Chillicothe (Mo.) HS Soccer Girls, Track-and-Field Teams Cruise Tuesday

Booters’ Reeter equals one record, extends two others

By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor

Spearheaded by one athlete’s continued assault of the school record book, Tuesday (May 11) action for Chillicothe High School sports squads went about as well as could be expected.

Both track-and-field teams won their gender division’s title in the Cardinals Relays meet hosted by St. Joseph: Benton, while the soccer Lady Hornets were coasting past an understaffed Midland Empire Conference opponent 5-0.

Only CHS’ baseball Hornets came away from Tuesday play on the short end of the scoreboard and that wasn’t at all unexpected, given that first-year head coach Joshua Lisle stuck with tradition and altered the normal starting lineup to include all of the team’s seniors, even though the opponent was the MEC champion.

Headlining the day’s proceedings was the continued statistical excellence of soccer Lady Hornets junior forward Lucy Reeter, who equaled the last of that program’s major scoring records while extending two she previously had claimed.

The details, by sport…

SOCCER

A match sent off-kilter even before it began never generated the type of excitement and emotion it otherwise might have, considering Reeter’s latest achievements.

When St. Joseph: Lafayette came to Jerry Litton Memorial Stadium II for the teams’ conference meeting, the Lady Irish did so with only nine available players. While technically that was enough for play to take place, it irrefutably skewed the flow of play and blunted the emotional edge of the action, since it effectively made it impossible for the Lady Irish, who would have entered as underdogs anyway, to be a threat to win.

With Lafayette opting to try to limit Chillicothe’s scoring opportunities as much as possible by stationing all nine players on the defensive half of the pitch, the Lady Irish literally did not control the ball on their offensive half of Bob Fairchild Field until nine minutes remained in the first half. Beyond that, LHS players only touched the ball beyond midfield only twice prior to then, both times when Chillicothe pass attempts deflected off a Lady Irish player’s body and out of bounds.

With Lady Irish players flooding Chillicothe’s offensive half of the pitch, while the hosts had nearly full-time possession of the ball, the combination of difficulty finding clear space to execute passes, dribbles, and shots and CHS’ understandable going-through-the-motions tenor of play with victory virtually assured produced a monotonous “feel” to the match after a moment of history in the first seven minutes.

Entering the match one goal away from tying Lindy Saunders’ Lady Hornets record of 26 goals in a season, Reeter stepped into a shot from about 16 yards out in the center of the pitch exactly 6-1/2 minutes in and pulled even with Saunders.

Although she’d have other opportunities to score, the extra “spark” she normally brings to matches seemed missing and Reeter would end the day still deadlocked with the mid-teens star.

That isn’t to say Reeter didn’t get involved in Chillicothe’s other scoring of the match. She was to such a great extent that she reached another offensive milestone as a facilitator.

Assisting on three of the team’s four second-half goals, the junior hiked her season assists total to 20, the first Lady Hornet ever to reach that plateau. Prior to 2021, the most assists any CHS girl had earned in a season was 12 by Saunders in 2015, C-T research confirmed.

With the match score still sitting at 1-0 as the second half began, a lightning-quick Chillicothe passing sequence doubled its advantage to 2-0.

A long clearing kick by Lafayette from about midway on its defensive end sailed over the heads of CHS’ three backs, who spent most of the match hovering near midfield.

Forced to retreat to within about 25 yards of the CHS goal line to catch up to the kick, Chillicothe junior center back Ellie Barnett calmly turned and headed back up the east sideline. After several dribbles, a LHS player challenged her a bit and Barnett zipped a pass forward along that sideline to Reeter, standing right at the midfield stripe.

Reeter deftly evaded a couple of Lady Irish players nearby, angling a short distance away from the sideline toward the middle of the field, before unleashing a long pass down the middle and over the Lafayette back line.

That drive allowed Juliann Gabrielson, who had earned the assist on Reeter’s record-tying tally, to speed past the retreating Lafayette backs and be one on one with goalkeeper Lauren Adams. Adams had started forward from just in front of her goal when she saw the long pass delivered, hoping the ball might come to her before Gabrielson could catch up to it.

It didn’t, allowing the CHS sophomore to easily drive home her 14th goal of the season from about 23 yards at 50:08 of the match. On two passes, Chillicothe had gone most of the length of the pitch to net its second goal of the day.

