Howell Swimmer prepares for journey to Africa

Swimming may be her game right now, but a career in medicine is on the mind of Francis Howell sophomore Reagan Cathcart. So why is she getting ready to hand out soccer gear in Ghana later this year? Let her explain.

“From a very young age I have always wanted to be a surgeon.  Our family has a lot of friends who are physicians because of my dad’s business.  Last December we were at a dinner with several of them and Dr. Jonathan Limpert found out about my desires to pursue a career in medicine.  He immediately turned to my dad and said, “Your daughter is going on this trip!” There are several surgeons going who will do 100 surgeries in 4 days. Jonathan Limpert is a General Surgeon at Mercy and his wife, Dr. Patti Limpert, is a Breast Surgeon at St. Luke’s.  They are the two organizers of the trip.  Several other anesthesiologists, surgeons, nurses, etc from the area round out the team doing the Medical work. I will get to be in the Operating Room assisting them in any way I can.  If you are sick in Ghana and in need of surgery, being operated on by an American surgeon is like wining the lottery.  I feel like I am being as blessed as the people we will be serving because not many teenagers who want to go into medicine get this kind of access and experience. We are also taking a team that will be digging 3 water wells in the village.

My goal is to soak up the experience and help people on the other side of the world who don’t have access to the great health care we do here in America.  On the 5th day of the trip, I’m looking forward to being in the village with the kids and seeing them put on new shoes and Francis Howell gear.  “Go Vikings!” My dad told me he would pay for me to go on this Medical Mission to Ghana, Africa but that I needed to have a purpose and a project to help the team.  Dr. Limpert told me that the favorite part of his trip is going out into the village and handing out soccer shoes and clothes to the kids.  Soccer is an extremely popular pastime in Ghana.  Our second hand throw away stuff is literally like gold to them.  I realized this was something I could do so I immediately put a plan in place to begin collecting any soccer stuff I could.

We leave the week after Christmas and will be gone for 8 days.  This is a way for me to live out my faith and help “the least of these.”  I’m not sure what to expect because I’ve never done anything like this before.  I do believe “unto whom much is given, much is required.”  I know though my family, my faith and my community that I have been given much.  This is a small way for me to give back.

I would like to thank Soccer Master, Pastor Aaron DeLoach and the Ambassadors Soccer Club, Mr. Sean Erwin and all the Francis Howell coaches and community who helped me put together a whole truck load of equipment to take on this trip.  Everyone I approached was so kind and generous.”

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Hillsboro’s Carlie Sanders on setting single season state softball home run history

September 19, 2017

 

 

Hillsboro’s Carlie Sanders swatted three home runs Monday in a 20-5 win over Jefferson and in the process became the single season home run leader in Missouri high school history. Afterward, she reflected on the accomplishment for us.

“It honestly feels amazing to accomplish something like that! I set goals for myself at the beginning of the season and I’m finally reaching them! I’m so thankful for my coaches and teammates I have, they are the main reason for me breaking the record. One of the main reasons I achieved my goal today is because all my teammates worked together and  contributed in the game!”, she wrote.

“My approach at the plate is to hit a line drive in the gap, lately I’ve been seeing the ball a lot better! I’m slowly getting my timing down, it’s hard going from fast pitchers to slower pitches but just have to make an adjustment.”

If Sanders, who will play softball at Boston College next year, is just now getting her timing down, good luck to opposing pitchers and teams. Including Tuesday’s contest against Cor Jesu, there are eight games left in the regular season before district tourney play.

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Francis Howell Central’s Hannah Currant explains MacMurray College Decision

The high school basketball season starts in a matter of weeks, but one senior has decided to get her college commitment decision done before practice tips off. Here’s what Francis Howell Central’s Hannah Currant wrote told us about her decision to play at MacMurray College.

“I chose MacMurray College because it felt like home right away. Everyone was so welcoming and I really feel like I can achieve my goals athletically as well as academically there. For my senior season I want to build a great team and I want nothing but success for us all!!”

 

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Timberland Softball lays foundation “Brick by Brick”

August 20, 2017

 

We’ve written here in the past about the What Drives Winning movement, which in part is the idea that character is tied to success. Several boldfaced names in the college sports world visited the St. Louis area in 2015.

