Park Hill South's Baska to follow brothers football footsteps to Missouri Western

RIVERSIDE, Mo. – Tyler Baska didn’t exactly talk his college choice over with his older brother. Yet, the Park Hill South senior decided to continue his football career in the same place. ROSS MARTIN/Citizen photo Park Hill South senior Jordan Bell, left, rubs the head of teammate Tyler Baska after they signed to play collegiate football during a ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 2 at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo.

“He’s been out of town so I haven’t really talked to him,” the Park Hill South senior said after signing with Missouri Western in St. Joseph, Mo. during a ceremony held Wednesday, Feb. 3 at Park Hill South High School. “I’m going to tell him I committed to Missouri Western. Hopefully, he’s happy about it.”

Austin Baska ranks No. 8 in Missouri Western history for tackles for loss (31½) and 10th for sacks with 11. A 2014 graduate, he starred on a brash defensive line unit with talented teammates including NFL player David Bass. Collectively, they referred to themselves as “Death Row” and often carried a sledgehammer onto the field at home games.

Tyler Baska doesn’t give off the same grandiose personality but carry some of the same potential.

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, Baska collected 50 tackles (three for loss), three sacks and a fumble recovery this past season at defensive end Park Hill South, which finished 2-8 in coach Mike Sharp’s first season. However, Baska earned second team all-Suburban Conference Red Division honors in addition to a selection to the All-Class 5 District 8 team.

Missouri Western coach Jerry Partridge referred to Baska as “a potential sleeper” in Twitter comments posted during signing day.

“I want to be able to be better than (my brother) did,” Baska said. “The coaches seem to know me pretty well.”

Park Hill South ended up with two signees.

Jordan Bell, a 5-11, 200-pound multipurpose player, ended up in Benedictine’s 56-player signing class announced Wednesday. He’s listed at running back after posting 37 carries for 275 yards and one touchdown last season while spending most of the year as the third option in the backfield.

Bell also finished with 42 tackles (two for loss) and a sack as an outside linebacker for Park Hill South.

“I’m extremely ready, and I’m extremely excited,” Bell said. “I’m really happy to have an opportunity to go to college and play.”