High-SchoolMissouri: DeSmet

Missouri Week 10 hoops rankings: Lee's Summit North makes debut

February, 14, 2012
After games on Sunday, Feb. 12

To say there are some hot teams in Missouri would be an understatement. There's defending Class 5 champ McCluer North, which has (literally) looked unbeatable of late behind an 18-game win streak and Jordon Granger's 13.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

There's also Vianney, which has put together two quality wins against Borgia and DeSmet since having its 18-game win streak snapped, as well as Nixa, which has won 23 straight games since losing its season opener.

And this week, there's Lee's Summit North making its debut in the top 10. The Broncos knocked off previously ranked Rockhurst and could earn another big victory Tuesday when they face Blue Springs South.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. McCluer North (Florissant) 20-1 (1)
Red-hot Stars have now won 18 straight. After six days off, they take on Chaminade and Ritenour this week.

2. Vianney (Kirkwood) 22-1 (2)
After earning at least a share of the first MCC title with a win against DeSmet, the Golden Griffins take on SLUH on Tuesday and CBC on Friday.

3. Nixa 23-1 (3)
The Eagles, winners of 23 straight, have beaten eight of their last nine opponents by at least 20 points. Next up: Ozark on Tuesday, Webb City on Friday.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Missouri basketball rankings.
After games on Sunday, Feb. 5

With about two weeks of regular-season play, the Missouri high school basketball scene is entering a critical stretch. Momentum is always key entering the playoffs — just ask the New York Giants, or even defending Class 5 champ McCluer North. That's why several key matchups this week could prove critical in March.

McCluer, which moved to the No. 5 spot in this week's rankings, will look to gain some steam when it faces No. 7 Soldan on Friday. The Comets are riding a five-game win streak, but Soldan has been battle-tested of late, downing East St. Louis (Ill.) and CBC, which beat McCluer, before barely losing to a talented Whitney Young (Ill.) squad.

Rock Bridge welcomed back Travis Jorgenson last week after the star junior guard missed a month with a hand injury. But the Bruins lost in Jorgenson's first game back, as Raytown South's Earl Peterson went off for 31 points to send Rock Bridge to its second loss in four games. Whether the Bruins can reestablish their chemistry with Jorgenson and get back on track will be key come playoff time.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. McCluer North (Florissant) 19-1 (1)
Stars pushed win streak to 17 games with big win against Hazelwood Central. Next up: Riverview Gardens on Thursday.

2. Vianney (Kirkwood) 21-1 (2)
Golden Griffins downed Borgia and Washington on consecutive days. Tough stretch continues with Friday's contest against Nolan Berry and DeSmet.

3. Nixa 20-1 (3)
After blowing out Neosho by 40, the Eagles travel to Carthage on Tuesday.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Missouri basketball rankings.

Berry, Floyd lead debut of MO All-State hoops stock watch

December, 22, 2011
No rankings this week, but we've still got you covered with as the hoops season gets underway. Each week, we'll take a look back at our Missouri preseason All-State basketball team and update you on how some of those players are faring this year. There will be a Prime-Time Player (PTP), an Other Top Player (OTP) and an Under the Radar (UTR) player who is making his case as one of the state's top ballers.

Here's who to keep an eye on after the first few weeks of the season:

PTP: Nolan Berry, DeSmet, Junior
After enduring a two-game losing streak, the Spartans have bounced back with two straight wins, thanks to Berry's all-around dominance. The junior forward is averaging 20.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.14 blocks during DeSmet's 5-2 start.

OTP: Pat Jones, Rockhurst, Senior
For Rockhurst to go deep in the playoffs this year, it'll have to depend on its deep threat in Jones. The senior guard has already knocked down eight 3-pointers through five games to up his average to 16.5 points for the 3-2 Hawklets.

UTR: Demetrius Floyd, McCluer, Senior
Picking up where he left off on the AAU circuit, Floyd has been getting serious buckets for the state's top squad. Floyd is averaging 22.6 points while shooting 46 percent from 3-point range as the Comets are off to a 5-0 start.