Andrew Zerr, an Assistant Softball Coach at Timberland High School, explains how what he learned from WDW has carried over into his coaching philosophy, first at Fort Zumwalt West, and now with the Wolves.

Photo Courtesy: @SoftballTHS on Twitter

 

 

“I saw Tim Walton (Florida Gators Head Coach) talk at a What Drives Winning Conference. This was his team’s activity a few years back, and I loved it so much that I wanted to do the same
thing for my teams, and I adjusted slightly it to what I felt my teams needed. Last year at Fort Zumwalt West I did this with my JV team. The girls loved it and I experienced the best “family
atmosphere” I have ever had. This year I got a new teaching job at Timberland and Coach Schellert asked me to join his staff as the Varsity Assistant. One of the first things I wanted to do was this activity, and he was behind me 100%. I start with each girl taking a brick and writing their name on one side. As they are doing this I talk about how each team needs “strong” individuals and that is what the brick represents. Each brick is strong just like each individual here. I then to go on and talk about how a team needs more that strong individuals; they need something to connect them. Each brick is then laid with the names up.

One by one we pick a girl and she leaves the area.
We as coaches and teammates come up with a word to describe what that certain girl brings to the team. We then write that word on the other side of the brick and lay it back down (name
up). Some words that were used: Stong, Joy, Dedicated, Role Model, Energetic, Fearless, and Determined. The players also wanted to do the coaches. After each girl has been done, we have a reveal – each brick is turned over and the girls get to see what word was chosen for them. The team then explains why they picked that word. After that we need to combine these bricks to make a team. I discuss how as individuals, we can be strong, but together, we can become a team. If we are just bricks stacked up the team on their own, they can fall over and individual bricks (players) will go their own way. If we add mortar and combine them, then the wall is stronger together than as one. If the wall falls after the mortar has been used, the team (the Wall) will stay together. Mortar represents the respect and love we have for each other. That is what makes us a team and strong. That is what holds us together when times are tough. This is when a individuals become a team, and a team
becomes a family.”

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MICDS pitcher Wilson Graves gets chance to work out of the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen

August 20, 2017

While the St. Louis Cardinals have found themselves back in the thick of a pennant race in August, it is no secret that some sectors of the team’s bullpen have been a source of frustration both inside and outside the team as the club has found its way this season, adjusting to new personnel and roles that can get redefined quickly.

On August 10, Trevor Rosenthal picked up a four out save to seal a come-from-behind 8-6 win over the Cardinals. But it’s what he did before the game that was unforgettable for a rising MICDS senior. Wilson Graves picks it up from here

“I had the opportunity to visit Busch Stadium for a clinic with past and present Cardinals (The Hartford Closer’s Clinic). My father, through his company was gifted tickets to a special event hosted by the Cardinals for 30 people. The day began with a Q&A secession with former Cardinals Al Hrabosky, Brad Thompson, Kyle McClellan and Rick Horton. Current Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal was a part of the Q&A session as well. The men answered fan questions for about 30 minutes then took everyone to the field for photos and autographs.

After that, the fans were invited to the bullpens to pitch to St. Louis Cardinals bullpen catchers and receive tips from the current and former pitchers. The stadium was empty however, throwing made it seem like you were a true big leaguer, a dream every baseball player has. It was electrifying and is a memory I will never forget. Trevor Rosenthal was so incredibly kind and helpful to me and everyone else, offering advice and pointers on ways to improve. He asked my thoughts on certain baseball aspects and was incredibly kind. Rosenthal spent his time and let me pick his brain about how to deal with all the ups and downs of baseball and how to attack the mental side of baseball. Rosenthal explained to me about his competitive mindset which is what has made him such a great asset to the Cards and All-Star caliber player. Rosenthal also offered me advice on what to do  when I am in a slump at the plate or struggling in the field. I hope that I can use what he taught me in my career and strive for future success. The expertise was a once in a life time opportunity and I something which I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend. I sincerely thank the groups involved for making it possible.”

