High School Football Enters Stretch Run…

We are 2/3 of the way through the regular season of high school football in Missouri.  Teams are trying to position themselves for the post season.  To that end, some important matchups this week.

Jacob Hammon will take his Hollister Tigers up to Springfield Catholic to take on his mentors.  Hammon played under Steve Hancock and Ron Martin at Branson.  He now stands on the opposite sideline, once a year as the Tigers and Irish have their annual COC clash.  This is an important game for both sides.  Catholic still has hopes of taking a piece of the COC championship.  A loss this week would most likely take that away.  And, they currently hold the #3 spot in their district but just over half a point separates third from fifth.  Meanwhile, Hollister is looking for is fourth win of the year; that would break the school record.  But more importantly would position the Tigers to finish in the top half of the Conference for the first time.  Hollister is also in a battle for district position.  The Tigers are currently half a point ahead of Seneca for the fifth spot.  That could mean the difference in a trip to Mt Vernon vs having to go face Cassville.

Branson, fresh of its first win of the year will look to make it two in a row when the jump back into conference play and head to Republic.  Its the second season in a row that Branson has been on the road to play the Tigers.  The Pirates have moved themselves into a position to host the first round of districts and one more win would almost assure it.

It will be Senior Night at Reeds Spring.  Hard to believe that we have already reached the final regular season home game.  The BlueJays from Marshfield will provide the opposition.  Reeds Spring has positioned itself at the top of the District standings and are three victories away from bringing home their first outright COC Championship in school history.

All three games will start at 7 tomorrow night and can be heard on the Earls Family Broadcasting Network of Stations.  As usual I will be with the Wolves on 100.1, Scott McCaulley will have the Branson call on 106.3, and you can join Marty Cunningham on am 1220 for the Hollister-Catholic game.  All games are streamed live on hometowndailynews.com

pregame shot2

Softball District Brackets have been released…

Its hard to believe that the high school softball season is just about done.  Districts start a week from today…  Tournaments have been seeded and Brackets realeased..


Reeds Spring will be hosting the Class 3 district for this area..  The Lady Wolves received the THREE seed and will get a first round bye and play Rogersville in the semifinals Next Thursday at 7.  That game can be heard on perryphillipssports.com.

Hollister is participating in that district as well.  The Lady Tigers received the fifth seed and will play Hillcrest next Wednesday for the right to play top seeded West Plains in the semi finals Thursday at 5.  It is a five team district.

Branson will be hosting the areas Class 4 District.  The Lady Pirates received the FOUR SEED in the Six team field.  They will play the opening game of the tournament against Parkview.  That game will take place at 5:00 on Wednesday and can also be heard on perryphillipssports.com.   The winner plays top-seeded Ozark in Thursdays semi-finals.  The other first round game will pit Glendale and Nixa.  The winner of that one will play second seeded Kickapoo in the semis.


Webb City pulls away from Branson late….

For six innings Branson and Webb City went toe to toe, pitch for pitch.  But, a high school softball game lasts seven innings. Webb City scored seven seventh inning runs to turn a 4-3 game into an 11-3 misleading rout.

Branson’s Cat Ford and Webb City’s Addie Darby controlled things early from the circle.  The Lady Cards got to Ford for two runs in the top of the third but Branson answered when Ashlea Large drove in Gracie Jaeger with a triple and came in on a sacrifice fly from Tori O’Dell in the bottom of the frame.

Two innings later Webb City would again plate a couple of runs and again Branson had an answer in the bottom of the inning.  However this time it was just Jaeger scoring, as Large was left stranded at third.

We would stay that way until the seventh.   In that frame the first seven batters would reach base for Webb City.  In all they would send 12 ladies to the plate.  Branson would get one on in the bottom of the seventh but could do no more.

Both pitchers went the distance.  Darby striking out eight and Ford fanning six.


Proof that we are all Human…

If there was ever a day that proved we are all human, yesterday was the day.  So often we look at sporting figures as bigger than life, even hero’s in some eyes.  But, even those figures only have so much time on earth.

