It was a year for everyone.
In 2012, there was something for just about everyone. But, the happiest fans were American Legion baseball followers, who celebrated two Washington Post 218 state championships.
Following are some of the highlights of the 2012 calendar year.
• Post 218 Does the Double — It was a summer to remember for Washington Post 218 as two of its three baseball teams earned state championships.
Post 218 had three total state championships (1957, 1989 Seniors and 2005 Juniors) entering the season. All three Post 218 teams won Ninth District regular season titles.
The Post 218 Freshmen (39-2) defeated Ste. Genevieve Post 150 in the winner-take-all game at the state tournament in Branson, 8-0, to capture Washington’s first-ever Freshman Legion state title. Kevin Juergens piloted the team to the state title.
It was only the second time that a Washington team won at the highest tournament offered at its age level.
The Post 218 Seniors, managed by Mike Gardner, captured the Ninth District and Zone 1 titles to reach the state tournament in Sedalia. The 2011 runner-up won its first two games to reach the championship contest. Washington lost to Creve Coeur, forcing a second game, but won 9-1 in the winner-take-all contest to secure the state title.
Post 218 finished the season at 39-10 after falling twice in the Mid-South Regional in New Orleans. The first loss came to eventual national champion Retif Oil, the host team, 6-1. American Legion National Player of the Year Emerson Gibbs pitched against Washington. The second loss was to Columbia, Tenn., Post 19.
Retif Oil and Columbia, Tenn., played each other for the regional title.
Washington’s third team, the Juniors managed by Phillip Kleekamp, also won the Ninth District regular season title and fell in the Zone 1 Tournament.
Daniel Boone Post 262 of Augusta finished second in the Junior Legion state tournament.
• Borgia Wins Golf Title — Borgia’s golf Knights captured the MSHSAA Class 3 state golf title at the Rivercut Golf Club in Springfield by one stroke over MICDS and three strokes over Westminster Christian.
The Knights were third in the standings after the first day with a score of 304, two strokes behind MICDS.
Cameron Stahlman tied for fourth overall with a score of 146. Bryce Dolan placed 10th with a two-day total of 148. Alex Buschman followed in 24th at 155 while Clayton Voss shot 160 to finish 38th and Alex Rennick shot 164 to finish 56th.
In the Class 4 state golf tournament, Washington’s Brad Carpenter finished third.
Rennick later recorded a hole-in-one on a par-4 at Wolf Hollow Golf Club during the summer.
• Cinderella Shamrocks — Nobody gave New Haven’s girls basketball team much of a chance of getting out of their own district, yet making it all the way to the MSHSAA Class 2 championship game.
The top seed for the Class 2 District 4 Tournament, New Haven defeated Viburnum and Bismarck to win the district title.
From there, the Lady Shamrocks edged Meadow Heights in the sectional, 49-48, and then won over South Pemiscot in the quarterfinals and Marionville in the semifinals, 53-52.
Harrisburg defeated New Haven for the state title, 43-32.
• Sullivan Girls Track — Sullivan’s rise to greatness under Pat Burke started well before the football season. Burke’s track Lady Eagles placed third at the MSHSAA Class 3 state track meet in Jefferson City last May.
Macy Ritter won the individual title in the long jump while finishing with four state medals.
The Lady Eagles also captured the Four Rivers Conference, district and sectional team titles.
• Wright, Repp Lead Wrestlers — St. Clair’s Mike Wright and Pacific’s Austin Repp placed second and third, respectively, to lead the area wrestling contingent in Columbia last February. A total of six area wrestlers claimed medals during the three-day state tournament at the Mizzou Arena in Columbia.
• Sullivan Football Reaches Quarterfinals — Everyone knew Pat Burke had a solid football team at Sullivan High School, but nobody had an inkling just how good the Eagles would be in 2012.
Sullivan went undefeated in the regular season, winning the Four Rivers Conference championship. In the playoffs, the Eagles defeated Pacific, Westminster and St. Clair to win the Class 4 District 3 title. In the quarterfinals at Webb City, the Eagles lost 35-6 to the eventual state champion. It was the closest game Webb City had on the way to winning the title.
