Its basketball season…

The College of the Ozarks men and women got their basketball seasons started this past weekend and Homecoming games are set for this Friday Night.

High School games will not be far behind.  As a matter of fact teams all across the state of Missouri hit the hardwood for the first official practices of the year today.

Jamborees start two weeks from Friday and Branson will take the court for its season opener against Harrison On Tuesday the 22nd.  The annual Forsyth Tournament tips off Four weeks from tonight.

I will start to look at some of the area teams and the upcoming seasons in the coming days.

Wolves and Pirates both come up short

The Reeds Spring Wolves and Branson Pirates both saw their football seasons come to an end last night in District Semi-Final losses.

There is an old saying in Sports that it is hard to beat a Good team twice in the same season.  That was the task that faced Reeds Spring last night. The Wolves fell to Mt Vernon 26-20 in front of a big crowd at Carl Langley Field.  In what turned out to be a great high school football game the Wolves came up sort in a game that was totally unlike the one these two played in Mid-August.  My short report can be found at Wolves Fall

Meanwhile the Branson Pirates knew they had a very tall task ahead of them.  And for most of the first three quarters they looked up to it.  Branson was within one score at 28-20.  But from that point, Branson would not score again and the Nations most prolific offense got rolling.  In the end it was a 56-20 victory for the Falcons.  The season comes to an end for the Pirates at 3-8.

Wolves look to beat Mt Vernon AGAIN…

The new season brought a new schedule for the Reeds Spring Wolves this year.  No longer did they open with SCA members Willow Springs and Salem.  In their place Big 8 foes, and district mates, Mt Vernon and Cassville.  Now, people can speculate all they want, but there was no way of knowing for sure that when the Wolves and Mountaineers got together on that August evening that they would strap ’em up again a couple of months later with even more on the line.

Reeds Spring defeated Mt Vernon that night 47-34 in a shootout of contrasting styles.  Korey Robinette would run for over 280 yards that night in only three quarters of action.  In all the Wolves would cover almost 650 yards on the ground that night.  But, Mt Vernon answered with more than 400 yards in the air.  It was a track meet for sure.  Now, in order for the Wolves to advance to the District Championship game they will have to do it again.

The Mountaineers have not changed what they do..  quarterback Garrett Hadlock wants to get the ball to Andrew Montemayor, Jarrett Massie, and the rest of their talented receivers.  The run game has also improved for Mt Vernon, primarily on the legs of Sammy Robinson, who is also used as a receiver out of the backfield and is not beyond taking some direct snaps.  Its a tall order but for the Wolves to be successful they most contain this group a little better than they did Week one.

On the other hand, Reeds Spring wants a repeat performance out of its offense.  Their speed really gave the Mountaineer defense problems in the opener.  If they can get the same kind of blocking at the point of attack and on the perimeter you have to like the chances of them having a big night once again.  But, Coach Tom Cox has been at this a long time and don’t think he doesn’t have a wrinkle up his sleeve to try to make things different this time.

It should be a great game.  Again, its a team that the Wolves have already beaten once this year but that was a long time ago and things have changed for both teams since.  The team that can get its offense rolling while limiting what the other wants to do, as with most games, is going to come out ahead.  Despite the picks that you see on other sites I love the Wolves chances in this one.  It wont be easy but I think they will be up to the task.

Kickoff is set for 7 tomorrow night.  If you cant be there make sure to tune into 100.1 from my call.

Branson Defense to be tested

The Branson Pirates defeated Waynesville last Friday night in the Opening round of the District Playoffs.  Their reward?  A match-up against the most prolific high school offense in America. (At least statistically)

The Pirates will load up the bus and head to Springfield Glendale to take on the Falcons. The Falcons like to play fast and they will literally throw it all over the yard.  On an average night they throw for over 500 yards.  Alex Huston has completed over 70% of his passes.  And puts it in the air over 50 times a night and has thrown more than 70 ties on multiple occasions. They have only run the ball 85 times all year and that includes sacks.  Non quarterbacks have a total of 5 carries.  In fact they have only 200 yards on the ground this year vs over 4700 in the air. Their high powered offense put up huge numbers a year ago.. but now they have a defense to go along with it.  They are the fourth ranked team in the state and the number one seed in the district.

Branson, after their win last week has won 3 of their last five games.  They have competed against every team they have played this year.  No doubt, the Pirates will have to play their best game of the season to have a shot in this one.  But, if they can put it all together for four complete quarters the Pirates might have just what it takes to slay the Giant.  If they do that, no telling just how far they could go.

Friday’s kickoff is set for 7 at Springfield Glendale.  If you cant make it join Scott McCaulley on 106.3 KRZK.  The game can also be heard anywhere in the world by logging on to

logo courtesy of Branson High School
logo courtesy of Branson High School

Lady Pirates are District Champs..

