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Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016
Wildcat players earn academic honors (02/10/16)
Despite the football season ending last fall, the final gridiron awards were doled out last week with the announcement of the Academic All-State team. Three Wildcats made the list in William Edmondson, Colton Dilbeck and Garrett Knight. "I am extremely proud of these three guys," said Lance Parnell, Cassville football coach. "We stress the need for our players to put their academic studies first. These awards are as important as any other your can win in football."...
Purdy Hall of Fame to grow Friday (02/10/16)
Friday night, the Purdy school district will celebrate its annual basketball homecoming with the theme, "Under the Big Top." The Eagles are slated to battle McAuley Catholic on the floor beginning at 6 p.m., and the district, in conjunction with the festivities, will also host its second annual Purdy High School Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony...
Southwest athletes earn Academic All-State honors (02/10/16)
Six Southwest players made the Academic All-State volleyball team. From left: Baylea Ford, Brianna Learned, Karla Catron, Savana Leonhardt, Sydney Delosantos and Jaime Shrum. To qualify, the girls needed a 3.6 GPA for the first semester. The entire Southwest varsity volleyball team had a combined GPA of 3.5, according to Coach Steve Voyak. Contributed photo...
Purdy using hearts to fight cancer (02/10/16)
The Purdy girls basketball game on Thursday has been designated as Pink Night. The Lady Eagles welcome McAuley Catholic to town and are attempting to fill the gym with pink hearts, according to Coach Eli Ernst. Hearts can be purchased from a member of the girls' basketball team or at the game for a $1 donation...
Area 
volleyball players claim honors (02/10/16)
The Missouri High School Volleyball Coaches Association released its 2015-2016 Academic All-State volleyball teams on Friday. Among the lists were 19 area players for Purdy, Wheaton and Pierce City. To qualify for the all-state squad, players must have a 3.6 cumulative GPA from all semesters of their entire career and played in 75 percent of varsity matches...
Youth wrestlers compete at Wildcat Takedown Club event (02/03/16)
Cassville's Gabe Hunter, 12, flexes his might against Nixa's Cole Crahan, 12, during the Wildcat Takedown Club's youth wrestling tournament at Cassville High School Saturday and Sunday. Kyle Troutman editor@cassville-democrat.com
Crowds, plays pushing Wildcats (02/03/16)
With Lamar and Aurora on the Cassville boys basketball schedule on Friday and Tuesday respectively, the Wildcats know they have their work cutout for them. "Every game we play is bigger than the previous," said Barrett Milleson, Cassville boys coach. "Right now our goal is to get some momentum as we head toward that district tournament."...
Lady Wildcats in midst of tough stretch (02/03/16)
A second place finish at the Galena Tournament was not the ideal ending the Cassville girls basketball team had in mind. The Lady Wildcats fell, 70-44 to Purdy, and as Coach Chris Shore knows, it was the first of four games in a murder's row of competition...
Trojans looking for right mix (02/03/16)
Southwest boys basketball coach Rusty Roe is not Nostradamus, but he was able to predict what his team's struggles were going to be before a 67-39 loss to Monett on Friday. "Monett's size and athleticism were going to be our biggest challenges," Roe said, entering the contest. "We play with heart, but that doesn't always cover open shooters."...
Student sections square off in Cassville (01/29/16)
The atmosphere was electric at Cassville High School's Tip-Off game Friday night, as the student sections from Cassville and Pierce City kept the level of excitement high.
Purdy, Cassville vie for title (01/27/16)
Barry County neighbors Purdy and Cassville square off at 8 p.m. tonight (Wednesday) in the championship of the Galena Tournament. For the Lady Eagles, it will be their fourth game in five days as they bring a six-game winning streak into the tilt. "Welcome to southwest Missouri basketball," said Eli Ernst, Purdy coach. "With the recent weather, our schedule this week is chaotic. I have the utmost respect for Coach [Chris] Shore and know he'll have his girls well-prepared for the game."...
Eagles vie for tourney title (01/27/16)
With less than a month remaining in the varsity basketball season, the Purdy boys find themselves in a tournament championship game tonight (Wednesday) against Billings in Sarcoxie. The Eagles walloped Exeter, 86-30, to open tourney play, then waited until Mother Nature allowed them to play and defeated Sarcoxie, 70-51, on Saturday...