Running behind an undersized, but overachieving offensive line, the Eagles were able to control the ball with a variety of players carrying the ball. Justin Biermann and Clayton Mayer both surpassed 1,000 rushing yards during the season.
• Falcons Fly to Titles — East Central College had a record softball season in the spring, winning the NJCAA Division II Region 16 and District titles to reach the national tournament. While the Falcons lost twice in Mississippi, it marked the first time since 1994 that ECC had played beyond the regional level.
Despite suffering the worst season since the program was restarted in 2007, the ECC volleyball Falcons won the NJCAA Division II Region 16 championship. ECC fell in the District O Tournament title contest to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, thus missing out on a trip to the national tournament. Kean Barclay became the latest ECC soccer coach, leading the Falcons to a winning season.
• Blowing Into Town — The Missouri Cyclones of the Great Midwest Football League came to Washington in 2012 with another successful campaign. The Cyclones defeated the Midwest Chargers in overtime at Borgia to claim the conference title, but lost to the Detroit Ravens in the championship contest in Illinois.
The team has announced plans to stay in Washington in 2013, playing games at Borgia.
• The Fighter — Pacific High School graduate Justin Lawrence fought in UFC 150 as a featherweight, losing to Max Holloway. This came after Lawrence appeared on the FX network’s The Ultimate Fighter series.
• That’s Entertainment — Washington’s cheerleaders and Borgia’s dance team won their respective state championships during 2012. Also at the Missouri Dance Team Association championships, Washington and Pacific won category titles. Borgia’s cheerleaders placed second in their division.
• Near Misses — New Haven’s baseball Shamrocks and Borgia’s volleyball Lady Knights both reached state quarterfinals. Hermann’s girls basketball, volleyball, Borgia’s boys and girls basketball and Pacific’s girls basketball teams made the sectional rounds of their respective state tournaments. Union won a girls soccer district title, beating Borgia in overtime, but lost in the sectional to eventual state winner St. Dominic. Borgia’s boys soccer team won its district title.
• New Boss — Borgia hired Brad Bruns to replace Kurt Russell as its athletic director. Bruns is the fifth person to take the job since Ray DeGreeff. Bruns also was hired to coach volleyball, having a long successful history in that sport after leading ECC to three District O championships.
• Milestones — Borgia basketball Head Coach Dave Neier reached 600 wins by beating St. Dominic in the school’s first-ever Archdiocesan Athletic Association boys basketball game.
The St. Francis Borgia Pepsi Cola Thanksgiving Tournament reached its 60th anniversary this season with St. Louis Christian winning the title over Washington.
Borgia entered the AAA as a full member in the large division in 2012, tying for the girls volleyball title.
• Around the Sports World — Borgia graduate Matt Pickens continued as goalkeeper of the Colorado Rapids during the 2012 season.
New Haven graduate Kathleen Scheer concluded her collegiate basketball career at Duke. She subsequently signed to play pro basketball in Australia, but was ruled out for the season after suffering a knee injury.
Both Johannah Bangert (Washington) and Alyssa Speckhals (Hermann, East Central College) played volleyball in Ljungby, Sweden. Bangert played in 2011-12 while Speckhals is there for the 2012-13 season.
Union graduate Jordan Webb transferred from Kansas to Colorado, where he was named Pac-10 Conference offensive player of the week once during the season.
Former Borgia and Mizzou football standout Brock Olivo was hired as an assistant coach at Coastal Carolina.
Washington graduate Scott Suggs returned from missing the entire 2011-12 basketball season due to injury at the University of Washington. He has been one of the top scorers for the Huskies so far in the 2012-13 season.
Borgia graduate Nathan Scheer has started four games and has started at different positions so far this season for the Missouri State University basketball team.
He scored a season-high 15 points against Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Sunday, Dec. 30.
Hermann graduate Shelby Winkelmann transferred from the University of Nebraska to the University of Central Missouri, where she went from playing volleyball in Lincoln to basketball in Warrensburg. She’s off to a red-hot start for the Jennies, averaging 17.6 points per game. She scored 42 points in a win Dec. 8 over Emporia State.