Cross Country is a team sport.  If you have not been connected to the sport not many understand that.  Many times a balanced team can come out ahead of a team with one or two superior runners.  The scoring bares that out.  Basically if you are not familiar, you get a point that corresponds with where you finish in the race.  For example if your runner finishes first you get one point, second you get 2, third you get three and so on.  You are allowed to race SEVEN athletes in a varsity race and the top FIVE count towards your score.  The lowest score wins.

The West Plains Cross-Country program is legendary in the State of Missouri.  But it was the Branson Lady Pirates that are holding the hardware from this weekends District Championship meet in Nixa.  Zizzer Runners took the top three spots in the finishing order and had four runners in the top ten.  But that fifth runner’s finishing position counts as well.  And, thats were the steady finishes by the Lady Pirates won out.  Branson placed all five scoring runners in the top 14. (for good measure their sixth runner was 15th)  All seven Branson ladies finished 24th or better.

4. Adeine Holder, 5. Madeline Caruthers, 7. Amanda Kearney, 12. Hannah Collins, 14. Adriana Alvard (15. Destany Baylon, 24. Emile Gephart)

The Lady Pirates all advance to next weeks Sectional Meet.

The girls will not be alone.  The Branson Boys qualified as a team as well.  The Pirates finished fourth in the field behind West Plains, Kickapoo, and Nixa.  Keifer Dooley led the way for the Branson team.

logo courtesy of Branson High School
logo courtesy of Branson High School

Wolves and Pirates Advance, Hollister does not

The Reeds Spring Wolves ran for over 350 yards in their victory over Aurora in the opening round of the District Playoffs.  Colter Whiten ran for 187 of those.  In the end it was Reeds Spring getting a measure of revenge on the team that beat them for the District Championship a year ago.  28-18 was the final tally as the Wolves advance to the District Semi-Final next week against Mt Vernon…. you can read my story at Wolves Advance

Speaking of Mt Vernon.  The Mountaineers ended the season for the Hollister Tigers with a 44-20 win at Moutaineer Stadium.  This was a tight game early as the Tigers were within 14-8 before Mt Vernon added a score before the half and then pulled away in the second half for the final score.  A very good year comes to an end for Jacob Hamon’s club.  The best in the short history of the Hollister Program.  They won five games and had a winning regular-season for the first time in history.  They have set the foundation for more success.  They say “goodbye” to a number of seniors but that group will leave knowing they were undoubtedly part of the best team that the Tigers have ever put on the field.

And the Branson Pirates will live to play another day.  While it may not have been a thing of beauty the Pirates were able to get the victory over Waynesville (and this time of year winning an advancing is all that counts)  The Pirates claimed the win 15-6.

With the win the Pirates advance to the District Semi-Finals and will face the number one seed and state-ranked Springfield Glendale.  The Falcons are undefeated and feature what has been called the most prolific offense in the country.  I think its safe the say the the Pirate defensive backs better get some rest this week because they will, without a doubt, be tested next week.  If the Pirates can win that one they will play for the District Championship and a birth in the state playoffs the following week.  Kickoff will be at 7:00 in Springfield.


Wolves playoff march starts with Aurora

High School Football is a sport that can vary greatly from one season to next.  A person would have to look no further than Carl Langley Field this week to realize that.

Reeds Spring will play host to Aurora to kickoff the District Playoffs.  If you remember these are the same teams that played for the District Championship a year ago. A game that would go Aurora’s way 27-21  The Houn Dawgs would eventually make their way to the state semifinals.  But, many of those players have graduated and Aurora ended up in the eight spot at the end of this years regular season.

One player that has returned is quarterback Payton Evans.  The Houn Dawg signal caller was a major thorn in the side of the Wolves in that game a year ago, providing 356 yards of total offense, including 283 of that in the air.  With a fresh group of receivers things have been a little tougher this year but there is not doubt he has the ability to take a game over.  And, with the start of post season play, everyone starts anew.  The 2-7 Hown Dawgs get the chance to put the tough regular season behind them.

The Wolves will be anxious to get back on the field after losing the regular season finale to Springfield Catholic 16-14 a week ago.  Despite the loss, Reeds Spring claimed a share of the Small Central Ozarks Conference Championship and the number one overall seed in Class 3 District 4.  They finished the regular season 7-2, including a 5-1 record in COC play.

The Wolves, by virtue of that top seed, will get home field advantage throughout the district portion of the playoffs.  In addition to Reeds Spring and Aurora, the district includes: Monett, Cassville, Mt Vernon, Hollister, East Newton, and Seneca.

