High-SchoolMissouri: Phoenix Johnson
June, 6, 2012
By Mark Tennis | ESPN.com
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSJunior quarterback and Missouri commit Trent Hosick guided Staley (Kansas City, Mo.) to its first state title this past fall.During the offseason, we’ll check out one team per week that looks like a sure bet to be among the best in the nation this fall.
FAB 50 Offseason Primer archive
This week’s team: Staley (Kansas City, Mo.)
2011 Season: 14-0, Class 5 state champion, No. 12 in final Midlands Region rankings.
Projected 2012 Preseason Ranking: Top 50. While the Falcons didn’t win the highest division in Missouri’s Show-Me Bowl last December, they made a strong case that they were the state’s top overall squad. Not only were they unbeaten, but they posted a win against Blue Springs (Mo.) early in the season and Blue Springs was a team that also notched a win early in the season against Class 6 state champion Blue Springs (Mo.) South (Blue Springs, Mo.). This year’s Staley team once again will feature the talents of Trent Hosick (6-2, 220), one of the top-ranked quarterbacks in the nation. A Missouri commit, Hosick rushed for 2,403 yards and 31 touchdowns as a junior and passed for 1,422 yards and 10 scores.
Team Strengths: Hosick’s return automatically makes the Falcons a choice to be one of Missouri’s best teams for this fall. He has committed to Missouri after getting offers from most schools from the Big 12 and Big Ten. For the team to repeat and be higher in the rankings, however, a replacement will need to step up for graduated standout Morgan Steward. He rushed for 2,226 yards and scored 36 times in his senior season. A good bet to become that feature back is Tre Childs, who averaged nearly eight yards per carry as a backup. Another plus will be the return of all-state offensive lineman Austin White. The defense also could be in rebuilding mode and will need some younger players, including sophomore linebacker Parker Mertz, who played varsity as a freshman, to become team leaders.
Another Missouri team to watch: Webb City (Mo.) begins 2012 as a two-time defending Class 4 state champion and with on a 30-game winning streak. It’s hard to tell how the Cardinals would fare against bigger schools, but early in the season they are going up against Har-Ber (Springdale, Ark.), a solid Class 7A program from Arkansas. This year’s team at Webb City also is loaded with returning standouts, led by running back Phoenix Johnson, who rushed for 1,920 yards and scored 33 touchdowns last fall. Three others who earned Class 4A all-state honors as juniors are defensive lineman Jose Speer, kicker Alex Easley, linebacker Nate Brown and tight end Kohl Slaughter.
December, 13, 2011
By Brandon Parker | ESPN.com
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: The top underclassmen in high school football.
The state championships are over and the Class of 2012 had their run, but it’s never too early to start looking at the impressive players in the Class of 2013 and beyond. Who’s going to rule the gridiron in Missouri next season? We give you the early rundown of who to watch for.
5. Aarion Penton (JR), CBC, DB/RB
Credentials: Anchored defense that allowed 15.6 points per game, led Cadets to Class 6 title game
4. Ramon Alton (JR), Kirkwood, RB
Credentials: 1,177 rushing yards, 20 touchdowns, led Pioneers to Class 5 title game
3. Phoenix Johnson (JR), Webb City, RB
Credentials: 1,920 rushing yards, 33 touchdowns, led Cardinals to second straight Class 4 crown
2. Nick Ramirez (JR), Lee's Summit West, LB
Credentials: Offers from Missouri and Nebraska, state's top-ranked linebacker in his class, led Titans to Class 5 semifinals
1. Trent Hosick (JR), Staley, QB
Credentials: 2,403 rushing yards, 31 touchdowns, 1,422 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns, led team to Class 5 crown
Click here to check out some of the other states in our Five Days of List-Mas
Tomorrow: POWERADE state hoops rankings
Brandon Parker covers Missouri for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.