At St. Joseph’s Academy graduation recently, a couple of coaches were staying back in the atrium, a short distance from the ceremonies on the stage out back. Basketball coach Julie Matheny and soccer coach Maureen McVey were enjoying their moment away from the limelight.
Asked if finding new players presented a difficult task following graduation, Matheny looked at this way.
“My sophomores and juniors are thrilled that Maddie and Morgan Stock are moving on. Now, at least they finally get a chance to touch the ball.”
Graduation means new opportunities for the students moving on. For the coaches, well, it’s the challenge all high school leaders face. Turnover comes quickly at this level.
Unlike professional sports where you might have an Albert Pujols or Torry Holt or an Ozzie Smith for 10 or more years, the high school coaches are turning over players every couple of years.
Josh Smith, football coach at MICDS had the luxury of having two way star Michael Scherer, quarterback Thomas Militello and wide receiver Jack Howell in his lineup for two and three years. The search is on to plug the holes of some 27 Rams players who have graduated.
This senior class, in particular, provided so many golden moments on the local prep scene. The Stock twins, Morgan and Maddie will take their abundant basketball talents to Mizzou. They were on the winningiest teams in St. Joe history, and that’s saying something.
Davey Holmes, Nathan Adams, Bear Kaminer and Sam Hefler gave coach Gus Frerotte a great launch to a football coaching career, taking the Burroughs Bombers to back-to-back Show-Me Bowl games. Burroughs star wrestler Cory Lester will join the Michigan program. Field hockey and lacrosse standout Charlotte Martin is headed to Northwestern. Tennis champ Sydney Lehman is off to Johns Hopkins University.
Quarterback Brandon Carr, rusher Deavin Edwards and wide receiver Jehu Chesson led Ladue football to two solid years of football. None will be easily replaced.
Elena Gresick, star of Ladue’s field hockey and lacrosse teams will play hockey at Johns Hopkins.
Villa Duchesne has stars like swimmer/field hockey player Bentley Boldt, headed to Washington & Lee and Hanna Benben basketball/soccer star to Washington University.
Haley Pryor of MICDS went 11 foot 3 in the pole vault and is now off to Rhodes College, Memphis.
Swim stars were aplenty. Annie Goessling, MICDS will swim at North Carolina while Villa sprinter Morgan Mullenix will swim for the University of Denver. Ladue’s Madeline Wall will join the Dartmouth swim program.
There were so many senior stars, it would be impossible to mention everyone. These are the ones who wrote the headlines from fall to spring.
Good luck to all these athletes as they continue their collegiate careers. And to the high school coaches, tryouts will begin as early as August when the first whistle blows. A whole new cast of athletes will move up and take over.