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Boys high school softball vanishes after 24 years in Northwest Missouri

Monday, September 5th, 2016

News-Pres NOW.com
By Cody Thorn / St. Joseph News-Press

ST. JOSEPH, MO – For the better part of a quarter century, Northwest Missouri offered a unique experience for student-athletes that attended smaller schools.

In many of the rural farming towns that lay between larger towns, football wasn’t offered, so each fall, the boys from those towns hit the diamond to play boys fastpitch softball.

During the fall of 1992, the sport became sanctioned by the Missouri State High School Activities Association and state championships were awarded. For 24 years, a total of 11 different towns throughout the area laid claim to winning a state title.

Jefferson defeated Winston 1-0 in the 2015 state championship game, and that turned out to be the final game played in the sport.

One year shy of the 25th anniversary of the sport, it vanished due to various reasons this fall.

Now, former standout athletes at those schools have moved onto other sports, but the legacy built over the years will live on with trophies, softballs with players signatures, and team photos taken over the years at the state tournament sites.

“The best athletes at these small farm towns would play softball. It was just expected,” said former Winston coach Eric Lewis. “Likely, the basketball coach was coaching the team, so they went out and played softball.

“It is very disappointing. I grew up playing high school fastpitch and I played with my father and I coached my sons and several of these young boys. I’ve been taking them to youth softball tournaments across the country.”

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Missouri All-State Boy’s Fastpitch Softball team announced

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Missouri is the only state that offers a high school boy’s fastpitch softball program. League play finalizes with a state tournament.
Courtesy Photo

WINSTON, MO – Twenty high schools play boys fastpitch softball in the northwest part of Missouri. And from the recently completed state tournament, 16 young men were selected to the All-State team, of which 13 are seniors, and 9 of the 16 were unanimous selections.

Thirteen teams played in the 2010 state tournament with the Jefferson Eagles capturing the championship.

The All-State team:

  • Norbert Henry, Jefferson 12, US
  • Jacob Stoll, Jefferson 12, US, A-S 2008-09, 2009-10
  • Colton Holtman, Jefferson 12, US, A-S 2008-09, 2009-10
  • Clayton Schieber, Jefferson 11, US, A-S 2008-09, 2009-10
  • Japheth Busick, Newtown-Harris 12, US
  • Kameron Cool, Newtown-Harris 12, US
  • Taylor Eoff, Gilman City 12, US, A-S 2008-09, 2009-10
  • Nick Wilson, Gilman City 12
  • Ross Oram, Gilman City 12, US
  • Jedd Stark, Tina-Avalon 12
  • Tanner Bowen, North Harrison 12
  • Brett Perkins, North Harrison 11, US
  • Tanner Baker, Meadville 12
  • Justin Conover, Pattonsburg 12
  • Jordan Whitney, Grundy 12
  • Trenton Troyer, Tri-County 11
  • US: Unanimous Selection
    A-S: All-State and years

    2010 – 2011 State Tournament Order of Finish – 13 team bracket
    1. Jefferson Eagles
    2. Newtown-Harris Tigers
    3. Gilman City Hawks
    4. Tina-Avalon Dragons
    5. North Harrison Shamrocks
    6. Meadville
    7. Tri-County, Pattonsburg
    9. Hale, Mercer, Northwester, Winston, Grundy

    Other boy’s softball schools include: Cainsville, Ridgeway, North Daviess, Bosworth, Stet, SW Livingston, Breckenridge.

    Next year’s State Tournament is Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2011.

    Eric Lewis
    Winston HS
    Missouri Boys’ High School Fastpitch Chairman

    Missouri Boys State Softball Tournament rules

    Tuesday, September 28th, 2010


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    CHILLICOTHE, MO – Rules to follow are those established by the Missouri State High School Activities Association. Special Tournament Rules are as follows:

    Teams must have 9 players to begin a game.

    Friday night games-the top team on the bracket shall be the home team.
    Saturday games-the home team will be determined by a coin flip.

    Click to continue reading “Missouri Boys State Softball Tournament rules”