Park Hill High School is hosting a pair of duals on Thursday, Dec. 20. The catch? One will not feature high school action.
Following Park Hill’s 5 p.m. varsity dual with Liberty, the University of Missouri wrestling squad will host a dual against Virginia inside the Park Hill gymnasium.
The Division I dual is slated to begin at 7 p.m. in front of an expected sold out crowd. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets ($8 for adults, $5 for seniors/youth) online at oss.ticketmaster.com, or by phone at 1-800-CAT-PAWS, as tickets will not be distributed at the door.
Missouri currently rosters three Park Hill graduates — senior John Erneste, sophomore Canten Marriott and freshman Weston DiBlasi.
Erneste recently went 5-1 to take fifth place in the 133-pound class to help the Tigers to a second-place finish at the Cliff Keen Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Erneste, a senior who has won two straight MAC titles, claimed the Cliff Keen most falls award after earning three pins in the championship bracket. Erneste, who went 25-4 overall as a junior last year, beat Wyoming’s Montorie Bridges 10-4 in the fifth-place match.
During his time at Park Hill, Erneste was a two-time second-place finisher at the MSHSAA state championships. He placed third the other two seasons.
Headed into the current season, Marriott had a 26-8 career record as a Tiger. Marriott qualified for the NCAA Championships at 184 pounds last season, going 1-2 at the event after finishing third at the conference meet.
At Park Hill, Marriott captured a state title as a junior as part of top-four finishes in all four seasons. He posted a 62-23 mark in his prep career.
DiBlasi, a two-time state medalist as a Trojan, is a freshman on the Tigers’ roster.
The No. 6-nationally ranked Tigers currently own a dual win streak of 23 ahead of home duals against SIU-Edwardsville (Dec. 9) and Buffalo (Dec. 16), and then ultimately against Virginia (Dec. 20).
TROJANS MOVING ON
A handful of Park Hill student-athletes put pen to paper or made it known via social media where they’ll play at the next level.
Four Trojan baseball players recently signed letters of intent to their respective college baseball programs.
Will Stevens signed with Wichita State as a right-handed pitcher, outfielder Corey Bradford inked with Division II Maryville in St. Louis, right-hander Chandler Ashby signed with Crowder College and infielder Zayne Morrow penned with Kansas City Kansas Community College.
Ashby follows his brother, Aaron, who signed with Crowder and was drafted by the Brewers this year.
Abigail Culp also recently signed a letter of intent, as she’s headed to swim with the Missouri-St. Louis swimming program.
Kolby Heinerikson, a track and field star, recently announced his commitment to the University of Nebraska via Twitter.
“First of all I want to thank all of my family and friends, all of my coaches who have helped me through the years and made me a better man,” he penned. “I’m excited to announce I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at the University of Nebraska.”
Mackenzie Sackuvich said on Tuesday, Dec. 4, that she will play soccer at Emporia State.
“Super excited to announce I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at Emporia State University! Go Hornets,” she wrote on Twitter.
She helped lead the Trojans to a Class 4 title this past spring.
KOLVEK SIGNS WITH BAKER
Austin Kolvek, a former Park Hill wrestler and current Liberty Blue Jay, has signed with Baker University.
Kolvek placed third at 132 pounds at last season’s MSHSAA championships in Class 4.
WALLS NAMED ALL-MVC FROSH
One year removed from prepping at Park Hill, forward Alison Walls has earned herself All-Missouri Valley Conference freshman honors as a Drake Bulldog.
Walls also received All-MVC honorable mention honors, named to the MVC All-Freshman team. In addition to earning MVC Newcomer of the Week twice during the season.
Walls bagged three goals during her rookie campaign, good for second on the team. One of her goals was a game-winner against Illinois State. Walls, who started in 12 games, put 17 of her 29 shots on target and contributed two assists.
Walls aided Park Hill in claiming the Class 4 state title last spring. She was named the co-offensive player of the year after a season where she scored 34 of her 95 career goals.
ANCHORS CLAIMS MIAA HONORS
Pittsburg State senior Carter Anchors claimed third team all-MIAA honors after another strong season as the team’s punter.
Anchors had 46 punts during his senior campaign, 20 placed inside the 20-yard line. He ranked fifth in the MIAA in punting average.
In the regular-season finale, a win over Missouri Southern, Anchors showed off his versatility. Anchors, playing as a linebacker, led the PSU defense with seven tackles, four solo and 2 1/2 for a loss.
Anchors finished the season with 25 total tackles, six for loss, two sacks, one pass deflection and a quarterback hurry.
He was an all-state performer as a senior for the Trojans, making 124 tackles, 25 for a loss, three forced fumbles and one interception. He was also a two-time all-conference selection and the league’s defensive player of the year in 2014.
HANEY’S HUSKIES WIN MAC
Devin Haney wasted little time contributing to the Northern Illinois football program.
Haney, a freshman defensive back, managed playing time in 12 of NIU’s 13 games during his rookie campaign, collecting three tackles in the process.
The Huskies (8-5, 6-2 MAC) claimed the Mid-American Conference championship with a come-from-behind 30-29 win over Buffalo at Ford Field in Detroit on Nov. 30.
Northern Illinois will play in the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl game on Dec. 18, facing Conference USA champions UAB.