Cheer squad earns hardware (01/27/16)
The Cassville High School cheerleading squad finished 12th out of 250 teams at the National Cheerleading Association's (NCA) National Cheerleading Competition in Dallas on Saturday. "When we got the bid in July, I wasn't sure if our squad would be able to attend such a prestigious event," said Lisa Schell, Cassville cheerleading coach. "Once we were given permission to go, the girls dedicated many hours of practice time to be able to step on that mat with over 250 teams this past weekend."...
Jared Lankford: Legislating sportsmanship (01/27/16)
Most coaches will tell you that if given the choice of playing home or away, they prefer home. It is not that hard of a question for them to answer. Home field and home court advantage are coveted in athletics. In the NFL, when teams are evenly-matched, oddsmakers always give the home team a 3-point edge...
Lady Wildcat volleyball to host youth camp (01/27/16)
The Cassville volleyball team is offering youth volleyball camps in February. Grades 3-5 will have camp Feb. 16-19 from 3:30-5 p.m., and grades 5-6 will camp Feb. 22-26 from 3:30-5 p.m. Both events will be held at Cassville Middle School. For more information, people may contact Kayla Walnofer at kwalnofer@cassville.k12.mo.us...
Youth wrestling tournament this weekend (01/27/16)
The Wildcats Takedown Club hosts its inaugural youth wrestling tournament Saturday and Sunday at Cassville High School. Action is slated to begin at 8 a.m. both days.
Wildcats to play for 3rd at Spokane today (01/27/16)
The Cassville boys basketball team plays Springfield Catholic for third place in the Spokane Invitational Tournament tonight (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. The tournament had to revamp its schedule due to inclement weather last week.
Wildcats roll into semifinal (01/20/16)
With a solid 77-61 win over Spokane on Monday, the Cassville boys basketball team advanced to the semifinal of the Spokane Invitational Tournament. The No. 5 seed Wildcats' reward is No. 1 seed Reeds Spring on Friday at 7 p.m. "We're right where we want to be," said Barrett Milleson, Cassville coach. "In any tournament, you want to keep moving right in the bracket. The worst we'll play for is third, but I like the way we are fighting right now."...
MSHSAA exploring football championship options (01/20/16)
The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA) is putting together a request for proposals for the Show-Me Bowl state championship football games, according to Jason West, media director. The request became necessary after the NFL stripped St. Louis of the Rams, throwing the future of the Edwards Jones Dome into limbo...
Jared Lankford: Rams fans caught in nasty business (01/20/16)
On Jan. 30, 2000, I was sitting on the floor of my brother's house in Seneca watching the upstart St. Louis Rams battle for NFL supremacy against the Tennessee Titans. When former University of Missouri linebacker Mike Jones tackled Kevin Dyson inside the 1-yard line to preserve the Super Bowl title, everyone present celebrated. It was the best NFL championship game that we had ever watched. This contest went down to the final seconds before being settled...
Middle school volleyball practice starts at Southwest (01/20/16)
Volleyball practices starts Tuesday at Southwest Middle School in Washburn, according to Coach Steve Voyak. The team is open to all 7th and 8th-grade girls. Players need an athletic physical and insurance to participate. Those with questions may contact Voyak at 479.422.5395 or r5svoya@swr5.k12.mo.us...
Cassville 8th-grader selected for national football team (01/13/16)
Cassville eighth-grader Jacob Hall, has been selected to play on the 2016 U.S. Under-15 Select Team, assembled by USA Football. Hall, a 5-3, 160 pound lineman, is one of 88 of the nation's best middle school football players that have been selected to the U.S. Under-15 Select Teams, which will compete in the 2016 International Bowl on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas. Kickoff between the U.S. Under-15 Stars and U.S. Under-15 Stripes is 4 p.m...
Big 8 play begins for Wildcats (01/13/16)
Cassville's Ethan Hoppes leads the Wildcats into Carl Junction on Thursday as Cassville opens Big 8 Conference play this week. Cole Jackson Special to the Cassville Democrat
Jared Lankford: Lower participation a harbinger of things to come? (01/13/16)
You don't have to look hard on Friday nights in the Ozarks to know football is still king when it comes to packing fans in the stands -- but for how long? Schools in the state are taking a good look at their football programs, and the necessity of such programs, for various reasons...
Henry leaving McDonald County (01/13/16)
Corey Henry, McDonald County football coach, announced on Thursday he is stepping down from his post and will leave the district at the end of the school year. "I felt it was time for a change for me," Henry said. "I needed to get away from McDonald County."...
