Francis Howell Central makes first-ever girls soccer Final Four appearance
Francis Howell Central midfielder Caitlyn Eddy was filled with emotions after watching her team fall to perennial power St. Theresa’s in the Class 4 championship game at Blue Springs South High on June 6.
Eddy and her teammates did not want to have their magical season end on such a sour note, but the run to the title game was a special one as the Spartans made their first girls soccer Final Four appearance in the school’s 19-year history.
“It was so hard to see it end that way after all the work we had put into the season, but if I had it to do all over again I would gladly want another year with this group,” Eddy said.
Howell Central fell behind 3-0 in the first half against the Stars, but even with that deficit the Spartans stayed poised and confident.
“After we gave up that first goal we kind of settled in and at halftime we were committed to playing the best we could in small sections of the second half so it wouldn’t get away from us,” Howell Central coach Derek Phillips said.
Freshman midfielder Bailey Beeler gave Central a chance with a goal in the 45th minute to cut the lead to 3-1. But a minute later, Alyssa Seitzer responded for St. Theresa’s with a goal and the Stars, who beat St. Joseph’s in the semifinals, added two more goals to claim their fifth state championship.
“After that goal that made it 4-1 – they scored like three goals in about a 12-minute span and they are such a good and experienced team that there wasn’t much we could do about it,” Phillips said.
A day earlier (June 7), things went decidedly better for Howell Central as the Spartans slipped past Lee’s Summit 2-1 to earn their first shot at the Class 4 title match.
Eddy, who is bound for the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, scored the game-winning goal for Central in the 25th minute of play on an awkward, less-than-perfect kick.
Central grabbed the lead in the fifth minute on a hard Emma Farley strike from the center of the box. That got Howell Central riding high early, but Lees Summit’s Sarah Burnham got the equalizer in the 21st minute to tie it at 1-1.
That’s when Howell Central keeper Sydney Chalcraft once again showed her mettle as turned in several big saves in the second half to keep Lee’s Summit out of the net.
According to Eddy, the team’s 18-0 start gave them reason to believe this could be a magical season for the Spartans.
“Our goals are always win districts and try to build from there and of course getting state is the ultimate dream but it was the 18-0 start that really got us to think maybe it could be a special year,” Eddy said.”
Although Howell Central ended its school year just as the team was starting its playoff run, Phillips noted that the school’s support for the program was tremendous all season.
“Our kids, during the school year, gave us tremendous support and were really behind the girls all through the season,” Phillips said. “This run to state just shows that if they come together and put in the hard work, special seasons like this can happen.”
Eddy, midfielder Lauren Nosal, midfielder Sam Patton, and defender Rachel Schreyer are the only seniors to graduate from the 2015 club.
Farley, midfielder Abbie Rademacher and Chalcraft will be back next year, and with them in the mix, the Spartans should be a force once again.
For Eddy, the best part of the state run was being able to have it happen in her senior season.
“I don’t think I could have asked for a better experience for my senior year from coaches, my teammates and the school support,” Eddy said. “It was absolutely amazing.”
Boy Scouts learn disaster readiness
Boy Scouts, adult leaders and parents from Troop 968 recently graduated from the local TEEN Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program.
The troop, which is chartered through the Morning Star Church in Dardenne Prairie, successfully searched, rescued, triaged and transported all victims to the designated medical area after participating in an emergency drill, putting their skills to the test by assisting victims of a tornado and high winds.
TEEN CERT provides students with a knowledge base on the effects of natural and man-made disasters and their emotional, social and economic impacts. Students learn disaster medical operations, search and rescue, fire suppression, disaster psychology, special needs considerations, as well as terrorism and team organization.
The program focuses on self, family, community and school, allowing the Scouts to build decision-making and problem-solving skills and strategies to help them make informed decisions regarding readiness, response and recovery and mitigation efforts to reduce loss of life and property.
As TEEN CERT participants, the Scouts also can apply for the Emergency Preparedness BSA Award and have the opportunity to earn several merit badges.
Students honored at SCC
For Tylor Berry, passing the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) meant opening the door to his future.
“I decided I would go back (to school) and make things right this time,” Berry said.
On June 10, Berry was honored with 83 other students during a recognition ceremony for the Adult Education and Literacy program at St. Charles Community College. Berry was among 56 students who were recognized for receiving their HiSET credentials.
“It is worth it to see how proud my great-grandmother and mother are,” Berry said. “It’s not about what you have, but the struggle you went through to obtain what you wanted.”
For Berry, passing the HiSET exam means that he can now pursue a wide variety of career opportunities.
“I think I would like to be a biologist. Animals intrigue me – everything from migrating patterns to behavior,” Berry said. “I’m specifically interested in marine biology, but I’ve never seen the ocean. This career would help me with both.”
In addition, 27 students also were acknowledged for their achievement, improvement and attendance in the English as a Second Language program; included were Olena Downey from Ukraine, Alfredo Otarola from Uruguay and Delfino Chica from Mexico, who also were honored for becoming U.S. citizens.
Getting creative with STEM
In the Francis Howell School District, students are learning more about science, technology, engineering and mathematics through Destination Imagination. The program is known for adding a creative element to all the great things about STEM.
The program encourages teams of learners to have fun and take risks, to focus and frame challenges while incorporating STEM, the arts and service learning. Participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas and the collaborative and creative problem-solving process. Teams then get to showcase their solutions at tournaments.
At Bryan Middle, the Xceteras team made it to the D.I. Global Finals, held in Knoxville, Tennessee. Xceteras team members included Vivian Worobec, Grace Juan, Colin Spies and Ainslee Harkins from Bryan Middle, as well as Sean Reardon and Carmen Brown from Francis Howell Middle.
“This experience was truly an educational one from the start to the very end,” said Marjorie Harkins, a D.I. team manager for the district. “It was a meeting of great and creative minds from around the world, and one that the Xceteras will never forget!”
In addition, D.I. sponsor Dave Spies and his team, Pun Intended, recently competed in Feary Tales, a fine arts challenge, where they faced steep competition from the best D.I. participants in Missouri. Members of his team included Isabelle Juan, Laura Spies, Grace Trimble and Gwyneth Worobec.
Fort Zumwalt receives incentive check for lighting project
At the June 15 Fort Zumwalt Board of Education meeting, Ameren UE and Lockheed-Martin presented the district with a check for more than $151,000 as an incentive for energy conservation measures undertaken at its six schools.
Lockheed-Martin administers the Ameren BizSavers Program, which provides cash incentives for completing energy efficient measures. The district’s improvements to interior and exterior lighting at Dardenne, Hawthorn, Mount Hope, Rock Creek and Twin Chimneys elementary schools and at North High, are the latest to qualify for the incentives.
The district has replaced outmoded lighting fixtures with higher efficiency equipment and added occupancy sensors to turn off interior lights in vacant areas. This is the second incentive awarded to Fort Zumwalt as it works to update outmoded lighting fixtures in 20 of its buildings.