The Hartford’s Closer’s Clinic is the outgrowth of a sponsorship with Major League Baseball announced in 2015.

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Parkway Central’s Jayden Mitchell hoping knee injury doesn’t cost him college opportunity.

Editor’s Note: We’re in the process of migrating material from STLPrepsPlaybook.com back here to our original home on wordpress. It’s a long story. But as we’ve been looking at the stories that were featured there, I’m thrilled that there’s an update like this to share. Keep reading.

Original Post 9/12/17

Parkway Central running back Jayden Mitchell suffered serious knee injuries in the Colts’ season opening win against Parkway North. It’s not the season he had hoped for, but it isn’t deterring his interest in playing at the next level.

Monday he tweeted that he’d received a college offer.

 “With being out for most of the season with a torn MCL and Meniscus, it’s kind of rough being able to get offers. But I intend on contacting coaches to get where I need to be in life. If I get a chance this year to step on the field, it would really help with my recruitment, but I can only hope for the best. Furthermore, I’m just praying that this is only one of many yet to come,” he wrote on STLPrepsPlaybook.com.

Update 11/04/17

Mitchell saw the field for the first time after the injury in late October, and the Colts’ drive into the postseason is giving him a chance to make up for lost time. He had 110 yards and 2 touchdowns in the district championship game Saturday, as Parkway Central moves on to a road matchup at Rolla next week in the state quarterfinals.

 

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When your team gets a letter from the umpire

After each MSHSAA-sanctioned contest, officials are able to file reports available online to reflect on how the teams went about their business when it comes to sportsmanship, how they did or didn’t conduct themselves, if they listened to a referee or umpire’s instructions, etc.

A few of them have been Tweeted out by school administrators from time to time.

S/O to @FZNFootball for their report from MSHSAA. While I know it’s what we’ve come to expect, it’s awesome to have others recognize you.

But after an opening weekend softball game that saw Northwest defeat Webster Groves 11-0, umpire Brad Hinson felt compelled to do more than write a report to MSHSAA. He wrote the school a letter. (full text below)

Photo Credit Brad Hinson

“Webster Groves softball, was led with the highest sportsmanship and all around positive teaching methods for the students I have ever seen. It started with the head coach, goes down to the players and to the fans. I have never encountered such a team to call a game for,” Hinson wrote.

He continued: “It was truly a pleasurable experience to stand behind the plate and call pitches for your team. The most professionalism I have ever seen on the field of play. For the first time in over 8 years of officiating MSHSAA contests I can honestly say that they were an extension of the classroom. Fantastic all around and once again it started with the head coach demanding that professionalism in his players to have fun and do their best and most important of all to be not just good but an example anyone can follow of good sportsmanship and an upbeat attitude even when you weren’t at your best. The girls never showed defeat and they seemed positive all the way to the end and congratulated the other team on a job well done with an eagerness to be great sportsman and civil ladies like no other.”

We reached out to Hinson to find out what so inspired him to take this extra step, and discovered it wasn’t a single moment, but a series of moments strung together, and yet it was so simple. “Webster and Northwest alike was the 1st contest I have ever seen in over 15 years that acted as true sportsman including Fans, coaches, and players. They actually knew that the ball field is an extension of the classroom.  They didn’t yell, they didn’t complain.  They played ball.  That was the 1st time in over thousands of games I actually saw the right thing.  Of course I will commend them.  I never see that.  They were 1st class and they showed it,” he wrote by email.

“We are very appreciative of Mr Hinson taking the time to share his observations with us,” Webster Groves Head Softball Coach Bryan Gibson said in a Direct Message. “We are always proud of our girls and how they handle themselves on and off the field; and we are thankful to our supportive parents who came to watch Saturday (8/18). We talked at practice today and feel good that people are seeing the good in how we carry ourselves, but honestly we don’t think that anything special happened on Saturday (other than us fighting from behind to get two wins.) We take pride in representing our school and community in a positive way, win or lose.

The Statesmen go 2-1 today, 3-2 on the weekend at the Sullivan tournament. Hard work from the girls the past 2 days.

