Despite losing a talented senior class from last year’s Final Four team, the Ozark Tigers have reloaded in 2012. Led by Brianna and Becky Justis, The Tigers have played a gauntlet of a schedule including nationally ranked Lafayette and Lee’s Summit West.
The Chiefs are poised to end their district draught in 2012, led by seniors Emily Thater and Maris Below; both have given verbal commitments to D-1 programs. A loaded field at this weekend’s Springfield Classic will see just how talented Kickapoo is.
Although the Eagles are young, they have yet to drop a set so far in 2012. Nixa, like Kickapoo, is also looking for a solid showing in the Springfield Classic. Coach Walker’s squad is currently #10 in the MHSVCA Class 4 poll.
Fair Grove (9-3)
Fair Grove is off to a hot start in 2012, including a win over traditional power Rogersville for the first time in 12 years. The Eagles had a great showing in the Branson Tournament, advancing to the championship game before losing to Carl Junction.
The Tigers have dropped just two sets all season and boast wins over Carl Junction and Joplin. Carthage will also be in the Springfield Classic.
Carl Junction (8-3-1)
The youthful Bulldogs are off to quite the start in 2012. Despite tough losses to Republic and Carthage, both of whom are larger in class, the Coach Wall’s squad rebounded to win the Branson Tournament with an impressive showing, dropping just three sets in six matches.
The Wildcats lost a talented class from a 19-9-1 district championship team, but Coach Cheek’s squad has responded well in 2012. Led by Emily Smith, Billings has gotten off to a strong start, anchored by wins over Marionville and a championship in the Verona Tournament.
The Bison are off to a hot start, including a fifth place finish at the Lori Endicott Invitational. Both of Buffalo’s have come at the hands of larger schools. This weekend Buffalo welcomes Clever and El Dorado Springs to its tournament.
Ash Grove (5-0)
Junior Jamie Mauss and senior Karina Critten have led the Lady Pirates to an unbeaten start, including wins over Springfield Catholic and Clever. A solid field at this weekend’s Ash Grove Tournament is sure to test Coach Cox’s team.
The Tigers look poised to compete for the COC-Large title in 2012. Willard won the championship of the Lori Endicott Invitational. Willard is in the Camdenton Tournament next week, before opening up COC-Large play at Nixa on Sept. 25.
Knockin’ in the door: Republic (4-2), Rogersville (5-2), Reeds Spring (7-3), Clever (4-3), El Dorado Springs (9-1-1), Strafford (6-1)
The schedule has been set for the 2013 Blue and Gold Tournament, held Dec. 26-30 on the campus of Missouri State University.
Here are some initial thoughts on the matchups to watch and how the bracket will play out.
The best first-round games...
It may be cold outside, but the action on the mats is heating up. After snow cancelled much of last week's prep slate, many area grapplers will kick off the 2013-14 season this week. This week's Chronicles will take a look at some of the Ozarks' best...
Mizzou fell to Auburn 59-42 on Saturday in the SEC Title Game. Here are five things I am taking away from the game.
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1. Auburn's rushing attack appears virtually...