Battleline: Rangers Snag Sprenger in Amateur Draft - The Missourian: Sports

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Battleline: Rangers Snag Sprenger in Amateur Draft

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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 5:00 pm

You always want to see a story have a happy ending.

And while Justin Sprenger’s selection by the Texas Rangers in the Major League Baseball draft isn’t an ending, it’s nice to see one of our local standouts be able to continue his career beyond college.

Justin was picked in the 29th round by the Texas Rangers Saturday with the 880th pick in the draft. According to Justin’s father, Doug Sprenger, he has been assigned to the Spokane Indians (Class A Short Season) of the Northwest League.

Sprenger, a right-handed pitcher, started his career locally, earning All-GAC status with Washington High School and becoming a six-time all-star selection with the Washington Post 218 American Legion baseball teams.

But that’s where many lost track of him. Sprenger went to Jefferson College and helped the Vikings reach the NJCAA World Series in 2011.

He ended up at Tennessee Wesleyan and helped that team finish 45-18 overall and 20-3 in the Appalachian Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs lost one game short of the world series, falling in 19 innings to Missouri Baptist.

Justin was one of three Tennessee Wesleyan players to be picked in this year’s draft and one of 28 Missouri players to be selected. One of the others was former West Legion player Zach Loraine.

There’s no guarantee how far Sprenger will get in his quest to make the big leagues. But the Rangers feel there is something there which could lead him to bigger and better things.

There are a number of players we’ve seen come through this area or play our teams. The most recent one to get to the big leagues is Nick Tepesch. We remember him as the flamethrower from Rod’s Sports A’s who put down Post 218 in the 2006 state tournament first round. His fastball was so hard that under the dim lights of Liberty Park in Sedalia, you only heard it.

Now, he’s one of the early favorites for AL Rookie of the Year as a starting pitcher for the Texas Rangers.

We’ve also seen Mark Buehrle, Steve Colyer and Dennis Tankersley come through here in high school or Legion ball over the years.

Several locals have made it close. Ronnie Ray, Derek Dace and Matt Gawer peaked at AAA. Union High School graduate Ashton Goudeau played with the Kansas City Royals Arizona Rookie League affiliate last summer after being drafted by that club.

It takes the right set of circumstances to become a professional athlete. Former Borgia and Post 218 player Spiker Helms had hoped to hear his name called last year at the draft.

Helms, who went on to a solid career with MCC-Longview and Missouri State, didn’t get drafted last season. He did get signed by the Kansas City T-Bones of the American Association (Independent) and this year, he’s playing for the Gateway Grizzlies of Sauget, Ill.

Of course, it’s not just baseball players who make it to the pro ranks. Brock Olivo and Justin Skaggs have played in the National Football League.

Denodus O'Bryant, a Washington High School graduate, had his NFL dream get detoured Tuesday when he was released by the Indianapolis Colts.

Rachel Fister (Borgia) spent this season with the Heart of America Havoc of the Women’s Premier Volleyball League.

Matt Pickens won an MLS Cup starting in goal for the Colorado Rapids. He’s recovering from a broken arm suffered early this season. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens when he returns to action.

Pickens had a six-month contract with QPR (Queens Park Rangers) in England and he’s not the only area athlete to play beyond the continent.

Luke Meyer was a star for both teams he played basketball for in Australia. And New Haven’s Kathleen Scheer signed a pro contract with the women’s team in Bendigo, where Meyer had ended his career. She missed the season due to injury.

Alex Moosmann went on and played a season of basketball in Germany.

I’m sure there are players I’m missing from recent years. It’s so hard to keep up with everyone. And I’m certain the list of area professional athletes will grow in future years.

There is one common thread among all of the players named above — tremendous work ethic. Whether they’re naturally blessed with talent or have had to labor for every break, our area’s professional athletes have shown the drive to be the best they can be and never rest on their laurels.

There’s something young athletes can learn from our area’s professionals.

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Area Scoreboard

Football

Friday, Sept. 19

*Ft. Zumwalt S at Washington    7 p.m.

Cardinal Ritter at Borgia    7 p.m.

*St. Clair at Union    7 p.m.

*Pacific at Sullivan    7 p.m.

*Hermann at Owensville    7 p.m.

Ash Grove at St. James    7 p.m.

Cuba at Brentwood    7 p.m.

*St. Charles West at Warrenton    7 p.m.

South Callaway at Wright City     7 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 12

*Ft. Zumwalt North 49, Washington 0

*Borgia 35, St. Dominic 0

*Union 27, Pacific 19

*Sullivan 47, St. Clair 21

Hermann 65, Wentzville Liberty 7

*Owensville 29, St. James 28 (OT)

Cuba 22, Windsor 6

*Warrenton 14, St. Charles 6

*Bowling Green 55, Wright City 0

Friday, Sept. 5

Warrenton 14, Washington 6

Borgia 13, Maplewood-Richmond Heights 0 (forfeit)

*Union 32, Sullivan 19

*Pacific 20, St. Clair 18

*Hermann 52, St. James 20

Owensville 35, Cuba 8

*Wright City 36, Montgomery Co. 0

Friday, Aug. 29

Sullivan 30, Washington 8

Borgia 56, Union 13

Ozark 41, St. Clair 0

Potosi 34, Pacific 13

Hermann 54, Cuba 12

Blair Oaks 42, Owensville 0

St. James 36, Houston 18

Warrenton 28, Troy 0

Orchard Farm 36, Wright City 18

Friday, Aug. 22

Washington 26, St. Clair 21

Borgia 48, Owensville 12

Parkway West 49, Union 39

Pacific 28, De Soto 20

Park Hills Central 34, Sullivan 27

St. James 12, Cuba 6

Hermann 61, Montgomery Co 12

Warrenton 26, St. Dominic 23

Trinity 28, Wright City 24

Softball

Tuesday, Sept. 16

*Borgia at Notre Dame    4:30 p.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt N    4:30 p.m.