The margin remained 2-0 for another 10-plus minutes before the Lady Hornets struck twice in less than 2-1/2 minutes.

Off freshman Rylee Washburn’s right-side throw-in about 25 yards from the LHS goal, Chillicothe senior Allison Ishmael slipped inside a couple of Lady Irish players and, from about 20 yards away on an angle to the goalkeeper’s left, drove a shot over the ’keeper’s head and into the far side of the net at 62:23.

Only 2:13 later, Reeter chased down the ball inside the LHS penalty area and slid it back to a trailing Makayla Vance, who uncorked a right-footed shot which beat Adams from only about 16 yards away for the junior’s second goal of the season. That made it 4-0, CHS, after 64:36.

Finally, inside the final five minutes, Reeter fired a shot from about 20 yards away in the middle that Adams made a fine lunging save on to her left. However, she gave up a juicy rebound to her left, right in the path of approaching sophomore Hailee Williams, who sent the ball home for her first varsity goal and the match’s last scoring.

Statistically, for a third time this season, Chillicothe goalkeeper Allie Italiano received credit for a shutout without having to make any saves. She only handled the ball about three times in 80 minutes. The shutout was her and the Lady Hornets’ 11th of the year.

In addition to adding to her record total of assists in a season and tying the single-season goal-scoring mark, Reeter also extended her single-season points scoring record to 72, eight more than Saunders’ former standard.

The soccer Lady Hornets (13-6, 4-2 conf.) will close the regular season Friday at Maryville with a 5 p.m. match before starting Class 2 District 16 Tournament play at home next Monday against Cameron. Chillicothe has doused the Lady Dragons twice already this season by 8-0 margins in matches ended early on the “mercy rule.”

TRACK AND FIELD

At St. Joseph Tuesday, Chillicothe’s girls out-distanced Maryville 136-1/2-104 and the Hornets racked up 168 team points, 71 more than runnerup Benton, to sweep the team crowns at Benton’s Cardinals Relays. Midland Empire Conference boys’ champion Maryville was third with 71, having not brought its full squad.

The Hornets won six events with juniors Braxten Johnson (110-meters high hurdles and 300 intermediates) and Damarcus Kelow (discus throw, shot put) taking a pair each. Also prevailing were senior Hayden Simmer in the 3,200 and junior Tristan Forck in the high jump.

The Lady Hornets claimed four first places – two by freshman Jolie Bonderer (800- and 1,500-meters runs) and in the 1,600- and 3,200-meters relays).

The most noteworthy of the Chillicothe event wins was Kelow’s in the discus, in which he uncorked a new personal-best throw of 170’5” (51.94 meters). He did that on his first of three throws.

BASEBALL

In their home finale, the baseball Hornets couldn’t repeat their performance of the previous day, when they crisply dispatched the defending MEC champ, Savannah, 6-1.

Instead, the new champs from Kansas City hammered 14 hits, received seven walks and three hit batsmen, and benefitted from a handful of Chillicothe errors in a 14-1 St. Pius X victory. The score was a more-respectable 7-1 after six innings before the visiting Warriors were handed a half-dozen unearned runs to go with one earned tally in the top of the seventh.

The only run Chillicothe (9-12, 4-3 conf.) managed was scored in the bottom of the first inning after SPX had put up three on two doubles, a single, a walk, and the first CHS error in the top half.

Senior Mason Baxter opened the Hornets’ half with a walk. After fellow seniors Braden Constant and Landon Swift were retired, a double by junior Brock Ward drove him home from second.

Chillicothe was held to only four hits and one base on balls by a pair of St. Pius X pitchers.

Their regular season now concluded the baseball Hornets will begin Class 4 District 15 Tournament action at Odessa Saturday morning at 11 o’clock against Richmond. The two were to have opened their seasons against each other at Richmond, but that was weathered out.

Although CHS was seeded last in the 5-teams tournament, its record isn’t all that different from three of the other four in the field.

Only top seed Odessa (16-5), which the Hornets would have to face in the semifinals next Monday, should it win Saturday, has a very good record.

Second-seeded Excelsior Springs was 11-17 through Tuesday, No. 3 Oak Grove 10-10-1, and Richmond 11-9.

The only common opponent Chillicothe and Richmond share is Lawson, which the Hornets bested 3-2 at Lawson in their second game of the year and which Richmond topped 5-1.