Home victory over Benton does trick

"Heavy the head that wears the crown," goes the slightly-shorthand paraphrasing of the line from William Shakespeare's play "King Henry IV," "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown."
Funny, but the Chillicothe High School tennis Lady Hornets don't seem to find either extra weight or unease in the Midland Empire Conference crown.
For the 10th time in the last 18 years, the racket Lady Hornets sit on the MEC throne this fall, there all alone after defeating visiting St. Joseph: Benton 8-1 Tuesday at the Daryl Danner Memorial Park courts.
The victory completed a 7-0 run through conference dual matches for the Lady Hornets, who have a starting lineup of four sophomores, a freshman, and one senior. That offers little comfort to league opponents with title designs of their own for the next couple of years.
Being MEC champions for a second-straight year checks off as accomplished one of the team's goals for the season.
Weather conditions permitting, today offers a chance for realizing another – producing an individual conference champion as the MEC individuals tournament is slated to be taking place at St. Joseph's Noyes Tennis Center.
"We worked extremely hard during practice and turned this group of mostly freshman and sophomores into a solid team," Douglas commented during the weekend after the team had assured itself of at least a share of the crown.
"Winning conference is a big deal!"

SOCCER ♦ The Chillicothe High School soccer Hornets apparently didn't like what happens when they give up any goals, so they went back to their former ways Tuesday.
After losing 2-1 at St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond the day before when they yielded their first goals of the season in game No. 6, the Hornets bounced back smartly at home yesterday, blanking visiting St. Joseph: Lafayette, 4-0, on Chillicothe's Bob Fairchild Field at the new Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium..
The conquest improved the Hornets booters' record to 6-1 overall and 1-1 in the Midland Empire Conference. CHS had shut out Lafayette 4-0 earlier in the season in a non-league outing.
Steven Cooper scored twice and Brice Griffin once for the Hornets, leaving them currently tied for the team lead with six goals apiece. Derek Hussey, who has five goals, picked up his fifth assist to lead the team with 10 points. The other Hornets goal came from Jeremiah Appleberry, his second, in the final minute.

VOLLEYBALL ♦ For the second night in a row against a North Central Missouri Conference foe, the Chillicothe High School volleyball Lady Hornets on Tuesday charged back from an opening-game setback in the varsity action to claim victory.
Rematching with a Kirksville club to which it lost four of five games during the recent Chillicothe Invitational Tournament, the Lady Hornets forgot about a 25-14 loss in the opening game to claim the final two 25-21 and, running off the last eight points in a row, 25-22
The non-conference, ROAD triumph earned CHS its fifth match victory of the year.
"It was a great come-from-behind win," remarked Karen Jackson, Chillicothe's head coach.
The Lady Hornets varsity spikers now are within one win of the .500 mark for the season at 5-6, having won five of their last nine.
Last night's victory followed a 3-game, comeback decision over Marshall at home Monday.
In the final game, Chillicothe trailed 17-22 when it won the rally to get the serve. Junior Sara Frampton then served out the game with seven-straight points, the last one an ace, Jackson reported.
Statistically, senior Madison Williams had 14 digs and eight kills, Samantha McKiddy delivered 12 kills and dug eight times, Frampton led the servers with 11 winning points, Allison Pagliai had 11 assists and Claire Chapman seven, and Lexi Snyder made six blocks for the winners.
The volleyball Lady Hornets will host Cameron Thursday, starting with 5 p.m. freshman play.

CROSS COUNTRY ♦ Chillicothe High School cross country runners Andrew Jensen, Derek Eckert, and Brittany Stanfield brought home varsity-division medals from yesterday's Lafayette Invitational at St. Joseph by placing in the top 20.
In unexpectedly-hot and humid conditions not conducive to good times, as well as on a hilly course, senior Jensen was a close second to winner Kain Ellis of St. Joseph: Benton, finishing the 3.1-miles (five kilometers) course in 18:10. Ellis ran an 18:03.
Eckert, a sophomore, ran a 20:27 to get 16th and his medal.
Stanfield placed 19th in the girls' division with her time of 27:05.
"Andrew ran a great race," Chillicothe coach Tim Riekena reported. "He took the lead with a half-mile to go, but was unable to keep it against a very competitive Ellis."
As for Eckert, the coach observed, he "ran his smartest race of the year so far. At the mile mark, he was 20th and kept moving up all the way until the finish."
Stanfield "moved up during the last mile to get into the medals (group) and top 20," Riekena related.
Chillicothe finished third in the boys' division team competition.