Brandon Parker covers Missouri for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Five Days of List-Mas: MO's A-List

December, 12, 2011

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: A-Listers.

In the NFL, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are A-Listers. In the NBA, it’s LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. But who are the A-Listers in Missouri? That’s where today’s list comes in. Regardless of sport, here’s our list of the top five A-List athletes in the state. Can you think of an A-Lister we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments.

5. Zach Herriot (SR), Rockhurst, Cross Country
Credentials: Won Class 4 state XC title and Gatorade State Runner of the Year in 2010, finished ninth at 2011 Nike Cross Nationals,

4. Durron Neal (SR), DeSmet, Football
Credentials: Oklahoma recruit, U.S Army All-American, can play five positions

3. Evan Boehm (SR), Lee's Summit West, Football
Credentials: No. 51 in ESPNU 150, nation's top-ranked offensive guard, Under Armour All-American, led Titans to 2010 Class 5 state title

2. Cameron Biedscheid (SR), Cardinal Ritter, Basketball
Credentials: Notre Dame recruit, No. 62 player in ESPNU 100, led Lions to Class 3 title in 2010

1. Dorial Green-Beckham (SR), Hillcrest, Football/Basketball
Credentials: Nation's all-time leader in career receiving yards (6,356), No. 3 overall recruit in ESPNU 150, state record holder in single-season receiving yards (2,233) and career touchdowns (72), two-time Gatorade State POY, led Hornets to Class 4 hoops title in 2010

Click here to check out some of the other states in our Five Days of List-Mas.

Brandon Parker covers Missouri for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter@brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

McCluer takes over top spot in Missouri hoops rankings

December, 8, 2011
As was the case in the preseason, a team from McCluer remains atop our Missouri state basketball rankings. But after a few games, it's McCluer, not defending Class 5 champ McCluer North, that has established itself as the state's frontrunner.

The Comets have been unstoppable, beating their opponents by an average of 33 points behind the combo of Demetrius Floyd and Chantel Stanciel. Also shooting up the rankings is Vianney, which takes over the No. 2 spot after a big win against previous No. 2 DeSmet on Wednesday, as well as No. 4 Sikeston, which went 30-0 last year en route to the Class 4 title and has won its first four games this season.

Here's how the first batch of rankings shake out (preseason rankings in parentheses):

1. McCluer (Florissant) 3-0 (NR)
Comets have established themselves as state's top team by beating first three opponents by average of 33 points.

2. Vianney (Kirkwood) 4-0 (NR)
Vaulted up rankings with big win against previous No. 2 DeSmet.

3. Soldan International (St. Louis) 2-0
The Tigers are off to a quick start after finishing third in Class 4 last year.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly Missouri basketball rankings

Fall postseason update

November, 17, 2011
After a banner fall season last year, much of the discussion of preseason championship favorites centered around Rockhurst.

The Hawklets swim team lived up to its dynamic billing, winning a record eighth straight swim title last week. Reigning Gatorade State Runner of the Year Zach Herriott earned success as well, shaking off a 13th-place finish at this year's state meet to qualify for the prestigious Nike Cross National meet in Oregon next month.

The football and soccer teams weren't so fortunate. Rockhurst's bid to defend its gridiron title fell short after a 28-7 loss to Blue Springs South in the Class 6 quarterfinals. Likewise, the Hawklets' soccer team lost 2-1 in double overtime to Lee's Summit West in the district playoff championship.

Since then, Lee's Summit West has advanced to the Class 3 semifinals, where they will face a strong DeSmet squad led by All-State player Louis Berra. Oakville will take on Rock Bridge in the other semifinal on Friday.

In Class 2 soccer, St. Louis Priory is chasing history — and itself. Heading into Friday's semifinal versus Helias, the 25-0 Rebels are looking to become just the second team in the state to ever go undefeated without a loss or tie. The first? The 2005 Priory squad that went 26-0 en route to the state crown. The Rebels are certainly the favorite, boasting a defense that's posted 22 shutouts and an offense that's outscored opponents 104-5 this season. They are currently ranked No. 14 in the POWERADE FAB 50 and would face either Trinity or Smithville should they win.

