High-SchoolMissouri: Soccer

The Top 10 Stories of the Year in Missouri

December, 29, 2011
The year 2011 is winding down to a close and what a year it's been in the world of sports. Here are the top 10 stories from the Missouri high school sports scene:

10. Pin 'Em Down
Blue Springs dethroned two-time defending Class 4 champ Park Hill to win its first state title in 12 years. Lewis Foutz, Greg Hegarty, Darick Lapaglia and Daniel Lewis all won individual crowns for the Wildcats.

9. Solid as a Rock
In swimming, it's almost become a question of by how much and not who will win the state championship, thanks to Rockhurst's recent run of dominance. The Hawklets extended their reign to a state-record eight titles this past fall and this time they did it without fielding an individual champ.

8. Zach Attack
A year after winning Gatorade State Runner of the Year, it appeared Zach Herriott was headed for a disappointing senior season after finishing 13th at the cross country state meet. But the Rockhurst harrier bounced back with a ninth-place showing at the prestigious Nike Cross Nationals meet.

7. Perfect Saint
In the strive for a state championship, St. Louis Priory's soccer team one-upped itself. The Rebels went 27-0 to complete the second undefeated season in state history and cop the Class 2 crown. The only other program to go undefeated were the 2005 Rebels, who went 26-0.

6. Falcons Soar
In just its fourth year of existence, Staley made its mark in the history books by marching its way to the Class 5 state football title. Led by rushing machines Trent Hosick (2,054 yards and 31 TDs) and Morgan Steward (2,226 yards and 27 scores), the Falcons went 14-0 and downed previously undefeated Kirkwood in the title game.

5. Cardinal Rule
After graduating nearly 30 players from last year's Class 4 state championship squad, it appeared that 2011 would be a rebuilding year for Webb City. But the Cardinals didn't miss a beat, extending their regular-season win streak to 81 games and going undefeated en route to a repeat Class 4 title. In their 56-42 win against MICDS, the Cardinals helped set championship game records for combined points and yards (1,048).

4. Shooting Stars
For most of the 2010-11 season, Chaminade appeared to be the favorite with All-American Bradley Beal and a 27-0 start. But McCluer North avenged an early-season loss to the Red Devils by beating them 57-56 in the Class 5 quarterfinals behind B.J. Young's 27 points. The Arkansas recruit went on to lead the Stars to the Class 5 title.

3. Big Beal
Although his team fell short of the Class 5 hoops title, Bradley Beal ended his senior season on a good note. The Chaminade senior was named Gatorade National Player of the Year after averaging 32.4 points for the Red Devils. Beal is currently a freshman starter for the Florida Gators.

2. Notorious DGB
He's been the talk of the state football scene since his freshman year and as Dorial Green-Beckham capped his prep career in 2011, he showed just why. The Hillcrest senior shattered the national mark for career receiving yards by finishing with 6,356 yards and broke his own state record by recording 2,233 receiving yards to go with 24 touchdowns and 119 catches. Green-Beckham also led the Hornets to their best season ever, going 11-2 and reaching the Class 4 quarterfinals.

1. Joplin Recovers
The 2011 sports season got off to a rough start for many when a tornado tore through Joplin in May, killing 160 while destroying much of the town and Joplin High School. The Eagles football team proved to be a source of unity and healing, as many came out to the games and the team helped raise money en route to a 3-8 season.

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

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.

A woman among boys

October, 18, 2011
Chaminade, a perennial power on the Missouri soccer scene, has found this season that playing like a girl isn't so bad. Especially when that girl is U.S. Women's National Team player Heather Mitts.

Mitts, who is married to St. Louis Rams QB A.J. Feeley, has been training with Chaminade this season and it's proved helpful in elevating the Red Devils' play and on-field communication. Need proof? Look no further than Chaminade's 2-1 win against POWERADE FAB 50 squad Rockhurst last Friday.

Check out this video for more on this unique partnership.

Cherry Creek nips SLUH on penalty kicks at Gateway Soccer Classic

September, 30, 2011
For 79 minutes and 59 seconds, it looked like No. 49 SLUH would pull off the upset of undefeated No. 9 Cherry Creek (Colo.). But a last-second shot deflected off Junior Billikens goalkeeper Jack Robinson and into the goal, tying the score at 1 and sending the game into overtime, where Cherry Creek won on PKs to advance in the Gateway Soccer Classic.

That should give you a taste of how exciting the play at this tournament is and will be this weekend. Click here for a recap of day one, which included Chaminade playing to a draw with previous No. 1 Jesuit (Calif.), and here for a complete scoreboard.

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

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 »

DeSmet tops the field at competitive CBC soccer tournament

September, 12, 2011
As is usually the case with some of the state's top teams battling it out, the 35th annual CBC soccer tournament had its share of upsets and plenty of goals. Ultimately, DeSmet (4-1) won the crown after beating the state's top-ranked team in SLUH earlier this week and finishing off Vianney on Sunday.

All-State midfielder Louis Berra assisted on both of the Spartans' goals during DeSmet's 2-0 victory against Vianney. Meanwhile, SLUH (4-1-1) bounced back from its loss with a 3-1 comeback win against CBC on Sunday.

The outcome marks the third time that DeSmet has won the prestigious tournament and moves the Spartans to second in the state rankings behind undefeated Rockhurst.

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

Missouri soccer preview

August, 24, 2011
Even though we've been pretty heavy on football news to start this blog, don't worry, we cover all sports here at ESPNHS. And when it comes to the Missouri soccer scene, there's plenty to talk about.

Rockhurst, led by senior Derek Schrick, will look to repeat as state champs, while St. Louis is loaded with talent, from SLUH's Ryan Merrifield to DeSmet's Louis Berra to Christian Brothers' Justin Bilyeu. Four Missouri teams enter the season ranked in the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings, with coach Charlie Martel's SLUH squad checking in No. 9.

Want more local soccer news? Our resident futbol expert Sheldon Shealer has got you covered with state preseason rankings and an in-depth region preview, which highlights the top players as well as games to watch in Missouri and the rest of the Midwest.

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