Seneca searching for new coach (01/13/16)
There will be at least one Big 8 football job to fill this offseason. Seneca Coach Dan Scheible resigned, effective immediately, to become the offensive coordinator at Central Methodist University in Fayette. "It's always hard to leave one place for another," Scheible said. "The Seneca community has been so good to me. I have enjoyed my time here."...
'Cats finding emotional drive (01/06/16)
Barrett Milleson, Cassville boys basketball coach, only knows one way to lead -- with pure 100 percent passion and enthusiasm. Consequently, he expects the exact same from his players on the court when they play. Milleson was the first one to greet his team after defeating Southwest to open play in the Southwest Holiday Tournament -- every player got a hand shake and special private message from their head coach...
Tigers claim needed victory (01/06/16)
It might not have been for a state championship, but it felt like one when the Exeter boys basketball team defeated Wheaton, 54-51, in overtime for seventh place in the Southwest Holiday Tournament a week ago. While the players celebrated, Tigers Coach Matt Tripp finally received the foundation piece that he was looking for...
Little things haunting Cassville basketball girls (01/06/16)
A somber Chris Shore, Cassville girls basketball coach, was blunt in how he felt after Monday night's 54-49 overtime loss to Lamar. "I'm going to have trouble sleeping tonight," Shore said. "I'm not frustrated with our players or our effort on the floor. I'm frustrated with myself. Sometimes, I stick with things too long."...
Top 10 Sports Stories of 2015 (12/30/15)
The following stories are ranked by the Democrat staff as the Top 10 sports stories of 2015.
Trojans eye improved guard play (12/30/15)
For Southwest boys basketball coach Rusty Roe, identifying his team's problems is an easy duty. Finding solutions is where the challenge arises. For the most part Roe likes the team and the potential he has on the floor, however, there is one glaring issue that needs to be resolved as the Trojans proceed into the new year -- improved guard play...
Wheaton relying on alumnus to build for future (12/30/15)
When Chris Kennedy tells fans that he is a Bulldogs fan through and through, and that he can see himself retiring from the school, they can believe him. Kennedy is in his first season as both boys basketball coach and athletic director, but he is no stranger to coaching or Wheaton. An alumnus of the Class of 1986, Kennedy has returned home to help resurrect a program with a proud tradition on the hardwood...
Cassville girls make tourney switch (12/23/15)
The second annual girls Southwest Holiday Tournament tips off on Saturday with Pea Ridge (Ark.) and Omaha (Ark.) battling at 11 a.m. The second year of the tournament features a new local team in Cassville, which had been in the Berryville (Ark.) Tournament the last three seasons...
Southwest High School ready for holiday hoops (12/23/15)
The 33rd annual Southwest Holiday Tournament tips off on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. with Pea Ridge (Ark.) and Exeter. In recent years, the tournament has featured teams from Arkansas and Missouri. The eight-team field reflects this tradition again this season, with Pea Ridge and Gentry rolling in from the Natural State...
Wildcat grapplers shine on the mat (12/23/15)
The Cassville wrestling team had a good showing in the McDonald County JV Tournament on Saturday. Michael Hunter took fist place in the 145 pounds-C division to highlight the team's accomplishments. "We had a good day," said Brian Barbee, interim wrestling coach. "We are still building on our fundamentals, and that will be our focus the rest of the season."...
Purdy girls hoops heads to Drury tourney (12/23/15)
The Purdy girls basketball team is heading to the 32-team Pink and White Lady Classic on Monday, which will be held at the Drury University campus in Springfield. The Lady Eagles will compete in the 16-team pink division, which includes Kickapoo, Springfield Central, Spokane, Marshfield, Strafford, Branson, Miller, Pickerington Central, Ozark, Camdenton, Willard, Fort Smith Northside (Ark.), Springfield Catholic, Aurora and Buffalo...
Dilbeck honored among state's best (12/16/15)
The Southwest Missouri Football Coaches Association and Missouri Football Coaches Association (MFCA) thought highly of the Cassville football program this season. The Southwest Missouri association selected eight Wildcats to its All-Area football team...
'Cats earns 6 All-District spots (12/16/15)
The Cassville football team secured six spots on the Missouri Football Coaches Association (MFCA) Class 3, All-District 4 football team for the 2015-2016 season. Unlike previous all-district teams, schools were allotted a certain number of team slots based on their district finish. Additionally, the team was not divided into first, second and honorable mention designations, as released by the MFCA, players are just simply shown by an all-district description...