*Union at Owensville    4:30 p.m.

*Pacific at New Haven    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Hermann at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

Washington at Warrenton    4:30 p.m.

Sullivan at Northwest    4:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 18

*St. Dominic at Borgia    3:45 p.m.

*Union at Hermann    4:30 p.m.

*St. Clair at New Haven    4:30 p.m.

*St. James at Pacific    4:30 p.m.

*Owensville at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 19

Union at Ft. Zumwalt N Tny    TBA

South Callaway at New Haven    5 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 20

Union at Ft. Zumwalt N Tny    TBA

St. James Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 22

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt S    4:30 p.m.

Union at North County    4:30 p.m.

Warrenton at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

Principia at Sullivan    4:30 p.m.

Hermann at Cuba    4:30 p.m.

Owensville at Cuba    4:30 p.m.

St. James at Bourbon    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 23

*Borgia at Duchesne    4:30 p.m.

*Holt at Washington    4:30 p.m.

*Pacific at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Owensville at New Haven    4:30 p.m.

*Hermann at St. James    4:30 p.m.

Volleyball

Tuesday, Sept. 16

*Sullivan at St. Clair    4:30 p.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E    5 p.m.

*New Haven at Union    5:30 p.m.

*Pacific at Hermann    5:30 p.m.

*Owensville at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

Washington at Duchesne    5 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 18

*St. Clair at Owensville    5 p.m.

*Union at Pacific    5:30 p.m.

*Hermann at New Haven    5:30 p.m.

*St. James at Sullivan    5:30 p.m.

O’Fallon Christian at Borgia    6:30 p.m.

Washington at Gateway Match Up    TBA

Friday, Sept. 19

Eagle Ridge at Crosspoint    5:15 p.m.

Providence at Crosspoint    7:15 p.m.

Washington at Gateway Match Up    TBA

Saturday, Sept. 20

New Haven Round Robin    9 a.m.

ECC at Wentworth    1 p.m.

ECC vs. Graceland JV (Wentworth)    3 p.m.

Washington at Gateway Match Up    TBA

St. Clair at Seckman Tny    TBA

Monday, Sept. 22

St. Clair at Salem    5 p.m.

Bourbon at Sullivan    5:30 p.m.

Dixon at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Hermann Tournament    TBA

Tuesday, Sept. 23

Cuba at St. James    5:30 p.m.

Crosspoint at Bethel    5:30 p.m.

Crosspoint vs. Thomas Jefferson    6:30 p.m.

Hermann Tournament    TBA

Boys Soccer

Tuesday, Sept. 16

Crosspoint at Fulton St. Albans    4:30 p.m.

Tolton Catholic at Borgia    5:30 p.m.

*Washington at Ft. Zumwalt E    6 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

*St. Louis at ECC    4:30 p.m.

Union at Affton    5 p.m.

St. Clair at De Soto    5 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 18

*St. Clair at St. James    5 p.m.

Dixon at Sullivan    5 p.m.

Borgia at Trinity    6:15 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 19

Eagle Ridge at Crosspoint    4:30 p.m.

Tolton at Fulton SA    5 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 20

*Ft. Zumwalt S at Washington    10 a.m.

Crowder at ECC    2 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 22

Hillsboro at Union    5 p.m.

CYC Tny    TBA

Tuesday, Sept. 23

*Fulton SA at Thomas Jefferson    4:30 p.m.

North County at Union    5 p.m.

*St. James at Pacific    5 p.m.

*Borgia at St. Dominic    6:15 p.m.

CYC Tny    TBA

Cross Country

Thursday, Sept. 18

St. Clair at Lutheran North    4 p.m.

New Haven, St. James at Steelville Inv    4 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 20

Festus Inv.    9 a.m.

Hermann at Fulton Inv    9 a.m.

Thursday, Sept. 25

Washington at Rolla Inv    4 p.m.

Union, Owensville, St. James at Belle Inv    4 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 27

Hancock Inv    8:30 a.m.

Pacific at Viburnum Inv    10:30 a.m.

Monday, Sept. 29

St. Clair at Elsberry Inv    4 p.m.

St. James at Dixon    4 p.m.

Girls Golf

Tuesday, Sept. 16

*Borgia at St. Dominic    3:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17

Duchesne at Borgia    3:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 18

Ft. Zumwalt S at Washington    3:30 p.m.

Borgia at AAA Meet, Lutheran SC    TBA

Wednesday, Sept. 24

Washington at GAC Central Meet    TBA

Thursday, Sept. 25

*Duchesne at Borgia    3:30 p.m.

Boys Swimming

Saturday, Sept. 20

Borgia at Ft. Zumwalt W    8:30 p.m.

Monday, Sept. 29

Washington at Ft. Zumwalt South    3:30 p.m.

*Conference Games

Racing News