East tops North in Sertoma Grin Action Classic

By Josh Hall

Adeana Brewer got to know her team the morning of the Sixth Annual Sertoma Grin Action Classic on Saturday.

The East coach didn’t have a fancy pre-game speech when they met, but her message spoke volumes.

“My message was just, ‘be the best you can be and push yourself,’” Brewer, also the head coach of the Ozark Lady Tigers, said.

At the end of the day, the East all stars proved to be the best, holding off the North all stars in three sets to win the competition, which matches up the top graduated seniors from Southwest Missouri.

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“This is always a fun experience,” Brewer said. “I like that it promotes the sport. I like that it gives seniors an opportunity to play one last time in front of their parents and family. It’s for a great cause. There’s just a lot of good things about it.”

The annual event helps support the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, also known as the Tooth Truck.

And there were plenty of smiles inside the Parkview High School gym when pool play kicked off at 9:30 a.m. The day ended with the East all stars claiming a 23-25, 25-23, 15-13 win against the all stars from the North.

“I think we were in it to win it,” graduated Ozark senior and the Grin Action Classic Most Valuable Player Kaylan Smith said. “That was part of it, and then just having a lot of fun. This is our last high-school hurrah, so that was a big part of it, too.”

The East, consisting of four players from Ozark, three from Liberty and two from Rogersville, went 7-1 in pool play before matching up with the North all stars.

The North team, coached by Strafford’s, Ashley Bough, consisted of three players from Strafford and two from Camdenton. Waynesville, Lebanon and Fair Grove all had one player as a representative.

“It’s always fun out there, because you get to have the best of the best,” said Bough, who also met her team for the first time Saturday morning. “You get to watch them come together as the day progresses and play as a team, learn together and grow. It’s been a great experience.”

The West all stars represented, Carthage, Mt. Vernon, Diamond, Carl Junction, Willard and Webb City. The South all stars represented Republic, Reeds Spring, Hollister, Clever, Billings, Hurley and Branson.

The Springfield team was represented by two players from Kickapoo, two from Hillcrest and two from Glendale. Parkview and Catholic each had one player as a representative.

“It was really fun playing with the girls close to my area,” North MVP and Strafford graduate Rilie Vote said. “I know most of them, and playing other competition I’ve seen throughout high school is fun, too.”

Hailey Noblitt (Republic) was named the MVP for the South all-stars following pool play, Marley Hensley (Carthage) represented the West, and Kaelyn Faria (Kickapoo) received the honor for the Springfield team.

Lexie Johnson (Ozark) was the East MVP following pool play.

“This day is fun,” Brewer said. “It’s a great experience. Obviously it’s great when you win. It makes the day more fun.”

EAST ALL STARS

Molly Taylor, Ozark; Lexie Johnston, Ozark; Ryley Thixton, Ozark; Kaylan Smith, Ozark; Brook Conway, Liberty; Brenley Stearns, Liberty; Makayla Elliot, Liberty; Ashley Pierson, Rogersville; Hanna Hendrickson, Rogersville.

Coaches: Adeana Brewer, Ozark; Kayley Lions, West Plains.

NORTH ALL STARS

Kelsey Arnold, Waynesville; Faith Alwardt, Lebanon; Victoria Fishback, Fair Grove; Gracie Morton, Strafford; Rilie Vote, Strafford; Jordan Wolfe, Camdenton; Daphne Dinsdale, Camdenton; Jessica Allen, Strafford.

Coaches: Ashley Bough, Strafford; Austin Walker, Camdeonton.

SOUTH ALL STARS

Hailey Noblitt, Republic; Ashley Hill, Reeds Spring; Madison Bauer, Reeds Spring; Skyler Bruck, Hollister; Taylor Menzies, Clever; Madison Newman, Clever; Sarah Sommer, Billings; Lexie Winfree,  Hurley; Madi Holmes, Branson.

Coaches: Becky Lipasek, Branson; Piper Wright, Republic.

WEST ALL STARS

Savannah Downing, Carthage; Morgan Hull, Mt. Vernon, Zoe Renfro, Diamond; Marley Hensley, Carthage; Kenzie Stinnett,  Carl Junction; Allyson King, Carl Junction; Lindsay Britton, Willard; Montana Moore, Webb City; Malarie Flood, Webb City; Madalyn Ferguson, Webb City.

Coaches: Cheryl Sharples, Carl Junction; Rhonda Moore, Webb City; Kristy Jones, Carl Junction.

SPRINGFIELD ALL STARS

Kamryn Artale, Kickapoo; Hannah Ast, Catholic; Elizabeth Quinn, Glendale; Brooke Lawrence, Glendale; Carrie Jones, Glendale; Rachel Pfeifer, Hillcrest; Sierra Baker, Hillcrest; Kinsie Williams, Hillcrest; Sophie Edwards, Catholic; Kaelyn Faria, Kickapoo; Taylor Marshall, Kickapoo.

Coaches: Marci Johnson, Kickapoo; Allison Davis, Parkview.