Hazelwood Central’s Jordan Carey ready to pave Ivy League path

STL Preps is the place where student-athletes can tell the world about their recruiting journey in their own words. Here’s Hazelwood Central rising senior Jordan Carey on his decision to play at Yale next fall.

“Going into high school I never put much thought into actually playing football in college. I mean, of course I dreamed of being able to play at the next level, but I never imagined those dreams would come true. It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I realized playing at the next level was a real possibility.

At this point in time, I had offers from the University of Pennsylvania, Davidson College, Columbia University, Southeast Missouri University, Southern Illinois University, Georgetown, Colgate University, South Dakota State University, Yale University, and Harvard University. With the support of my parents, I visited as many of these schools as I could in preparation of making this very important decision.  My top 3 schools were UPenn, Harvard, and Yale because the chance to go to the Ivy League does not come around often, plus I had developed good relationships with the coaches. However, at the end of the day, I could only commit to one and I decided to choose Yale.

I chose Yale because I felt they had many of the intangibles, a strong tradition, a great alumni network, and I, as well as my parents, felt I would fit in best there. The atmosphere around the coaches and players was positive, and I loved the campus. In addition, Yale often recruits out of the St. Louis area as they have three local players on the team, which made me feel even more comfortable with my decision. Overall, I can truly see myself spending the next four years of my life at Yale and not regretting a single thing. “

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New Notre Dame girls coach looks to bring his own spin on a winning hoops culture

Editor’s Note: Now that we’re knee-deep into the summer months, STLPreps is the place where student-athletes and coaches can post updates on their off-seasons, the recruiting process, and getting ready for next season.

We’re excited to welcome the new varsity head girls basketball coach of Notre Dame Rebels, Brent Humiston, who took the time to tell us about his transition from being an assistant at Incarnate Word Academy.

First, let me just say that leaving IWA was extremely difficult.  I built relationships with the coaching staff, current and past players, and administration that I hope I will always have.  Coaching with (Dan) Rolfes, and seeing the way he runs practices, the way he pushes his players behind the scenes, and the preparation that he puts into every detail before and on game days, it starts to rub off on you.  I think that’s what lead to me wanting to be a head coach.  I want to build my own version of that.

 After losing two major scorers to graduation, a lot of people thought that Notre Dame would be in a re-building type of year.  Little did I know that ND has some great kids that work extremely hard and are skilled athletes.  Quite a few of our players were on the 4th place finishing soccer team, including Class 2 goalie of the year Mary Beers.

 We have a solid core of kids returning from last year and even players from a 24 win JV team from last season.  Alyssa Lato will be a senior leader along with Julia Roach and we hope that Danielle Boemer can be a force inside for us. 

 We have had a pretty successful summer thus far.  Our opening basketball camp showed great numbers of returning players and incoming freshman.  We have played in the Summer Tip Off Classic and a Monday night league out at SWIC so far.  Our kids are really coming together so early in the summer and are putting forth the work and effort to be a solid team in the upcoming season.  I preach to our kids that “players are made in the summer, not in the season” and they are taking that to heart. 

 When I was at Notre Dame, I really felt like this was “home”.  I am born and raised in south city, and I feel like kids from this area have always played with a bit of an edge and are hard nosed kind of kids.  The type of kids that will just run through a wall for you, and after they crash through, smile, get back up and do it all over again.  Those are the type of kids we have at ND.  That ultimately is what really drew me away. 

We hope to have a successful rest of the summer, then we will take some time off to  get ready for the season. We will face off against an early season test in Ursuline Academy on December 6th.

 Want to share your journey or your team’s off-season prognosis?  Email stlprepsemail@gmail.com.

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Kirkwood, Webster Groves add new wrinkle to recognize Jackie Robinson and #42

The Webster Groves Statesmen and Kirkwood Pioneers have a storied, historic rivalry as next door neighbors in Suburban St. Louis. Everyone knows about the Turkey Bowl football game, for example.