With a win the Wolves will take on the winner of Mt Vernon and Hollister next week.

Tigers head to Mt Vernon looking to keep things going…

Before this season the Hollister Tiger Football Program had never won more than 3 games in a season.  They had never won more than one conference game.  They had never beaten a school from a bigger classification.  And, they had never finished the regular season with a winning record.  Those things, and more, have been accomplished by Coach Jacob Hamon’s Tigers this year.

Now, they look to add something else to the mix:  A post-season victory.  They will get their shot tomorrow night in Mt Vernon.

The Moutaineers finished just ahead of the Tigers in the District Standings and sit 5-4 on the season.  Offensively they are alot like the Tigers.  They want to spread you out and love to go to the air.  5-time defending Class 2 Champ Lamar is the only opponent that has been able to hold them to under 24 points this season.  Quarterback Garrett Hadlock to Receiver Jarrett Massey a potent combination and one that the Tigers will have to contain if they are going to get the W.

Hollister has been able to put up its share of points as well.  The Tigers averaged over 36 points a game in its Five wins this season.  They are riding a two game winning streak and have won three of their last five games.

This will be the first ever meeting between the two schools.  They did have two common opponents this year: Reeds Spring and Springfield Catholic.  Mount Vernon lost to Reeds Spring  47-34 the opening week of the season and beat Catholic 24-17 a week later.  The Tigers played them in back to back weeks as well; Losing to the Wolves 52-14 and falling to the Irish 45-7.

Kickoff is set for 7 in Mt Vernon.

Pirates to host Waynesville

For quite a while we have pretty well known that Branson was almost assuredly locked into the #4 slot in the district standings.  What we did not know, for sure, is who would finish fifth in the six team field.

We knew there was a good chance that Waynesville and Springfield Central would both go winless.  We also knew that Waynesville would receive bonus points week 9 for playing Kickapoo, which is a Class 6 school.  Still all signs pointed to the Pirates getting the Bulldogs.  Taking a quick look at it the week before, I even realized Central only needed a few of their opponents for earlier in the season to win in order to hold on to that spot.  Well, at the end of the night they didnt get enough to keep the spot.  Reeds Spring, Jefferson City, Lighthouse Christian, Nixa, all went down, just to name four.  Had any one of them won or any single one of the other opponents that lost last week got the decision this would be a different preview…. but as they say “thats why they play the games”

So instead of a team they had played the past couple of years, the Pirates get an unknown in Waynesville.  As you would expect from their 0-9 record the Tigers have struggled mightily this year.  They have had trouble scoring and even more trouble stopping others.

Offensively they have scored a TD or less in more than half of their games this season.  They have a total of 92 points this year, or an average of only 10.2 per night.  On the flip side they have given up at least 30 points to every single team and on an average night they give up 42.55 points.   They are a long way removed from the State Championship they won back in 2007.  That being said the Tigers have made of history recently out of struggling in the regular season and coming alive in the playoffs. Despite not winning more than 3 games in any of the past three seasons they were only eliminated in the first round of districts ONE time. In that time they have made the second round and played for district Title in 2013.

Branson has lost two in a row after back to back victories over Marshfield and Republic.  If the Pirates can just play their game.  Get back into the same groove they showed in those two Ws; its a game they should be able to take care of going away.  A victory would send them to face Springfield Glendale and the video game numbers their offense as been able to put up this season.  But that is a challenge the Pirates will gladly except.  Because that means they would still be playing football.

logo courtesy of Branson High School
logo courtesy of Branson High School


Last Football Poll before Playoffs is out

The final Media Football Poll before the district playoffs has been released.  And even with their loss to Springfield Catholic on Friday Night the Reeds Spring Wolves are receiving recognition.  They Checked in last week at #10.  While they drop out of the ten spot, they are still receiving votes (12th most if you count what is on front of them) So a very small drop for the Wolves.  Reeds Spring received the #1 seed in the Class 3 District 4 Tournament.  Number two seed Monett is ranked 4th in the state.  Here is a look at the Class 3 Poll.

Rank, team, Rec., Pts., LW
1. Maryville (13), 9-0, 139, 1
2. Blair Oaks (1), 9-0, 127, 2
3. Center, 9-0, 107, 3
4. Monett, 8-1, 92, 4
5. McCluer South-Berkley, 8-0, 83, 5
6. Richmond, 9-0, 75, 6
7. Mexico, 7-2, 56, 8
8. Osage, 8-1, 37, 9
9. Chillicothe, 8-1, 20, NR
10. Park Hills Central, 8-1, 19, 7
Dropped out: No. 10 Reeds Spring
Also receiving votes: Owensville (9-0), 12; Reeds Spring (7-2), 2; Southern Boone (7-2), 1