The spring sports season is underway and there are some great things happening already all over the area. One of the biggest early-season baseball tournaments has been taking place this week and will wrap up this weekend. Plus, a pair of boys’ volleyball teams will head out west to showcase the sport against some quality teams in Kansas City. There was also some coaching news that broke during the week as well.
Let’s get things going in this week’s edition of the Friday Fast Break.
Let’s start with some coaching news. First, a familiar name in the football coaching circles returns to his roots in South City as Brian Simmons will take over the reins as the Head Football Coach at St. Mary’s. Simmons takes over for Ken Turner, who moved across the river to take over the Belleville West program. Simmons returns to South City after coaching defensive backs at Benedictine College since 2017. He has been a head coach at numerous high schools in the St. Louis area, including Cardinal Ritter, Hazelwood East, and Lutheran North.
Simmons is a graduate of Bishop DuBourg High School and is excited to take over the Dragons football program which has won two consecutive state titles.
“After being rivals from my days at Bishop DuBourg, I never thought I would be offered the head coaching position for the Dragons,” stated Simmons in the St. Mary’s press release. “My faith has called me to work with the talented athletes at St. Mary’s, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
On the court, Incarnate Word head coach Dan Rolfes has been tabbed by USA Basketball to lead the USA Women’s U16 National Team as announced earlier this week. Rolfes is coming off leading the Red Knights to their sixth straight state championship a few weeks back and has guided IWA to 100 consecutive victories. Rolfes previously was a court coach for the 2017 U16 National squad.
“I am incredibly honored and elated to be representing our country as the head coach of the USA Women’s U16 National Team,” Rolfes said in this week’s USA Basketball release. “I never imagined I would get this prestigious opportunity to carry on the success of USA Basketball. I am ready to get to work alongside the best players and coaches in the country.”
Boys’ Volleyball is on the verge of being sanctioned by MSHSAA and a pair of teams from the St. Louis area are going to head west to Kansas City to help promote the sport this weekend. For the first time, two-time state champion De Smet and Marquette will roll out to Lee’s Summit West to take on the Titans and St. Michael’s the Archangel in matches this weekend. All matches this weekend will be played at Lee’s Summit West with all four teams showcasing the sport. The Athletic Directors in the state are voting this month on whether or not to have boys’ volleyball as an MSHSAA-sanctioned sport starting next year. This is going to be a great thing for the young men in not only our area but in the state to showcase the sport. The schedule is the following:
Fri., March 31 – 7:00 p.m.
- De Smet Jesuit vs. St. Michael the Archangel
- Marquette vs. Lee’s Summit West
Sat., April 1 – 10:00 a.m.
- De Smet Jesuit vs. Lee’s Summit West
- Marquette vs. St. Michael the Archangel
Sat., April 1 – Noon
- De Smet Jesuit vs. Marquette
- St. Michael the Archangel vs. Lee’s Summit West
Some of the best teams in the area and the state are playing in the Midwest Classic Baseball Tournament this week at many sites in the St. Charles area. Howell, Lafayette, Howell Central, De Smet, Summit, and Parkway West are taking part in the Classic that Howell head coach Tony Perkins runs every year.
The classic heads into the final day of round-robin play with Howell, Vianney, and De Smet holding 2-0 records after the first two games. The fourth pool finished play late Thursday night with Blue Springs South holding an advantage heading into the final game of the night.
They will begin bracket play Friday afternoon with the championship game taking place Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m.
Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at email@example.com. Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan