By ERIC X. VICCARO
Ste. Genevieve High School winter sports teams recalled grand successes during a special recognition program.
The two-hour, 30-minute program took place last Wednesday the Ste. Genevieve R-II Performing Arts Center on the high school campus.
The special recognition night was made possible by the Ste. Genevieve All-Sports Boosters.
R-II athletic director Dr. Jeff Nix served as the master of ceremonies, and student Regean Naeger spoke the invocation.
All winter sports teams — from freshman boys’ basketball to junior varsity girls’ basketball plus winter cheer and Emeralds — were celebrated.
Here’s just a small sample of Ste. Genevieve’s success.
• Varsity boys’ basketball won the Sullivan Tournament, which included wins over Class 6 Battle and Mineral Area Activities Association foe Farmington. In fact, the Dragons defeated the Knights twice this season.
• Varsity girls’ basketball won its third MAAA regular-season league title, and they finished second at the Bob Sechrest Jr. Christmas Tournament in Park Hills.
• The cheerleaders put on a recent clinic, with 84 elementary school-aged children attending — serving as a fundraiser for the team.
• Both girls’ wrestlers who reached the Missouri State High School Activities Association tournament earned medals, including Izzy Basler’s fourth-place finish at 127 pounds.
• Ste. Genevieve boys’ wrestlers claimed yet another district championship, finished 14th overall in Class 2 at state, and had two fourth-place finishers in senior Dalton McNeal and freshman Gage Gross.
“Our wrestlers pushed their bodies to the limit,” noted Ste. Genevieve assistant wrestling coach Justin Roth during the ceremony.
Wrestlers Nathan Selby, Kaleb Myracle, Bret Bieser, Autumn Basler and McNeal were given special senior awards. Selby finished his scholastic career with 91 wins.
McNeal will be remembered as one of the most decorated wrestlers in Ste. Genevieve history, with 133 career wins and 23 wins by fall during this 2020-21 season.
Maggie Myracle recorded the most victories during the season on the girls’ side (34), while Basler had the most pins for either Dragon gender (27).
Ste. Genevieve’s boys also won the Southeast Missouri Regional Wrestling Conference title and its own tournament — compiling a dual-match record of 15-5.
“You have been a blessing in our lives,” Ste. Genevieve head wrestling coach Jared Bonnell said to the seniors. “You have poured in hundreds of hours of blood, sweat and tears into more than just wrestling. We are grateful for the opportunities we have had to coach you.”
Ste. Genevieve head boys’ basketball coach Robert Coleman said the season was a blessing in light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
“We were lucky to have this season,” Coleman said, “to do what we love with the players we have. Dr. Nix juggled schedules and made extra calls. This was one of the best seasons we have had since I have been here.”
The boys played several state tournament qualifiers, including Class 6 Fort Zumwalt North, Class 5 league foe North County, Class 3 state champion Hartville and Class 1 crown-bearer South Iron.
Coleman was proud the Dragons (16-9) were a No. 1 seed in the district tournament for the first time ever; however, Ste. Genevieve lost to Park Hills Central, 55-49, in the final.
There were plenty of dazzling numbers, too.
Ricky Hunter knocked down 70 3-pointers, made 74 percent of his free throws, and finished the season averaging 14 points per contest. Anthony Nash, the Dragons’ engine, dished off 3.4 assists and had 2.7 steals per game.
Aiden Boyer was tops in rebounds with 161 for the season while Logan Trollinger distributed the most assists with 95 to go with 8.1 points per game.
Rudy Flieg had decent averages of 7.7 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest. Landon Rose played his best game versus Cape Notre Dame, scoring 12 points. Blake Morganthaler scored double digits four times.
Ste. Genevieve girls’ basketball coach Jordanna Walk-Robison fought back tears when discussing the eight seniors within her program.
This group of seniors — Maci Reynolds, Sydney Bumgardaner, Megan Aubuchon, Marysa Flieg, Morgan Schwent, Alison Braun, Jaden Wehner and French exchange student Julie Beaulier — will leave the school with plenty of honors and adoration.
“The girls worked so hard, day in and day out,” Walk-Robison said. “It was a crazy season.”
Both Reynolds and Bumgardaner reached grand milestones this season, with each girl scoring their 1,000th point during the season. Reynolds finishes fourth in school history with 1,324 points and Bumgardaner sixth (1,018).
The girls’ basketball team also faced a sandpaper-rough schedule with state tournament teams Steelville and South Iron on the docket. The Dragons also played Park Hills Central three times, including in the district championship.
Reynolds finishes her career with school-bests of 442 assists, 371 steals and 164 3-pointers. Bumgardaner recorded a whopping school-high 177 blocked shots and 779 rebounds. Flieg corralled 400 rebounds in her career. Aubuchon was noted for her shooting presence inside, leading the team in field goal percentage.
The Dragons compiled a record of 80-23 during these past four years, including a 25-win campaign during the 2019-20 season.