It was a tremendous season of high school sports in the St. Louis metropolitan area. As we bring the year to a close, it’s time to take a look back at what was a great year with the St. Louis American 2019 Prep Year in Review.
Football Dominance: It was an unprecedented year of success for St. Louis football in the postseason and four teams won state championships and two other teams played for state titles as we had two All-St. Louis state championship games.
The CBC Cadets continued their mini-dynasty as they rolled to their third Class 6 state championship in the past four years. The Cadets completed their incredible run with a 45-21 victory over Kansas City Rockhurst in the state-championship game. Their three-headed monster of quarterback Brett Gabbert, running back Bryan Bradford, receiver Julian Williams, a dominant offensive line and Defensive Player of the Year M. J. Anderson kept the Cadets several steps ahead of the rest.
The Vianney Golden Griffins defeated Jackson to win their second Class 5 state championship in three years. The Golden Griffins were led by the spectacular Kyren Williams, a record-setting running back who is headed to Notre Dame.
Ladue won its first state championship in football as it defeated MICDS to win the Class 4 state championship in a battle of schools located on Warson Road. The Rams fielded one of the best defensive units in the state.
The Class 3 state-championship game was also an All-St. Louis affair as Trinity Catholic defeated Cardinal Ritter to win its first state championship. The Titans were a star-studded team led by quarterback Isaiah Williams, receiver Marcus Washington and lineback Shammond Cooper.
City of Champions: The community of East St. Louis lived up to its nickname of City of Champions as the Flyers brought home Illinois state championships in boys’ basketball, boys track and girls’ track. The basketball team made history by winning its first Class 3A state championship with a thrilling overtime victory over Chicago Bogan. The Flyers were led by standout senior forward Terrance Hargrove Jr., who is headed to Saint Louis University.
The East Side girls and boys track and field teams won IHSA Class 2A state championships on back to back weekends in Charleston. The girls won their sixth state title and 17th in the Hall of Fame career of coach Nino Fennoy. The boys followed up with a dominating performance to win their state title, led by standout junior Willie Anderson.
V-Get Ready to Roll: The Vashon Wolverines won their third championship in the past four years as they won the Class 3 state title in boys basketball. The Wolverines defeated Springfield Catholic 69-59 for the state title. The V was led by senior standout guard Mario McKinney as well as juniors Cam’Ron Fletcher, Phillip Russell and Kobe Clark.
West goes Back to Back: The Belleville West Maroons went back-to-back in boys basketball as they won their second consecutive Illinois Class 4A state championship. The Maroons were led by senior star E. J. Liddell, who was named Mr. Basketball in Illinois for the second consecutive year. The supporting cast was also strong, led by Lawrence Brazil III, Terrance Randolph, Will Shumpert and Jaylin Mosby.
Girls Dynasty Continues: Incarnate Word Academy continued its dynasty in girls basketball as it won its fourth Class 5 state championship in the past five years. The Red Knights were led by its standout senior trio of Marissa Warren, Rickie Woltman and Kiki Britzman, who were a part of three of the four state championship efforts.
CBC dominates the mats: The CBC Cadets went back to back in boys wrestling as they won the Class 4 state championship in Columbia. The Cadets were led by junior Joshua Sanders, who finished 40-2 and became a three-time individual state champion.
Trinity track doubles up: The Trinity Titans put on a show at the Class 3 state track and field championships in Columbia as their boys and girls brought home state championships on the same day and did it in impressive fashion. Both teams scored more than 100 points as they outdistanced the field. On the boys side, senior Kemeric Winston won four gold medals while the girls grabbed the top four spots in the 100-meter high hurdles in an incredible race.
A Viking Conquest: Parkway North made history as their girls won the Class 4 state championship, which was a first for the school. Star sprinter Alicia Burnett was dominant in the sprints in winning the 100 and 200 and anchoring a relay to a state title, while middle distance standout Reina McMillan was also a stalwart performer.
Wildcats make history: Hazelwood West also made history in boys track as they won their first state championship. With district rivals Hazelwood East and Hazelwood Central having already won state titles in boys’ track, West now joins the championship party, thanks largely to superstar sprinter Justin Robinson, who won four gold medals at the Class 5 state meet and set a new state record in the 400-meter dash in the process.
(In next week’s St. Louis American, we will present the 2019 Athletes of the Year in the various sports).