C of O’s Paschke is AII Player of the Week

It was announced on Monday that Cameron Paschke of College of the Ozarks was named the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.) Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week ending Janaury 22.

Paschke, a senior guard from Fayetteville, Ark., led the Bobcats to three wins last week with 85 total points. He shot 76.4% from the field and was 14 of 18 from beyond the arc. He currently ranks 12th in NAIA Division II in scoring with 21.8 points per game and is 22nd in total scoring with 436 points. This season he has knocked down at least one three pointer in every game and has scored in double-digits in all but one of the Bobcats 20 games this season.

photo courtesy of CofO

Pirates Find Their Man…..

The Branson Pirate Football Program has found a new leader.  Last Night the Board of Education approved the hiring of Anthony Hays.  Hays will take over for Dan Henderson who announced his retirement a few weeks ago.

“We are pleased to announce that Anthony Hays has joined our Pirate family,” said David Large, BHS activities director. “He brings energy and fresh ideas to our district and our program.  His teams have achieved great success and we look forward to a promising future for Pirate football.”

Hays comes to Branson from Springfield Parkview.  He has led the Vikings program the past six seasons.  Previous to that he spent four years at King City.  He won two district titles with the Wildkats and played for two more as the leader of the Vikings.

photo courtesy of parkviewvikingfootball.com

Multi-Sport Athletes more Successful….

I have heard the argument several times: If my kid concentrates on his/her sport they are in line for a scholarship.   I have seen kids give up a sport in hopes of that exact thing happening, only to not have it happen, or happen at a lot lower level than they were hoping for.

The fact is, and the numbers show, that it does not help and in many cases it may even hurt.  College coaches have stated time and time again that they want well rounded athletes.

Volleyball is one of the worst offenders.  Between Club ball(that runs the same time as other school sports) and the school team many players are steered towards not participating in other sports at their school.  However, in speaking with a well-respected college volleyball coach, I learned the first thing she asks a potential recruit is: What other sports do you play?

When you look at athletes that are at the highest level, you see players that played more than one sport in high school.  Last year 128 current and former professional quarterbacks were surveyed:  122 (95%) played at least two sports in high school.  And, almost 70% played three or more.

Top NCAA football coaches have talked about their preference in recruiting multi-sport athletes. There was a story out recently about 42 of the 47 players that Urban Meyer has recruited at Ohio State play more than one sport.  Folks like Bob Stoops, at Oklahoma, have shared stories of seeing recruits play other sports.  He actually started recruiting DeMarco Murray after seeing him dunk a basketball.

The footwork learned in basketball helps in other sports.  The balance and explosiveness it takes to wrestle gives you an advantage when you return to other fields.  You can pick almost any sport you want.  And one way or another you can find ways that it will help you in another.

One big argument that folks that want to specialize give is the risk of injury.  Well, recent studies are showing that overdoing it in a single sport can actually result in more harm.  In the teen years when a body is still developing too much repetitive movement and stress without rest and time to recover is causing more injuries.  Different sports, while using the same parts of your body, cause you to use them in different ways.  Thus you become overall stronger and the risk of injury goes down.

Now, are there exceptions to this?  Yes, but they are indeed the exception.  There are athletes that are content and highly successful playing only the sport they truly love.  I contend that almost, if not all of them, could have been just as successful, even doing other things.

If a kid wants to focus on a single sport and really wants to do nothing else, I understand and have no trouble with that decision at all. It should be their choice.  But, that is the key….  IT SHOULD BE THEIR CHOICE… Way, too many times they are talked into it by a parent, or even worse, someone else that has more than the best interest of the young person at heart.

Finally, I have had the pleasure and it continues to be my pleasure to cover a lot of incredible young people playing the sports that they love.   I know, for many, a chance to play in college is a dream.  For a lot of them that dream was realized.  Still, for others, it was not.  Most of the time when a player takes off that high school uniform for the last time, it will be the last time they compete.  They have enough pressure on them, let them have fun…. and remember that is exactly what is supposed to be going on…  they are playing a game… and games are supposed to be fun.

Branson Needs to Find Another Coach

Last month Branson head football coach Dan Henderson announced his retirement and the search for a replacement began.  Today the school announced it would also have to search for head coach for another one if its programs.

Becky Lipasek has announced her retirement as the leader of the Lady Pirate Volleyball Program.  Lipasek spent three years as the helm after coming over from a successful stint at Reeds Spring.  She led the Lady Wolves to two Final Four appearances.  Before that she won two State Titles at El Dorado Springs.  Her career record stands at 577-236-44.

In a school press release Activities Director David Large was very complimentary of Lipasek:

“Becky solidified our volleyball program and took us to a new level of competition in the COC,” said David Large, BHS activities director. “Her entire career was spent working with young ladies who wanted to not only play the game, but play the game well.  She is leaving the court after a phenomenal 27-year run in high school athletics. We wish her the best on her retirement.”


My #1 Area Sports Story of 2016

Over the past week and a half I have revealed my choices of the top sports stories of 2016.  All that is left is #1.

From Keenan Haynes injury to announcement of Reeds Spring and Hollister joining the new look Big 8 there has been a lot happen over the past year.   I will start a couple of cuts from my call of what I considered the number one sports story of 2016 in the tri-lakes.

Click on play to hear my call….



From the night of September 2nd, when it took place, there was a good chance this would be my number one story.  Even though a last week loss to Springfield Catholic would force the Wolves to share the COC Title nothing takes away from the magic of this night.

The Bolivar Liberators have owned the small COC and every team in it.  They had not lost to a team that makes up the league in 13 years.  And almost all of those games were turbo clock affairs.

Reeds Spring had been close the previous two years.  In 2014 the Wolves came storming back from a halftime deficit.  Down by 5 the Wolves had the ball and driving deep into Liberator territory looking for the winning score.  On a 4th down and short the Wolves went for it… ran option to the left side and came up a few inches short.  Bolivar survived.

In 2015 Reeds Spring traveled to Bolivar and went punch for punch with the Liberators once again.  This time they led for a good part of the game.  They still had the lead mid to late 4th quarter then it all fell apart.  In a little over two minutes the Liberators went from being down to being THREE touchdowns up.

But, this year was a different story.  On the turf of Carl Langley Field this night would belong to Reeds Spring.  And, in a way, the rest of the COC.  Not sure the Wolves have ever had as many fans as they had on that night.  Reeds Spring led much of the evening.  When Joel Gertson split the uprights to put the Wolves up by ten with time running out, we knew it was probably about to happen.  And as you could hear from my call above, when that last Bolivar pass fell incomplete we knew the job was done.  And, the entire small COC let out a collective YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!