Brandon Parker covers Missouri for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Rockhurst, DeSmet tumble in Class 6 football playoffs

November, 14, 2011
There will be a new champion in Class 6 football, as three favorites, including defending champ Rockhurst, fell in the quarterfinals over the weekend.

*For the first time in five tries, Blue Springs South finally got the upper hand on Rockhurst — and in a big way. The Jaguars scored the first four touchdowns in a 28-7 win while holding the Hawklets to under 100 yards rushing.

*Next the Jaguars will face Francis Howell, which downed another powerhouse in Fort Zumwalt West. Howell beat FZ West at its own game, striking early and often in a 49-28 victory. The Vikings' defense came up big, recording eight sacks to get FZ West QB Drew Hare under wraps, and allowing Howell to score 21 straight points in the second and third quarters.

*While Howell earned vengeance for an early-season loss, DeSmet couldn't do the same in its matchup with SLUH. Despite another big performance from Durron Neal (244 rushing yards, five total touchdowns), it wasn't enough to overcome the Junior Billikens, who blew an 18-point deficit but held on for the 47-46 win. Quarterback Trevor McDonagh had another big day for SLUH (368 yards and five scores), but it was his favorite target who was the talk of the game. Stefan Sansone set a school record with 13 catches for 276 yards and four scores. What's more, he intercepted a pass with less than a minute left to eliminate DeSmet's hopes of a comeback.

*Amid all the upsets, one thing held true in Class 6: top-ranked CBC won. The Cadets took care of McCluer North, 31-10, to set up a semifinal contest against SLUH and move to No. 38 in the latest POWERADE FAB 50.

*In Class 5 action, a team from Hazelwood will once again be in the semifinals -- it's just not the one you think. A down year for Class 6's Hazelwood Central and a huge weekend upset of Parkway Central pushed Hazelwood East into a semifinal matchup with Kirkwood. Mind you, the Spartans pulled out a 42-15 win after watching the Colts score on their first play from scrimmage. But behind Jimmy Jones' 120 rushing yards and three scores, the Spartans scored 42 of the next 49 points.

*As expected, Staley will battle defending champ Lee's Summit West in the other semifinal. Staley barely squeaked by Fort Osage for a 7-6 win in the quarterfinals while the Titans easily downed Nixa, 42-3. Does Lee's Summit West have enough momentum to pull off the win or will Staley continue its victorious ways behind Trent Hosick and Morgan Steward? Stay tuned.

*Finally, Dorial Green-Beckham's prep career came to an end with a 49-0 loss to defending Class 4 champ Webb City. The star Hillcrest receiver had seven catches for 58 yards, pushing his career receiving yards record to a grand total of 6,356.

Brandon Parker covers Missouri for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

DeSmet-SLUH rematch highlights next round of Missouri football playoffs

November, 11, 2011
Two weeks from now, several fortunate teams will be ready to eat. Yeah, Thanksgiving is around then, too, but I'm talking about those squads that were hungry enough to reach the Missouri state football championships and will be starving to hoist that crown. Here are some of this week's big matchups:

DeSmet at SLUH
The last time DeSmet tasted defeat this season, it came at the hands of SLUH, which rode QB Trevor McDonagh's 424 yards and five scores to a 37-31 double-overtime win. The Spartans will look to put some more pressure on McDonagh, while building off the 263 rushing yards that they churned out in that same game. The fact that DeSmet could have such a good offensive output, including 165 yards from star Durron Neal, shows how key stopping McDonagh will be in the Spartan's overall success.
My pick: DeSmet 31, SLUH 27

