Fall sports preview


courtesy of Anna Carmondy

Kate Hennessey, sports editor


photo by Vanessa Gonzalez   

The name “Kirkwood” does not hold the same weight as CBC or Rockhurst High School, Armon Tindle, senior, said. Because of this, KHS football went into the semifinals and state championships as the underdog in the 2016 season. However, the team used the negativity and doubt to fuel their play, which ultimately won them the state championship. Tindle played both offense and defence last season as running back and defensive back respectively. He ended the season with 46 tackles and 19 assists. Now going into his last season, Tindle said he looks forward to finding the right college that fits him both academically and athletically. His goal at KHS is to make it back to the state championship, he said. “I’m excited [for this season],” Tindle said. “I [have played on] varsity since freshman year and saw seniors come and go. It’s amazing to see JV players step up [and] explode on varsity.”

photo by Emily Neu

In the KHS halls, talks of the upcoming football or basketball games fill the air, rather than the upcoming softball game; however this just increases Lauren Hammett’s love for the game. The unique sport of softball is what makes the team such a close-knit group of girls, Hammett said. This year she looks forward to starting the year off strong and playing against KHS’ past rival Parkway South High School. Hammett ended last season with a .420 batting average and 19 RBI, while the team ended the season with a 12-11 record. Hammett admits games create a busy schedule during the school week and throughout the season, but the team just continues to stay positive. “Four to five games a week can be overwhelming,” Hammett, senior, said. “We just keep pushing through [the schedule].”

photo by Erin Bugee

Overwhelmed at the amount of people either spectating or racing, Ally Gooden, sophomore, was thankful to see a familiar face at the starting line. Her former teammate from her club running team Blazers, stood next to her, racing for Marquette High School. Gooden was the only girl from KHS cross country to run in the state meet in Jefferson City. Gooden said she plans to make it back to state this season, but this time with her team. While losing only three varsity seniors, cross country gains tens of incoming girls from all levels each year. “To get the entire team to [travel to] state, five to seven runners [have to qualify through sectionals],” Gooden said. “We have good [runners] this year, I’m excited to see how well we do. It’s my second year, [so] I can push myself on the courses [and] not be as nervous.”


courtesy of Jacob Ewen

Watching kids run their hearts out at a cross country race has to be one of Jacob Ewen’s, junior, favorite aspects of the sport, he said. Ewen was one of three KHS cross country boys, along with Christian Baker, junior, and Evan Adrian, senior, to make it to the state championships. The upcoming goal for this season’s team is to take the whole team to state, Ewen said. He personally plans to break 16 minutes in the 5K and to medal at state this season. “With other sports, [athletes] look not into it [and] like they’re just going through the motions,” Ewen said. “People are passionate about cross country..”

photo by Zac Clingenpeel

At the end of each season, willing boy’s swim and dive members participate in their annual tradition, getting their hair cut off by head coach Matt Beasley. Aaron Autry, junior, looks forward to this tradition every season. This year Autry is hoping to help continue the undefeated streak KHS has had for three years, winning each dual meet. “[KHS swim and dive] is a friendly and welcoming environment, especially to newcomers,” Autry said. “We feed off each other and work together. Coach Beasley is really great at incorporating everyone and their [individual] strengths.”

courtesy of Anna Carmody

Standing on the court along with her teammate and her opponents across the net, Anna Carmody, sophomore, pushes through the match with no one to prove except herself.  Carmody said she enjoys the calm environment of KHS tennis, which balances tennis and school life. Coaches are lenient and understanding toward the girls’ schedules, she said. Carmody played doubles last year at the JV level. She ended last season with more wins than losses and hopes to continue her success into this season. “[KHS tennis allows] bonds with teammates that will last a lifetime,” Carmody said.

courtesy of Brooke Riggles

With three past seniors graduated, KHS girls golf has spots to fill and is expecting many new players, all with the challenge to make it through districts as a team, a feat not accomplished by the team last year, Brooke Riggles, junior said. Riggle’s made it to the state championships last year and hopes the team can qualify five girls through sectionals in order to take the whole team to state. Riggle’s said she enjoys getting to know different girls from school around the region who she is competing against. “Golf is a frustrating sport,” Riggles said. “I need to work on being more confident [because] it’s very independent.”

photo by Ben Kirsch

Going into games, KHS field hockey lacked confidence against certain teams, especially private schools, Taylor Sullivan, senior, said. Private schools have proved to be a challenge for KHS field hockey, as they have a reputation of successful field hockey programs over public schools, Sullivan, said. However, last year’s quarterfinals games against Villa Duchesne illustrated the capability of KHS field hockey and the high level they could play at, even if it did end in a 2-0 loss, she said. Sullivan was ranked All-Conference in the 2016 season and is aiming for All-State this season. She ended the season with 24 goals and six assists. Sullivan said the team is aiming to come into games more confident and motivated, by learning to trust each other and talk about what they would contribute to the game. “Field hockey gives everyone an opportunity to get involved [at KHS],” Sullivan said. “Everyone’s energetic [and] like a family.”

 courtesy of Katie Paul

Girl’s volleyball was faced with injuries and inconsistent play that added up to a bit of a disappointing 2016 season and a 17-14 record, said Katie Paul, sophomore.  However, this also led to a large learning curve for players like Paul. The team now has vital spots to fill as they lost three seniors who all played an important role through their leadership on the court, Paul said. At the end of the season Paul had 260 serves, including 18 aces, as well as seven kills and 126 digs. The team played Webster Groves High School three times last year, and lost all three. This year Paul said the team is looking to make it through districts, then to state and get revenge on Webster. “Volleyball is a chemistry based sport,” Paul said. “The family [environment] needs to be there and bonding [helps build] the chemistry.”


courtesy of Brad Lay 

Up 2-0 against Eureka High School in the first round of districts, KHS boy’s soccer allowed their opponent to score three goals, ending KHS’ chance of moving further toward the 2016 state championships. With an earlier than expected end of the season, the boys soccer team now has a chip on their shoulder, said Brad Lay, junior. Lay ended the season with 20 points, including seven goals and assists. The team is now aiming to make it back districts in order to play Eureka once more to avenge themselves, Lay said. “We know we can get further [than the first round],” said Lay. “This team is really well-rounded and we get on each other’s backs when we need to.”