 rout of the DeSoto Dragons in a Class 3 softball semifinal contest Friday.
After finishing third in the state last year and returning the bulk of the players from that squad, there were high expectations for the Blair Oaks softball team this season. And while some teams might have caved under that kind of pressure, not so for the Lady Falcons.
When someone needed to come up big, it was only fitting the “bigs” came through in the clutch.
Helias tennis player Ashley Dowden has been perfect so far this season. If she can stay that way, she’ll be the first Lady Crusader to bring home a state title.
If you do something one time, it can be an aberration. Do it twice, and you’ve got a trend on your hands. It’s a case of the latter for the Jefferson City tennis team, as the Lady Jays have earned their second straight trip to the Class 2 Final Four.
When the Blair Oaks Falcons and Eldon Mustangs meet at 7 p.m. Friday at the Falcon Athletic Complex, there’s going to be plenty to play for.
The Jefferson City and Cole Camp volleyball teams saved the best for last Tuesday night.
When a softball team learns how to combine great defense, stellar pitching and timely hitting, it becomes a force to be reckoned with. Blair Oaks is exactly that force.
The Falcons scored 34 points in the game’s first 101⁄2 minutes and rolled to a 61-26 victory in a cold, rainy night in Versailles.
Just because the Versailles Tigers are struggling doesn’t mean the Blair Oaks Falcons are taking them lightly. In fact, the very idea the Tigers are winless on the season makes them like the proverbial wounded animal backed into a corner.
To figure out the key to success for the Blair Oaks volleyball team Tuesday night, you have to go to the beginning.
WARSAW — Led by a record-setting effort by quarterback Jordan Hair, the Blair Oaks Falcons survived a shootout with the Warsaw Wildcats on Friday and notched a 56-35 victory.
WARDSVILLE — It’s never a good thing when the most notable part of a volleyball match is a delay.
Fresh off a game where they had to prepare for a team with a multitude of weapons, the Blair Oaks Falcons have one simple task this week: Stop Jeremy Eierman. Only that may be easier said than done, as the Warsaw quarterback presents a unique challenge.
The Blair Oaks Falcons scored a touchdown with 43 seconds left, then converted the 2-point pass to squeak out a 29-28 win over the California Pintos on Friday night.
Faced with a big-time challenge, the Helias volleyball team came up with a big-time effort. In a battle of state-ranked teams in Class 4 on Thursday night, the Lady Crusaders clearly had the better of play and carved out a 25-12, 25-22 win against the Rock Bridge Bruins at Rackers Fieldhouse.
It's a game that needs no extra hype, but there’s plenty of it to go around. When the Blair Oaks Falcons host the California Pintos on Friday at the Falcon Athletic Complex, it will be the latest game in an always-heated rivalry.
Tuesday night’s volleyball match between Helias and Hickman was over in a flash, and that was a good thing for everybody involved.
The Blair Oaks Falcons scored 27 unanswered points in the third quarter to break open a close game and won a slugfest with the School of the Osage Indians by a 61-29 margin Friday night.
It’s understandable if the Fatima volleyball team is ready to be done with this portion of its schedule.
It’s not exactly the irresistible force against the immovable object, but the main storyline for Friday’s game between the Blair Oaks Falcons and the School of the Osage Indians is still an intriguing one.
With its back pressed firmly against the wall, the Helias volleyball team came out swinging. Following a back-and-forth start to the first game, the Lady Crusaders put on a great finishing kick to win it.