McCluer North at CBC
McCluer North enters this game riding a 10-game win streak, yet it still pales in comparison to what the state's top-ranked team has done this season. Cadets QB Dalton Demos has thrown for 29 scores to anchor an offensive attack that averages more than 44 points per game. CBC will face a test in the Stars' defense, which has the ability to slow down opponents with aggressive play.
My pick: CBC 35, McCluer North 24

Fort Zumwalt West at Francis Howell
A massive crowd is expected at this matchup, which revives an intense contest earlier this season that saw Fort Zumwalt West win 34-28. Both teams can score and in a hurry behind strong-armed quarterbacks (West's Drew Hare has 30 total touchdowns; Howell's Eric Siebenshuh has thrown for 28 scores) and big playmakers (West RB Ray Harris has scored 31 times; Howell's Alex Strong and Corey King have both tallied more than 1,000 receiving yards). Whichever team strikes first will gain a helpful upper hand in what could be a shootout.
My pick: Fort Zumwalt West 42, Howell 41

Webb City at Hillcrest
It doesn't get much bigger than this in Class 4. One of the greatest prep wide receivers ever in Dorial Green-Beckham will go up against one of prep football's greatest dynasties in Webb City this Saturday. For the Cardinals, the focus will obviously be on slowing down DGB, but the Hornets showed in their first-round win against St. Clair that they aren't a one-man team, as Stuart Andress ran for 132 yards and two scores. Webb City, which has won 27 straight games, also has its own ground weapons, which combined to pile up 494 rushing yards in last week's win against Helias. Whichever team wins this contest will be the favorite to win it all.
My pick: Webb City 28, Hillcrest 24

Brandon Parker covers Missouri for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

First round of Missouri football playoffs underway

November, 3, 2011
Classes 4 and 5 already got the first round of the postseason off to a dramatic start. Here are a few highlights:

-In a powerhouse first-round matchup, Webb City began its Class 4 title defense by bouncing Bolivar from the playoffs with a 35-21. Cardinals will host Helias next week.

-St. Clair resorted to double-teaming Dorial Green-Beckham the entire night in their contest at Hillcrest, so tailback Stuart Andress picked up the slack, running for 132 yards and two scores in a 41-14 win. DGB had two scores but only added 62 yards to his career record total, which now sits at 6,171. Hornets will travel to rival Union next week.

-In Class 5, Webster Groves nearly got knocked off for the second time in three weeks. In a furious fourth quarter, Summit cut a 24-point lead to two with 30 seconds to play. On the two-point conversion try, Webster Groves LB E.J. Clayborn stuffed Ian McIntosh at the goal line to give the Statesmen the dramatic win. Next up: a rematch with Parkway Central, which defeated Webster Groves just three weeks ago.

Class 6 action starts Friday. Of the seven games, here are two to watch out for:

Hazelwood Central at No. 1 CBC
Perennial power Hazelwood Central backed into the playoffs this year and as a result, gets to face the state's top-ranked team. On the Hawks' side is the fact that they've eliminated CBC in the first round for the last two seasons. It's safe to say, though, that the tables have turned, and with Cadets QB Dalton Demos playing at a high level, CBC should overcome this hurdle on Friday.
My pick: CBC 35, Hazelwood Central 21

DeSmet at Eureka
Durron Neal returned from injury last week to score three times and help the Spartans blow past Mehlville to gain momentum for the playoffs. Thing is, with Neal susceptible to injury and the Spartans sometimes struggling in big games this year — along with the fact it's the playoffs — the door is open for a Eureka upset. The Wildcats won their last three to finish 8-2 and are led by the QB-WR duo of Seth Pratt and Jaron Henderson.
My pick: DeSmet 31, Eureka 21

Brandon Parker covers Missouri for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Slew of upsets shake up Week 9 Missouri football rankings

October, 24, 2011
Results as of Sunday, Oct. 23

When your team converts a 3rd-and-44 with a 50-yard completion, it's safe to say things are going your way.