Local teams to tangle in tourney (12/16/15)
The Walnut Grove Holiday Classic girls basketball tournament will feature five bi-county teams this season. Exeter, Monett, Pierce City, Verona and Marionville are part of the 16-team field that begins action on Saturday. The Walnut Grove tournament has earned the reputation of being the best small-school holiday tournament in the state...
Cassville Football: Top 10 photos of 2015 (12/09/15)
Pictured are the Top 10 photos from Cassville's 2015 football season.
Lady Wildcats taking steps forward (12/09/15)
Encouraged by a second-place finish at the Blue Eye Tournament, Cassville rolled to a win over Pierce City on Monday, leaving its coach in good spirits. "I think we are improving every day," said Chris Shore, Cassville coach. "Defensively, I have been pleased with our growth and development. We played man-to-man against Spokane in the championship game, and the girls held a high-flying offense to 38 points."...
White following dreams to college (12/09/15)
For three years, Purdy senior Courtney White has pursued her dream of playing college volleyball. With an acceptance letter now in hand from Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kan., the dream is now a reality for the Lady Eagles' standout...
Exeter learning on the fly (12/02/15)
Rome was not built in a day, and the Exeter boys basketball team will not get to where it needs to be overnight. Coming off a 6-16 season a year ago, the Tigers knew they had an uphill fight coming into this season, especially with just one returning starter...
Southwest looking for right mix (12/02/15)
In his third year at the helm of the Southwest boys basketball program, Rusty Roe has a young team to break in this season. The Trojans return two starters off of last year's 13-14 squad in Robbie Randall and Devon Resz. With a crop of retuning lettermen, Roe believes his team can grow this season...
Barbee named interim wrestling coach (12/02/15)
Cassville Athletic Director Doug Martin has named Brian Barbee the interim head coach of the Wildcats wrestling program. Barbee, who had been the team's assistant coach, was elevated to the position after Head Coach David Hopper was placed on paid administrative leave Nov. 16...
3 Cassville residents over 40 place in half-marathon (12/02/15)
Three Cassville residents recently ran in the White River Half-Marathon held in Cotter, Ark., placing first, third and 16th in their respective divisions. Ron Stafford, 46, placed 12th overall and first in his age division of 45-49 with a running time of 1:37:07. Dennis Jacobs, 49, placed 44th overall and third in his age division of 45-49 with a running time of 1:53:44; and Lisa Munday Jacobs, 42, placed 155th overall and 16th in her age division of 40-44 with a time of 2:18:49...
Purdy girls roll past College Heights, 64-12 (12/02/15)
A 64-12 rout of College Heights on Monday propelled the Purdy girls basketball team (2-0) into the semifinal of the Diamond Tournament. The Lady Eagles led 20-3 at the end of the first period and 32-5 at halftime. Layne Skiles led the team in scoring with 15 points. Also scoring for Purdy were: Sami House, 10; Rion Boyd and Mikey Schad, 9 each; Cailyn Spears and Desirie Ennes, 6 apiece; Emma Harkey, 4; Zoe Brown and Hallie Henderson, 2 each; and Rylee Moller, 1...
Purdy drops tourney opener to Sparta, 59-47 (12/02/15)
The Purdy boys basketball team (1-1) tasted defeat for the first time on Monday, falling 59-47 to Sparta in the Clever Tournament. The Eagles started strong and led 19-10 after the first period, but a 19-8 surge in the second quarter gave the Spartans a lead they would not relinquish...
Jared Lankford: Fans lose in broadcasting tug of war (12/02/15)
Technology over the past decade has transformed the way we see the world and gather our information. On Saturday, I took advantage of a sale and purchased a watch that can stream television shows. Everywhere we go, and in everything we do, we increasingly rely on gadgets and technological advancements that put almost everything at our fingertips. It is not that we need to, but we can brew coffee at our homes by pressing a button on a mobile device...
New coach, new basketball season tip at Cassville (11/25/15)
The coaching carousel was in full effect last season when Danny Powers stepped down as basketball coach and eventually took the Neosho baseball job. Cassville went on to make a splash with the hiring of Barrett Milleson as Powers' replacement. While the head coaching position for Milleson is his first, he is no stranger to the game or coaching. He is the son of current George Mason head women's coach and former Missouri State and Drury head coach Nyla Milleson...
2015-2016 Pick of the Litter: Plays of the Week