But for as hard as the teams compete on the field, they have found good ways of coming together off it, and the last week is no example. Tuesday night, the girls soccer teams dueled in the annual battle for the Shapleigh Cup, and as stltoday’s Adam Zuvanich reported, the teams raised thousands of dollars for a Kick for Cancer event.

The varsity baseball squads also found a way to come together Friday, inventing their own way to join Major League Baseball in saluting Jackie Robinson’s legacy. Here’s how Webster Groves Assistant Coach Tony Gilmore explained it:Jersey Swap

Our A.D. (Jerry Collins) and myself were looking for a way to celebrate the hiring of our first African-American baseball coach at Webster (DaRond Stovall), and we were looking to tie it into the MLB celebration of Jackie Robinson Day as he is one of Stovall’s idols.  We knew we had our annual rivalry game at Ballwin with Kirkwood on the same day the MLB had their celebration.  We tossed around the idea of some type of presentation of sorts when the idea of both teams wearing “42” jerseys just like MLB was brought up.

Jerry reached out to MSHSAA and the Umpires association to check the rules, and then to Kirkwood to see if they’d be interested in wearing “42” similar to MLB.  To their credit, they were totally on board.

The swapping of jerseys was TOTALLY the boys’ idea following the game.  It was so fitting.  Coach Shaw (Kirkwood) and Coach Stovall were both completely supportive.  I heard a few of the boys say that we’ve started a new tradition to partner with our annual rivalry game at Ballwin…so I guess this is the beginning of the “42 Jersey Swap” game to continue in the vein of so many other great traditions shared by both communities.



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End of the season brings milestones and memorable moments

We’re already knee-deep in district basketball postseason play, but wanted to pass along some of the cool things we’ve seen come down the pike as players and teams not only work toward their on-court goals but also create memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Like this from Dani Berry, who described breaking Francis Howell’s 32 year old all-time scoring record last month and how important it was to do it on Senior Night.

This season has been a dream.   When we were all playing together in 8th grade we dreamed of having this kind of success in high school.  Rachel, Carly, Morgan, Leah, Kelly, and I have been together for 5 years.
Breaking the school scoring record last night (February 23) was made special because I got to share the night with the girls I love.  It was even more awesome because Carly Harper scored her 1000th point in the same game.

Francis Howell faces Howell Central on Friday for a district title.

  • Consider what Troy Buchanan and Francis Howell North were able to do for a member of the Troy student staff, last month. Here’s how Troy student journalist Paige Fitzgibbons described it:

There were seven seconds left on the clock. Zachary Shepard stood behind the 3-point line and squared up for his shot. Everyone sat on the edge of their seats as the ball soared through the air and into the basket.

Troy Buchanan High School’s varsity boys basketball team had a home game against Francis Howell North. Troy Buchanan had the lead in the fourth quarter, with their competitors trailing by double digits.

At this point, Ryan Meyers, Troy Buchanan’s coach, decided to put the team’s manager, senior Zachary Shepard, into the game.

“We were fortunate enough to have a lead at the end of the game, where we were able to get Zach Shepard, our manager, in the game. And of course, he is beloved by all of his teammates for all the time and effort he has put in, so we really felt like he deserved this opportunity,” Meyers said.

Prior to the start of the game, Meyer and Francis Howell North coach Darrell Davis decided Shepard would play near the end of the game, giving him a chance to play during his senior year.

“Zach was able to get several attempts at a three point shot,” Meyers said. “Right when he made it, everybody started cheering and his teammates mobbed him, so it was pretty neat.”

Shepard was appreciative of the opportunity and thankful to be able to inspire other people.

“The coaches had a special moment planned out for me. That way I can spread joy and plant a seed in so many people’s hearts, to spread kindness throughout the world and show happiness in God’s way,” Shepard said.

  • And last but not least, consider what happened when the Pacific Boys basketball team found itself with a memorable way to end the home season. Cameron Van Leer explains:

Heading into our final week of the regular season we had two games left. Senior night, we played Washington at the Reservation. We gave all three of our seniors the opportunity to start and late in the 4th quarter they were in as well. Ryan Ray and Jay King both hit late 3’s. The crowd ERUPTED!!!! Great ways to end their careers in front of the home crowd!!!

