Fall sports are in full swing as teams are preparing to start their seasons next weekend. Today, we head to the court to preview a team that made it to the state final four last season and another team that will look to compete for a conference title.
Jefferson High School will look to make a return trip to the state final four after a historic season last year. Head coach Tara Fish returns six starters from last year’s squad, including four All-State players in Paige Siebert, Emma Breier, Kirstyn Loyd, and Ava Roth.
Troy welcomes a familiar face back to the program as Colin Nelson returns as head coach after a 10-year hiatus. Nelson will have a strong group returning with five starters coming back to aid the Trojans in attempting to win a conference title.
Jefferson Blue Jays
- Head Coach – Tara Fish
- Record at school – 99-30-1 in four years
- Conference – JCAA Small School
- 2021 record – 33-7-1
- 2021 highlights – Won the JCAA Small School Conference title with a perfect 5-0 record before finishing with the Third-Place trophy in the MSHSAA Class 2 Volleyball Tournament.
- Starters Returning: Seniors – Emma Breier, Kirstyn Loyd, Maclayne McPeters, Avery Richardson, Ava Roth, Paige Siebert
- Returning players: Senior Transfer: Grace Lowery, Juniors: Beth Dalton, Grace Neels, Bell Price
- Players to Watch: Emma Breier – verbally committed to Pitt State. All-Around player. Awards for last season include First Team All-Conference / First Team All-District / All-State / Dream Team. Kirstyn Loyd – verbally committed to Missouri Southern. All-Around player. Awards for last season include First Team All-Conference /Conference “Player of the Year”/ First Team All-District / All-State / Dream Team. Ava Roth – verbally committed to Arkansas. All-Around player. Awards for last season include: First Team All-Conference / First Team All-District / All-State / Dream Team. Paige Siebert -5-1 Setter. Awards for last season include First Team All-Conference / First Team All-District / All-State / Dream Team. Grace Lowery – Defense – Senior Transfer. Beth Dalton – Defense – First year on Varsity
- Season Outlook: “We had an outstanding summer together for volleyball,” stated Fish. “95 percent of our players in grades 9-12 were highly devoted in the weight room for strength and conditioning. (We are fortunate to have Head Softball Coach, Robert Kuehnle, and Head Football Coach, Matt Atley taking care of all of our athletes in the weight room to get the most out of their workouts in a safe manner.) During camps, shootouts, and scrimmages our players have felt a significant growth in themselves validating that their hard work is paying off! Following very successful varsity and junior varsity 2021 seasons and having many returners, the expectations for 2022 are HIGH! We got a taste of success with our victories and now we want more! This summer was proof that we are stronger than ever and are continuing to grow and bond. Our team motto is “I PLAY FOR HER”!”
- Friday – Saturday, September 9-10 at Dig for Life Tournament
- Thursday, September 29 vs Festus
- Thursday, October 6 at Herculaneum
- Head Coach – Colin Nelson
- Record at school – 0-0 in his first year after stepping away from the program for 10 years
- Conference – Gateway Athletic Conference
- 2021 record – 8-21
- Returning players: Maddie Buckles – Senior – Middle Hitter, Katelynn Mueller – Senior – Right Side Hitter, Sydney Penny – Junior – Setter, Hannah Talley – Defensive Specialist, Dakota Wilson – Sophomore – Setter
- Players to Watch: “So far, that list is long,” stated Nelson. “During camps and open gyms, there has not been a clear front runner for that status. I have a very balanced group of girls coming out. I hope to be able to give a few girls names after the first few weeks of practice. Since I am returning to coaching after 10 years off, I am anxious to see who steps up against some of the tough competition that we will face. So, right now, I would say everyone.”
- Season Outlook: “There has been a lot of growth so far during open gyms and camps since I took over the program mid-spring,” said Nelson. “I have told the girls that I expect that we will work harder than our opponents at every whistle. If that happens, I expect to compete at a high level and improve during every match. The sky’s the limit. If we can stay healthy and avoid long stretches of poor play (slumps), I hope that we can compete for a conference and/ or district title.”
- Saturday, September 10 at St. Charles West Invite
- Tuesday, September 20 at Howell
- Wednesday, October 3 vs Holt
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