Many of us woke yesterday morning the the tragic news that Miami Marlins Pitcher Jose Fernandez had died in a boating accident near Miami.  He was young, only 24 and full of talent.  He had defected from Cuba in 2008 as a young teenager.  Most of us have heard the story of him having to save his mother from drowning on the attempt.  He worked his way through the Marlins system and had become one of the best young pitchers in the game.

While many of us were still trying to digest the sad news of Fernandez, came the news last night that legendary golfer Arnold Palmer had died.  Palmer, who most golf fans refer to as “the king” was 87.  Palmer is one of those guys that transcended the sport.  He was a great golfer, not necessarily in the conversation for greatest of all-time.  But, could be the most well-known player ever.   He was the “common man” that took the sport to the masses.  He made the sport “cool” long before Tiger Woods.

Closer to home, and no less tragic, Springdale High School senior Kyler Williams was killed in one car accident Saturday Night in Northwest Arkansas.  Friday Night the Bulldog wide-receiver caught ten balls for 280 yards.  His death has been met with utter disbelief across Northwest Arkansas.   A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family.

The deaths no doubt shocked the sports world.  And we should all take time to morn in what ever way we choose.  But, its also a very “real” reminder that no matter how hard someone can throw a baseball, no matter how great they can play golf, no matter how much of a celebrity sports figures become: They are all human.  Life is so precious and only God knows when our time is up.   May God be with family, friends, and all that feel an emptiness from these losses.

photo courtesy of ARpreps
photo courtesy of ARpreps
photo courtesy of family GoFundMe page
photo courtesy of family GoFundMe page

The Way I see the Football Districts…

The further we get in the football season the more the District races are coming into focus.  For the most part, even though the standings have changed, there has not been much movement in my Projections.  But, there has been a little, at least at the bottom of Class 3.  How could you ever foresee that Seneca would lose to East Newton one week and then turn around and beat Aurora the next?  Anyway, with that in mind, here is how I see things finishing at this point…..

Class 3

  1. Reeds Spring… as long as take care of business they will not drop.
  2. Monett… they had to rally, but the win against cassville locks #2
  3. Cassville… would have been #1 had they held on this week.
  4. Mt Vernon… ‘Neers seem to be getting better as the year goes.
  5. Hollister…  Tigers belong here..need at least another win.,but they’ll get it
  6. Seneca…. Hard to figure out… but the Aurora win gets them the six.
  7. Aurora… won this thing last year, but graduation hit them hard.
  8. East Newton… will finish here again, but seem to be making strides.

Class 5

  1. Glendale…  Air Falcons are for real
  2. Lebanon…. still two bonus point games coming and  probably two wins
  3. Ozark.. still has to play Webb and Nixa.. and no bonus points points to #3
  4. Branson… Pirates got the win they will need to get a home game
  5. Central…. Lighthouse is their shot at a win.. if they get it,they will be close
  6. Waynesville.. will not win, but do have a bonus pt game coming..

Updated District Football Standings…

Here are the updated District Football standings after last nights games… My projections will be posted tomorrow….  A couple of changes but nothing major.


Class 3

  1. Reeds Spring  5-1  47
  2. Monett  5-1  41.21
  3. Cassville 4-2  39.19
  4. Mt Vernon 4-2  36.67
  5. Hollister  3-3  30.5
  6. Seneca  3-3  30
  7. Aurora 1-5  20.9
  8. East Newton  1-5  18.36

Class 5

  1. Glendale  6-0  52.66
  2. Ozark 4-2  36.67
  3. Lebanon 4-2  36.67
  4. Branson 1-5 19.67
  5. Central  0-6  15
  6. Waynesville  0-6  11.67


Backyard Battle Belongs to the Wolves, Pirates win…

The Reeds Spring Wolves wanted to keep the Backyard Battle trophy and remain perfect against the Hollister Tigers and were able to complete that goal by downing them 52-14 in front of a Homecoming crowd at Carl Langley Field.  Before the game Keenan Haynes and Madison Bauer were named Homecoming King and Queen.