And it was that type of night for Fort Zumwalt West during its big matchup against previous No. 2 Jefferson City this past Friday. Led by Drew Hare's 269 passing yards and two scores, the Jaguars mostly had their way against a typically stout Jays defense during a 49-21 win. Jefferson City tailback Devon Moore had 111 yards rushing but the Jays didn't get much else, as the Jaguars outgained the Jays, 427-226.

Webster Groves and DeSmet also took a tumble. In a 34-13 loss, Webster Groves couldn't find an answer for Parkway Central WR Brandon Shepherd (two touchdowns, one interception) or RB Alan Gasnali (152 yards, three scores). Meanwhile, DeSmet blew a 14-point third-quarter lead and fell to SLUH, 37-31 in double overtime. It didn't help that star athlete Durron Neal missed parts of the fourth quarter with a tweaked knee, but the Spartans' second loss of the season was enough to plummet them out of the top 10.

Here's how this week's rankings shake out (last week's ranking in parentheses):

1. CBC (St. Louis) 9-0 (1)
Cadets survived an upset bid and held off Lafayette (Wildwood), 16-7. Next up: Parkway South.

2. Staley (North Kansas City) 9-0 (3)
The Falcons keep rolling, beating St. Joseph Central by a score of 28-14. Next up: Oak Park.

3. Rockhurst (Kansas City) 8-1 (4)
The Hawklets put up a season high in points during a 71-10 win against Lee's Summit North. Next up: Joplin.

Click here for full POWERADE weekly Missouri football rankings

McCluer North tops preseason basketball rankings in Missouri

October, 19, 2011
B.J. Young might be gearing for his freshman season at Arkansas, but that doesn't mean his former McCluer North squad isn't ready to defend its title. After losing four games in February, the Stars peaked at the right time, and with Jordon Granger among nine returning players, the preseason's top squad appears primed for a repeat.

The Stars aren't the only ones ready to make some noise in the Show Me State. DeSmet Jesuit and Nixa are both led by juniors, with Butler commit Nolan Berry pacing the Spartans and standout guard Jalen Norman (20.9 points per game last season) sparking the Eagles.

1. McCluer North (Florissant)
2. DeSmet Jesuit (St. Louis)
3. Nixa

Click here for the full POWERADE preseason Missouri basketball rankings.

National powers collide at this weekend's Gateway Soccer Classic

September, 29, 2011
When it comes to soccer tournaments, it doesn't get much bigger than the Gateway Soccer Classic. Starting today, fifty-nine teams representing 12 states will gather in St. Louis for a tournament that could shake up the national rankings and offer a glimpse into who could hoist their respective state trophies.

The star-powered tournament features nine of the current POWERADE FAB 50 squads, including Derek Schrick and No. 15 Rockhurst, No. 19 DeSmet led by Louis Berra, and the 49th-ranked SLUH squad anchored by Ryan Merrifield. Christian Brothers and Chaminade are also among the deep field.

For those soccer fans who can't make it out to the tournament, don't sweat; ESPNHS has got you covered. Our resident expert Sheldon Shealer will be covering the entire tournament, so stay tuned to the ESPNHS soccer page and Twitter page for updates. As we count down the moments until the soccer ball gets rolling, check out this preview of the tournament as well as a rundown of players to watch.

Brandon Parker covers Missouri for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Berra, Schrick highlight Missouri All-State soccer team

September, 27, 2011
The October issue of ESPNHS magazine hits schools this week, and with four Missouri teams making moves in the latest POWERADE FAB 50, there are plenty of big names to highlight on our annual All-State soccer team. See who made the cut this year and let us know your thoughts:

Missouri All-State Soccer

Starting 11
[F] Louis Berra, DeSmet, Senior, SLSG Missouri
Tallied nine goals and five assists last year; headed to Ohio State

[F] Aris Nukic, Mehlville, Senior, SLSG Gold
Looks to regain form from sophomore season when he had 23 goals

[MF] Justin Bilyeu, Christian Brothers, Senior, SLSG Missouri
Recorded 17 goals for Lions, including six multi-point games

Read More »

CBC, Staley face tough tests in Week 4 Missouri football

September, 23, 2011
This weekend could give us a glimpse of which teams will be the last ones standing come championship team. Rockhurst, CBC and Staley all face formidable foes while Jefferson City is out to prove its 4-0 is no fluke.