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Windsor RB looks to build on earned spot with Team USA Football

It turns out San Francisco wasn’t the only place to find football on Super Bowl weekend earlier this month. Some of the best high school talent in the country found itself on display at Jerry Jones’ AT&T Stadium for the annual International Bowl.

Windsor High School Running Back Brandon Fouts was chosen to play in the game for USA Football against Team Canada. Fouts follows other recent St. Louis area players who have participated in the program, including Chase Abbington, now a running back at the University of Missouri, and Christian Perez, now a QB at O’Fallon Township HS.

We asked Fouts to reflect on the experience, how he got there and what he hopes happens next.

My journey to the USA International Bowl started way back to May of 2014, when I went to a Regional Camp in Kansas City, MO. My parents were helping me try to find football camps to help me get better for the upcoming season, and we happened to stumble across USA Football. My mom instantly wanted me to sign up because USA Football just sounds top notch, and sounds promising. So, off we went and that was my first taste of USA Football.

It wasn’t until May of 2015 when I attended another Regional Camp in Indianapolis, IN, that everything started to snowball in my favor.

There are currently 27 Regional Camps throughout the U.S. If you do well at one of the Regional Camps, then you will get invited to attend one of the National Development Games – and there are 4 locations for the National Games throughout the U.S. If you do well at the National Games, you will get invited to attend the International Bowl in February and play against Canada. There are age groups ranging from U14 through U19, only U16-U19 play Canada though.

I wasn’t aware of any of this going into the first camp in 2014. I did my research and going into the second camp, I knew so much more about USA Football and what they were all about. I made sure I trained hard before attending the camp and I worked my tail off.

I guess my hard work paid off and I caught the coaches eyes at the Regional Camp in Indiana and I was invited to the National Development Games in the summer of 2015. I attended the Games in College Station, TX from July 13 – July 18, and that was incredible. All of the athletes go down for a week, not knowing each other, get divided into teams, learn their playbook, and play against each other at the end of the week on live T.V on ESPN 3. I ended up scoring the first touchdown for my team in that game, from 12 yards out, and we went on to win 24-3.

Once again, I caught the coaches eyes and they invited me to play running back, #28 for the U17 team in the International Bowl in February. Once my parents and I received the email in September, it was the best news we had ever heard. My goodness I was stoked. Right away, we were all on board and began fundraising for the trip.

The 2016 International Bowl was held in Arlington, Texas in the Dallas Cowboys Stadium, from January 31 through February 5 . My game was on February 5. That information alone is enough to make any athlete get butterflies.

I kicked up my training a couple of notches because I obviously wanted to do well and succeed in this game. We ended up raising the money and off I went to the International Bowl.

I got down there February 1, and so did the rest of my team. This game had the same format. My whole team went down to Texas not really knowing each other and not knowing how we all play, and we had to learn our playbook in four days and play on the fifth. We all stayed at the Fairfield Inn, ate together, practiced together, and all had fun together. We all formed a bond as a team and I think that really helped us in our game.

The game itself was just a whole new experience. To be able to make a play and look up at the huge jumbo-tron and see yourself was just unbelievable. Just to even be able to play on NFL turf was amazing – it actually is a whole lot nicer than any turf I’ve ever played on. The stands weren’t packed but there were a decent amount of fans on one side and that was unreal looking up at the stadium seats instead of the press box at my high school.

We got up to a quick lead and ended the first quarter 19-0. I scored the fourth touchdown of the game to put us up 25-0 in the second quarter. That was by far the best experience of my life. All of my hard work up to that point paid off. I can’t even describe the feeling I had at the time, knowing I had just scored a touchdown for team USA against Canada, in AT&T Stadium. We went on to win the game 49-7, and I ended up second on the team in rushing yards with 29 on 5 carries – the leader had 47 yards.

The whole experience was the best experience of my life. There is just no better feeling than being able to represent your country, playing the game you love, against some of the best competition in the world. Scoring a touchdown with the letters USA across my chest, in AT&T Stadium was just the icing on the cake.