“All coaches at the school work pretty hard with AD Jerry Collins and Principal Jon Clark to teach and expect these qualities from all of our athletes. It is a great community with tremendous young people. By no means is this a Webster softball thing …. it’s a WGHS thing,” Gibson said.

 

Letter Text:

Dear Mr. Gibson, athletic program members, and other Administrators,

Hello, my name is Brad Hinson and I am a certified MSHSAA softball, baseball, and football official. I cant say I have ever done this before but I have never seen what Webster Groves softball team showed before at any sport and at any level. I have called 2 sports baseball, and football for some time now and have seen Thousands of games and many different attitudes and abilities.

Webster Groves softball, was led with the highest sportsmanship and all around positive teaching methods for the students I have ever seen. It started with the head coach, goes down to the players and to the fans. I have never encountered such a team to call a game for. Unfortunately, they were not the victor in the contest against Northwest at the tournament I was lucky enough to call pitches at, but I want to tip my hat as I call football in the MCC for IAFO on Friday nights, and work baseball and softball with the Jefferson County Officials Association as they assign my hometown of St. Clair, MO and Midwest Umpires Association for NCAA games. Typically, most don’t have respect for the rules and the continuity of the game they are playing and think the official has to be yelled at no matter what. I have informed my colleagues in my associations if they ever get a chance to call your games to jump at the chance. It was truly a pleasurable experience to stand behind the plate and call pitches for your team. The most professionalism I have ever seen on the field of play. For the first time in over 8 years of officiating MSHSAA contests I can honestly say that they were an extension of the classroom. Fantastic all around and once again it started with the head coach demanding that professionalism in his players to have fun and do their best and most important of all to be not just good but an example anyone can follow of good sportsmanship and an upbeat attitude even when you weren’t at your best. The girls never showed defeat and they seemed positive all the way to the end and congratulated the other team on a job well done with an eagerness to be great sportsman and civil ladies like no other. I hope all of your teams are like this, if they all have that strong leadership to succeed in life and stay positive even when it gets you down as real life will undoubtedly, I can’t imagine a single student enrolled not prepared to to take on life’s challenges no matter which avenue they take as they seem to be properly taught to take on challenges and look adversity in the face and take it on as they have been taught correctly.

I really just want to thank you for making a hot, humid, and otherwise miserable weather day in a contest the most fun I have ever had. If the softball teams speaks for all of your district if I move for my kids to be in a positive environment learning in a classroom, and sports, I will look at Webster Groves as your entire organization was quite impressive. I hope to see you in the future and if you ever need me for either of the 3 sports I am certified in just let me know and I would love to call your contest to give the athletes the best I can for them to enjoy without official interference ruining something for the ladies due to lack of hustle or knowledge or mechanics, I will ensure you never worry about that and will be able to focus on the student athletes rather than the adult on the field messing up. I take my duties working with young men and women serious to get it right to ensure the best learning experience and adjustments for life beyond sports through sports and being knowledgeable and fair and impartial so the coach can properly work with his students and not worry about me. If I am not noticed I believe that is the best I can do, as I hate to interfere with a teams ability to carry out a plan and achieve it because I had a bad attitude (as many officials unfortunately do have the I am in charge complex, and I have enough direct reports at my regular job, and my prior Military service for 11 years, I will always smile and be happy to all the athletes. Btw, your catcher was very good at keeping me safe and she was a very happy and knowledgeable player that cracked me up under my mask, you couldnt have stopped me from smiling and laughing with her. Thank you again for reminding me why I got into helping High School contests and left the MLB circuit to work with the kids to help them achieve things they weren’t aware they could do. It truly brings me pleasure and above and beyond, your school brought that back and made me feel young again as I stated earlier, all around to the team and parents behind me for being so kind. I will always consider Webster Groves a class act from the actions I witnessed personally. Good luck with your academic year and your sports teams throughout the year, and most importantly go win that Bell this Thanksgiving so I can tease my Kirkwood alum mother as I always hated hearing about that growing up bc we were always finished and didn’t have a fun rivalry with a floating trophy like that. I will be rooting for you and against my mother.

Sincerely,
Brad Hinson
MSHSAA Official
#108904

 

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