The Francis Howell basketball Vikings opened the season with a solid showing on the weekend of Dec. 2 at the 47th Annual Troy Invitational Tournament.
Howell, which won the tournament last year, came up a bit short in this year’s tournament challenge as the Vikings fell to second-ranked Columbia Rock Bridge 71-56, but the team showed that they are ready for most any challenge on the floor this winter.
The Vikings found themselves behind through the third quarter, but in the fourth quarter mounted a run and pulled within six points before the Bruins pulled away in the closing minutes to claim the championship trophy.
Sophomore guard Daylan Dalton paced the Vikings with 14 points, while freshman guard Matt Schark came on in a reserve role and pumped in 11 points.
Howell opened the tournament with a well-played effort as the Vikings rolled to a 71-56 victory over Fort Zumwalt South on Nov 28. The Vikings outscored the Bulldogs 37-23 in the second half to pull away for the win. Mike Brohm and Dalton led a quartet of double-figure scorers with 18 and 17 points. Patrick Schulte and Ryan Spears also came up big with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Two days later in the semifinal round, the Vikings made short work of Columbia Hickman with a 66-46 victory over the overmatched Kewpies. Howell raced to a 31-24 lead at the end of the first half and outscored Hickman 19-9 in the third quarter to blow the game open. Brohm was sharp as he hit eight of 16 shots from the floor for a game-high 20 points. Schark added 10 points on 4 of 7 shooting from the field. Spears chipped in seven points.
Howell will spend the Christmas break playing in the Mary Institute/Country Day Invitational Tournament, which begins play on Dec. 26.
2016 proved to be a magical season for the Fort Zumwalt North Panthers on the gridiron, as they advanced to the Class 5 championship game on Nov. 26. The Panthers also garnered a bevy of post-season honors as well. Fort Zumwalt North had 12 players named to the All-Gateway Athletic Conference Central first team that recently was announced.
Here is a look at the All-GAC Central first team roster:
Quarterback – Cade Brister, Fort Zumwalt North, senior; Running backs – Cole Mueller, Wentzville Holt, sophomore; R.J. Keen, Fort Zumwalt South, sophomore. Offensive line – Alex Jetton, Fort Zumwalt North, senior.; Trevor Olson, Fort Zumwalt North, junior; Blake Bennett, Fort Zumwalt South, junior; Kadier Ndiaye, Fort Zumwalt North, junior. Wide receiver – Ben Straatman, Washington, senior; Damion Hudson, Fort Zumwalt East, senior; Channon Ross, Fort Zumwalt South, senior. Kicker – Matt Hoemann, Washington, senior; Athlete – Ben Watson, Fort Zumwalt East, sophomore. Defensive back – Ben Straatmann, Washington, senior; Cade Brister, Fort Zumwalt North, senior; Channon Ross, Fort Zumwalt South, senior; Cody Lampe, Fort Zumwalt East, senior. Linebacker – Eli Paraheim, Fort Zumwalt North, junior; Harrison Stephan, Fort Zumwalt South, senior; Brant McCain, Wentzville Liberty, senior; Jaylin Vaughn, Fort Zumwalt North, sophomore. Defensive line – Trevor Olson, Fort Zumwalt North, senior; Alec Holtmeyer, Washington, senior; Vince Czerniawski, Fort Zumwalt East, junior; Kadier Ndiaye, Fort Zumwalt North, junior. Punter-Tyler Murphy, Wentzville Liberty, junior.
Offensive Player of The Year – Cade Brister, Fort Zumwalt North, senior.
Defensive Player of The Year – Ben Straatmann, Washington, senior.
Special Team Player of The Year – Tre Payne, Fort Zumwalt East, junior.
Coach Of The Year – Joe Bacon, Fort Zumwalt North.
Francis Howell Central inducts Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017
Francis Howell Central induction ceremony was held on Dec. 16 before the Spartans boys varsity basketball game against Francis Howell North. Inducted were:
Christy Leath, Class of 2005. Leath played softball from 2001-2004 and was a member of the girls swim and dive team from 2001-2005. Leath was a four-year varsity starter and letter-winner in both sports.
In softball, Leath was named first team All-Conference in All-District all four years. In 2004, her senior season, she was named the GAC South Player of the Year and named to the Class 4 All-State Team. Leath remains in the top 10 in five career categories, including batting average, on-base percentage, RBIs, doubles and triples. Leath received several Division I scholarship offers in softball.
In swimming, Leath qualified for the GAC finals in her sophomore, junior and senior seasons and was a state qualifier in 200, her senior year.
After high school, Leath attended Boston University to play softball. There, she was a starting catcher for four years. She was named a team captain during her junior and senior seasons. Leath was a three-time All-Conference catcher and was named the Conference Player of The Year in 2007.
Leath also was named to the National Fast Pitch Coaches Association’s All-Region Division I team during that same season and was named to ECAC Division I All-Star Team.
Academically, Leath was named a National Fast Pitch Coaches Association Academic All-American, the American East Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2007 as well as being named Boston University’s Woman of the Year in 2009.
Jake Henson, Class of 2012. Henson played baseball at Francis Howell Central from 2009-2012. During his time, he was the first four-year starter in baseball program history.
While starting at catcher, Henson was a key member of two GAC South Championships and named ALL-GAC two times. He was named honorable mention All-Metro as a junior and first team All-Metro as a senior, as well as being named All-State in 2011 and 2012 by the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association.
Henson also was named a High School All-American by both Rawlings and Louisville Slugger. He still holds the school record for highest single season batting average and an amazing eight career record, including, total number of hits, batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, RBIs, doubles, triples and home runs.
Henson was all named to All-GAC Academic team as a junior and senior.
After high school, Henson played baseball at Saint Louis University, where he started 110 games during his three-year career. During the 2015 season, he led the Billikens with eight home runs, 46 RBIs and two triples.
While at SLU, he was a member of the most successful Billiken teams in program history. During those years, the Billikens won the Atlantic 10 regular season championship all three seasons and won the Conference Tournament in 2012 and 2013.
Henson was a 21st round selection by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the June 2015 amateur baseball draft. During the 2016 season, Henson was the starting catcher and key member of the Dodgers Class A affiliate, the Great Lakes Loons, who won its first Midwest League Championship in club history in September.
Sharese Jones, Class of 2012. Jones played basketball at Francis Howell Central from 2008-2012, where she finished her career with 1,910 career points and 841 rebounds, both achievements were second in school history for either a male or female player.
Jones was a four-year varsity starter and was named All-GAC South and first team All-District all four years. As a senior, she was named the GAC South Player of The Year and to the Class 5 All-State Team.
During her senior year, she also helped to lead the Spartans to the Class 5 quarterfinals. In that quarterfinal overtime loss, Jones finished the final game of her high school career with 34 points and 17 rebounds.
After high school, Jones played basketball at Missouri Southern University. While at Missouri Southern, Jones was a four-year starter and a two-time Team MVP. She started 91 games and played in 111 games during her college career. She was named the Missouri Southern Female Athlete of the Week numerous times and also was a member of the NCAA Division II USA National Team.
With her Hall of Fame induction, Jones joins her sister, Shakira, who was inducted in 2012.
Jones currently is an assistant coach in the Spartans girls basketball program.