Check out my game story at Wolves win Backyard Battle

Meanwhile, the Branson Pirates were busy picking up their first win of the year.  The Pirates downed a familiar foe from years gone by as they took care of Marshfield to the tune of 48-21.  The win in front of a Homecoming crowd at Pirates Stadium moved the Pirates to 1-5 on the season and puts them solidly in the fourth spot in the district standings, which would mean a Home game week ten if they can stay there.  The Pirates will hit the road to Republic next week.


Backyard Battle plus Homecoming= Huge night for Football

It will be a huge night for football in the Tri-Lakes area.  None of the teams are leaving the Lakes region although one is actually on the road.

The annual Backyard Battle takes place between Reeds Spring and Hollister.  The battle for the trophy and bragging rights for the next year will take place tonight at Carl Langley Field in Reeds Spring.  And to add a little extra, as if that were needed, its also Homecoming for the Wolves.

The Wolves are 4-1 on the season and 2-0 in conference play with that big win against Bolivar already in hand.  Hollister is 3-2 on the season, having already tied the school record for wins, and 1-2 in conference play.  The Wolves have won all eight meetings with the Tigers since Hollister began its program that is now in its seventh season.

The Wolves will be looking to stay the course as they look to stay on track to win the COC outright for the first time ever.  The Tigers would like nothing better than to put a kink in that plan and get what would be the biggest win in program history to date.

Meanwhile, while a lot of the area attention will be on the Reeds Spring-Hollister game, Branson will be playing its annual Homecoming game.  They welcome Marshfield to town.  The Pirates and Blue Jays used to play every year while apart of the “old” Central Ozarks Conference but will be playing for the first time in a number of years.  Branson is still looking for their first win of the season while Marshfield is 2-3 but the records are a little misleading considering the difference in schedule the two have faced.  Its a great chance for the Pirates to get one in the win column.

You can listen to both games on the Earls Family Broadcasting network of stations.  Branson on 106.3  while you will have two choices for the Backyard Battle.  The Reeds Spring version, including myself on 100.1 and the Hollister announcers on AM1220.  As usual you can listen anywhere in the world on hometowndailynews.com

Both games start at 7.


Coach Tom Osborne talks about the Greatest Coach…

Legendary Nebraska Football Coach Tom Osborne was in town last night to speak at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Home Team Dessert Event.

Coach Osborne talked about “Mentoring Matters”.  He spoke about leadership and having and impact on those around you.  He took time before speaking to great every single person in attendance.   He signed a copy of his book for each person and took pictures with all that wanted.

He was the head coach at the University of Nebraska from 1973 until 1997.  He won 255 games as the Head Husker.  While at Nebraska he lead them to 3 National Titles, 12 Big 8 Championships, and a Big 12 Title.  He served three terms in the US House of Representatives.

It was another first class event  put on by Brian Mitchell and the board of South Central MO FCA.  If you would like more information about FCA or how you can get involved please contact them at 593-6474.

tomosborne tomosborne2


My District Projections…

Another week of games are in the books and time for my worthless weekly District Projections….  They will look amazingly similar to the other ones you have seen this year, as , for the most part not a whole lot of surprises have happened from when I started… with that said, here we go…

Class 3

  1. Reeds Spring.. no need to change… Wolves take care of business they are #1
  2.  Monett… Cubs are loaded, was a little surprised they were close for a while this week.  Cassville  will be toughest test left.
  3.   Cassville.. this week will tell… win they will be #1.. lose they are #3
  4. Mt Vernon.  The ‘Neers will get that final first rd home game
  5. Hollister… the Buffalo win helps keep them here… they may need one more to stay.
  6. Aurora…. really tough schedule early… have some wins coming
  7. East Newton.. may finish in eight spot but will jump here if they do
  8. Seneca… because of loss to EN see note above

Class 5

  1. Glendale… win over Kickapoo proves they belong at the top
  2. Lebanon… schedule works to keep Lebanon ahead of Ozark
  3. Ozark…  Tigers will have trouble moving up with bonus coming to Lebanon
  4. Branson…  Pirates belong here… will need to beat Marshfield to get here
  5. Central… probably will not win but may stay ahead of Waynesville
  6. Waynesville..  Bonus points best hope to move up to 5.