The high school sports year in 2020 was like no other as the pandemic wiped out much of the sports calendar, which included the large school basketball state championships, all of the spring sports and all of the fall sports in the metro east and some parts of St. Louis.
However, there were enough exciting events to put together another Year in Review for the year 2020, as we were able to complete a fall season of sports while getting things started in the winter during these most challenging times.
So, here is a look at the St. Louis American Prep Sports Year in Review for 2020.
Cardinal Ritter takes another title: The one basketball team to complete its season was the Lions powerful boys’ team that won the Class 3 state championship in dominating fashion. Ritter dominated all of its postseason competition, culminating in a 88-32 victory over Charleston in the state championship game.
Incarnate Word goes to Final Four: The Red Knights punched another ticket to the Class 4 Final Four. IWA was seeking its fourth consecutive state title before the pandemic shut things down. They clinched their Final Four berth in dramatic fashion with a 57-54 victory over Ladue in the state quarterfinals. Standout point guard Saniah Tyler hit sophomore Jaiden Bryant for a game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
Vashon does it again: The Vashon Wolverines were a dominant team all season in advancing to the Final Four of the Class 4 state tournament. The Wolverines featured three All-Star players who were Division I signees in Cam’Ron Fletcher (Kentucky), Phillip Russell (Saint Louis U.) and Kobe Clark (Georgetown) and a fourth in VCU recruit Nick Kern, who is back to lead the team again this season.
The Caleb Love Show: Standout guard Caleb Love of CBC put together a tremendous senior year in leading the Cadets to the Final Four of the Class 5 state tournament. The 6’3” Love averaged 27 points a game, including a trio of 40-point games in succession. He was named to the McDonald’s All-American game, the Jordan Brand Classic and Nike Hoop Summit for his efforts.
The Red Devils Run: The Chaminade Red Devils clinched a spot in the Class 5 Final Four for the fifth time in six years with a big postseason run. The Red Devils were led by standout guard Luke Kasubke, who is currently at Kansas State, and a pair of talented underclassmen in forward Tarris Reed Jr. and Damien Mayo.
Whitfield makes a State Run: The Whitfield Warriors brought home a third-place state trophy after making a run to the Final Four of the Class 3 girls’ state basketball tournament. The Warriors featured a young and talented team, led by junior Kelsey Blakemore, senior Jade Moore and a host of excellent underclassmen.
More Final Four Girls: The Hazelwood Central Hawks and the Kirkwood Pioneers also qualified for the Final Four of the Class 5 state tournament. It was Kirkwood’s fourth Final Four berth in five years, having won back-to-back state championships in 2017 and 2018. Hazelwood Central put together a great postseason run, which culminated in a victory over Troy in the state quarterfinals.
Madison makes a run: The Madison Trojans have enjoyed a long tradition of success in boys’ basketball on the Illinois side. The Trojans were able to earn a berth in the IHSA Class 1A Final Four before the state tournament was cancelled.
DeSmet returns to Show-Me Bowl: The DeSmet Spartans made a return trip to the Class 6 state championship game in November after winning the state title in 2019. Although the Spartans fell short in their bid for a repeat, the season was a continuation of what head coach Robert Steeples is building after taking over a football program that had won only three games in a three-year period. He has returned DeSmet to the ranks of a state power.
MICDS makes a state run: The MICDS Rams have a long-standing tradition of success on the football field. After a six-year absence, the Rams returned to the Show-Me Bowl, where they finished the year as the Class 4 state runner-up. Despite losing two of their top players to season ending injuries early in the season, the Rams regrouped and rode its powerful offensive unit to another state-championship game berth.