I don’t know for sure if there were recruits there or not, but I hope this gets me noticed one way or another. I’ve been working extremely hard trying to get my name out there to colleges, because that is my ultimate goal, to play college football. The only thing I can do right now though is continue to work as hard as I can in the classroom and in the weight room. I will continue to try and get colleges to look at me and hope they see something they like.

After attending an International Bowl, I believe you get invited to the National Games again without having to attend a Regional Camp. I plan on going to the games in College Station again, as well as International Bowl next year. I plan to continue to work extremely hard to get better and better every day. Next year I want 2+ touchdowns in the International Bowl Game.

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A Record Breaker, A Player of The Week & The Story Behind A Buzzer Beater

Welcome to Super Bowl Monday….

A few items to pass along.

  • We asked for your players of the week, and we heard this from Rosati-Kain Head Basketball Coach Shawn Benedict about Junior Shannon Theobald:

“She scored 34 points with 8 3-pointers in a 64-57 win against McKinley Tuesday night.  The 34 points ties the top spot on the school record, and the 8 three pointers beats the previous record of 6.”

  • We’re seeing lots of players hitting big milestones and breaking school records. Senior Jada Poland scored 16 points Friday in Ft. Zumwalt West’s 66-55 loss against Francis Howell Central. In doing so she became the leading scorer in program history, surpassing Lexie Moe’s 1,466 total. Poland told us what this means to her as she prepares to head for North Texas next fall:

“To be the all team leading scorer means a lot to me. It means that I worked hard every since my freshman year to get this record. And that was hard. I had a great teammate Lexie Moe who held that title last year. And I feel I honored to have it this year. My hard work has payed off and one of my dreams had came true.”

  • On the boy’s side, Fort Zumwalt West knocked off Francis Howell Central thanks to a Connor Wootten buzzer-beater, 59-56.

Here’s what Wootten said about the memorable moment

“We never quit. We lost to this team by double digits last time, but we knew we could win this game at home, especially if we put 4 quarters together and not just 3. We’ve been struggling to put 4 quarters together all season but we knew we could figure it out in front of a packed house. After a slow start, we were gelling as a team and our shots were falling!! I’m sure I’ve had a buzzer beater before, but never like this!! It was unbelievable and I will never forget this moment!  I’m so happy we could win at home!!”

Said Lewis: “The University of South Dakota came in late January. After a visit to the campus and meeting with the coaching staff and professors, I was sold on the university.  I look forward to spending my college years at the University of South Dakota with my fellow coyotes.”

Said Cameron on heading for McKendree: “I had several schools after me. Truman State, Missouri Western, McKendree, Missouri Valley and Quincy. I visited McKendree 2 weeks ago and Truman state last weekend… There at the school I will be given the opportunity to play QB. McKendree was the best fit for me and my family and i feel that with they’re 9-2 record last season they are on the verge of becoming great and I want to be apart of that.”

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Tyler Schwartz is Hillsboro’s Long Distance Record Holder

When the Hillsboro Hawks (16-4) take the floor Friday night on the road against Windsor, the boys basketball squad will do so with a new school record holder from behind the three point arc.

Senior Tyler Schwartz broke Jake Brooks’ record of 127 by hitting six times Tuesday against DeSoto.  While Sophomore Gaven Pinkley’s stock has been on the rise, getting the attention of Division I college programs, Hawks Head Coach Daniel Johnson says Schwartz has worked himself into one of the best players he’s ever coached, growing from a backup point guard as a freshman to a spot shooter as a sophomore, into an all-around player now who averages almost 17 points and 4 assists a game.

“Tyler is a gym rat, a great teammate and a player that has risen to every challenge and to become a better player and person,” Johnson said in an email to STL Preps. “Tyler encountered a major challenge last season when he broke his ankle during the first week of practice and missed the first 16 games of his junior season. Tyler returned to play the final 11 games but was still slowed by the injury. Tyler has since put in countless hours to not only get healthy but improve his strength, speed, stamina and all aspects of his game. Tyler is a true leader who is respected by all around him.Tyler epitomizes what want in a Hillsboro Hawk player, someone we can all be proud to represent us.”


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