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

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North

Normandy

Carnahan

Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter

Pacific

Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1

CBC

Soldan

Washington

Pool 2

Borgia

North Tech

Union

Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

%Washington vs. TBA    4 p.m.

%Borgia vs. Poplar Bluff    5:30 p.m.

%St. Clair vs. TBA    TBA

%Sullivan Shootout

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific at Union    7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Francis Howell    7 p.m.

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia vs. Sullivan, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.

Wrestling

Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games

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