Staley, Oak Grove and West Platte made historic runs to the recent Missouri high school baseball state tournaments.
By SAM MCDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
Staley reached the Class 5 tournament for the first time in the school's five-year history; Oak Grove qualified in Class 4 for the first time in 19 years, and West Platte made its first trip to the Class 2 tournament since 2003.
Their appearances ended without first-place trophies, but the three schools received some consolation in the all-state awards selected by the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association.
Oak Grove had five players make the Class 4 team — pitcher Connor Matson (first team), infielder Sean Baker (first), pitcher Cole Doherty (first), catcher Jake Kienzler (second) and outfielder Levi Harmon (second).
West Platte also saw five players make the Class 2 team. Senior pitcher Logan Moose, catcher Jared Meyer, infielder Matt Heili and outfielder Dylan Guthrie were first-team selections, and freshman pitcher McKaulley Stephenson gained honorable mention.
Three Staley selections — shortstop John Oliver (first team) pitcher Brian Alewine (second) and infielder Kole Kummel (honorable mention) — headlined a long list of local talent to make the Class 5 team. Other Class 5 first-team selections were pitcher Jordan Knutston (Lee's Summit), pitcher Alex Lange (Lee's Summit West), shortstop Nathan Winfrey (Liberty), outfielder Monte Harrison (Lee's Summit West) and shortstop Logan Gray (Rockhurst).
Other second-team picks in Class 5 were pitcher Dalton Moats (Park Hill), catcher Ryan Toliver (Fort Osage), infielder Chad Sutton (Fort Osage), infielder David Stober (Blue Springs), infielder Seth Soto (Lee's Summit North) and pitcher Reece Eddins (Blue Springs South). Honorable mention recognition in Class 5 included Fort Osage pitcher Alex Merithew, Rockhurst pitcher Joe Huber, Rockhurst senior Todd Czinege, Blue Springs outfielder Kyle Reed and Fort Osage senior Derek Pike.
In Class 4, Pembroke Hill catcher Sam Frazen made the first team, and his teammate junior Tyler Laplante made second team. Odessa senior J.W. McGraw was selected to the first team, and senior teammate Dakota Graham made honorable mention. Van Horn players Mark Krantz and Levi Kelsey were honorable mention.
In Class 3, Lee's Summit Christian senior A.J. Boyer made the first team, and Lawson senior pitcher Blake Edwards was recognized as an honorable mention.
All-State girls soccer
St. Teresa's Academy junior Savannah Trujillo was selected as the Missouri Class 3 soccer player of the year by the state's high school soccer coaches association. Her coach, Jeremy McElduff, was picked as the private school coach of the year after leading the Stars to an 18-3 season and a second-place finish in Class 3.
First-team all-state selections in Class 3 included Trujillo, Lee's Summit North defender Casey Williamson, Lee's Summit West forward Jaycie Johnson, Park Hill South forward Courtney Claassen, St. Teresa's midfielder Dorian Bailey, Staley senior Lauren Sullivan and Liberty junior Kaitlyn Clark. Second-team picks in Class 3 were Cristina DeZeeuw (St. Teresa's), Delaney Richardson (Lee's Summit West), Gigi Gray (St. Teresa's), Haley Baldridge (Liberty), Maddie Dobyns (Lee's Summit North), Taylor Walker (Lee's Summit), Brandi Vollmer (Lee's Summit West) and Lizzie Luallin (St. Teresa's). The honorable mentions were Park Hill South players Anna Courtney and Ashton Anderson, along with Kinsey Kiser of Staley and goalie Janie Thompson of St. Teresa's Academy.
The Class 2 honors began with Kearney midfielder Allie Hess, who was named the offensive player of the year. Smithville junior Callie Henshaw was named co-defensive player of the year in Class 2, and Kearney's Jackie Haller was the public school coach of the year.
Kearney, which finished 26-1 and second in Class 2, was well-represented on the all-state team. Hess, Lexie Howard and Ashley Coonfield made the first team, Casey Cordell and Carly Cecil were on the second team and Makenzie Pfieffer was honorable mention.
Smithville sophomore Kelsey Mothershead and Grain Valley sophomore Reaghan Childers were also first-team picks in Class 2, while Excelsior Springs' Marley Zirjacks, Smithville sophomore Kyli Nelson and Notre Dame de Sion sophomore Anna Romano made the second team. Smithville junior Jordan Lewis and Notre Dame de Sion senior Jodie Rellihan were recognized on the honorable mention list.
Barstow senior Katie Sloan, who finished her career with more than 100 goals, was recognized as the offensive player of the year award in Class 1. St. Pius X goalie Anna Lillig received the goalie of the year honor.
The Class 1 first team featured Lillig, Sloan, Lucia Crosetti (O'Hara), Liliy Friedman (Pembroke Hill), Ellen Babbott (Barstow School), Bridget Wages (O'Hara) and Sydney White (O'Hara). The Class 1 second team included Rachel Bacon and Madison Sallas of Lee's Summit Christian, along with Elizabeth Starr and Audrey Pritchett of Pembroke Hill. Honorable mentions were Tina Weng (Barstow School), Lindsay Beachner (O'Hara) and Hayley White (O'Hara).