Francis Howell (3-1) at No. 2 CBC (4-0)
No team has found an answer for CBC's explosive offense so far this season. Quarterback Dalton Demos is nearing the 1,000-yard mark and the tailback duo of Antonio Brown and Jonathan Parker has scored 15 touchdowns. But the Cadets could find themselves in a shootout against a tough Howell squad. The Vikings lost but were able to hang with the high-scoring Fort Zumwalt West last week, as quarterback Eric Siebenshuh has found a chemistry with wideout Corey King. In other words, defense will be the key. The Cadets gave up 49 points to Fort Zumwalt West while Howell surrendered 34, but CBC has shown its mettle in a win against DeSmet.
My Pick: CBC 35, Howell 28

Kearney (3-1) at No. 3 Staley (4-0)
Running — and running well — has become a habit for Staley, which is averaging more than 400 rushing yards per game. Morgan Steward and Trent Hosick account for most of that production, presenting quite the task for the Bulldog defense. Kearney isn't as explosive on offense, and quarterback Cole Davis will have lineman Nathaneal Lohn pursuing him all night. The key for Kearney is if it can dictate the flow of the game.
My pick: Staley 31, Kearney 21

Rock Bridge (3-1) at No. 1 Rockhurst (4-0)
Rock Bridge will look to bounce back from last week's loss to Jefferson City, but Rockhurst isn't exactly the team you want to be facing after defeat. Especially now. The Hawklets welcome back offensive lineman Christian Eatherly, who missed the last two games with injury, and Jordan Walker is ready to go after sitting out part of last week's win. Plus, their experienced defense is coming around, giving up just 17 points in the last two games. Rock Bridge will have to execute early and often to have a chance here, but yes, I'm saying there's a chance.
My pick: Rockhurst 28, Rock Bridge 14

No. 8 Jefferson City (4-0) at Park Hill (3-1)
It's been quite the start for Jefferson City, outscoring opponents by the count of 140-35. Much of the credit goes to running back Devon Moore, who reached paydirt four times last week and has been on a tear this season. Park Hill's defense is solid, giving up just 23 points through four games, but the Trojans offense must capitalize on stops if they want to pull off the upset.
My pick: Jefferson City 24, Park Hill 10

Brandon Parker covers Missouri for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Stock is rising for Knott, Sheperd

September, 14, 2011
In this week's edition of the Missouri All-State Football Stock Watch, offense reigns supreme as we highlight the quarterback of the state's second-ranked team and a talented wide receiver with a tough college decision on his hands.

UP — Luke Knott, Lee's Summit West QB
The defending Class 5 champs have rolled to a 3-0 start and Knott has been a big reason why. The senior quarterback threw two touchdown strikes in last week's 42-7 win against North Kansas City. Knott now has eight total scores on the season for the No. 2 Titans, who are averaging more than 45 points per contest.

DOWN — KeVonn Mabon, DeSmet LB
It's been a rough last couple of weeks for Mabon. The senior defender missed most of the second half with cramps during the Spartans' 14-12 victory against Hazelwood East. Then in last Friday's 52-22 loss to No. 3 CBC, the Spartans D was picked apart by Cadets quarterback Dalton Demos, who led his team to six straight scores during its second-half comeback. Of course, in Mabon's defense, the Missouri heat has been scorching of late and Demos has put up similar numbers against just about every defense he's faced this year, including Fort Zumwalt West.

UP— Brandon Sheperd, Parkway Central WR
Sheperd has been a beast so far this season, which is no surprise to most. The senior wideout has not only caught 17 passes for 265 yards and five touchdowns but he's also scored five other times on running plays. The better that Sheperd plays, the more difficult his college decision could become, as Big 12 programs Missouri and Oklahoma State are vying hard for his services.

Brandon Parker covers Missouri for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.