Congratulations to three local St. Louis Metropolitan football teams who won State Championships this past weekend. First to my East. St. Louis Il, Flyers who beat Geneva 33-14 before a huge crowd at Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois, Champagne. East Side got off to a slow start but quarterback Detchauz Wray was awesomely cool and rallied the troops in his first State final game. I say first because he is only a junior. Terry Hawthorne was his usual spectacular self scoring another touchdown and getting yet another interception. He was clearly the team’s MVP as well as arguably the best player in the state. Hawthorne plays on all three sides of the ball – offense, defense and special teams. When he is not receiving a punt or a kickoff, he puts the ball himself often into the 50 yard range. This guy is hardly ever off the field. To put this young man’s contributions in perspective: in the playoffs alone he scored 12 touchdowns, seven on receptions and 4 on interceptions. He’s had 7 interceptions in 5 playoff games. Six of his touchdowns have been from 40 yards or longer. He is a real play-maker.
Though Hawthorne has to be noticed, we can’t overlook running back Courtney Molton who stands a good 5’7 if that. The junior running back carried the load most of the year with sophomore Vinson Arterbridge hurt for half the season. On any other team he would clearly be a star and his time to be recognized will come next year for sure. The Flyers defense was also dominate by hitting hard consistently and keeping pressure on Geneva’s offensive attack.
Last but not least give it up for coach Darren Sunkett who is the only coach to win high school titles in Missouri and Illinois. He coached a Riverview Gardens team led by the late Damien Nash and Christian Morton to a state championship as well. Sunkett got a lot of hate early on in his tenure at East Side from many of the locals because he wasn’t an East St. Louis product. Thankfully their stupidity didn’t make a difference and they can all eat their words.
Big ups to my Flyers who have bragging rights after beating 4 Chicago areas teams before winning another title.
*Pictured Above – Terry Hawthorne clutching the championship trophy. Below Kraig Appleton makes a leaping catch against Geneva for a touchdown.
Maurice Scott was everywhere and the little man played big for Hazelwood Central in their class 6A victory over Blue Springs South 25-20. Scott caught the game winning 59 yard touchdown pass to seal the victory. The Central defense also caused 5 turnovers which helped the cause. Blue Springs is normally an efficient team that allow for few mistakes. But the Hawks made it happen!
*Pictured: Maurice Scott runs in a score for Hazelwood Central
And finally, the game with the most exciting finish had to be the 5A final with Hazelwood East beating Raytown South on the final play of the game, the so called “Hail Mary” pass in the end zone from quarterback Eric Brown to receiver Tarrell Downing. The East Spartans are in the same conference as Hazelwood Central mentioned above, but the enrollment numbers cause the schools to be slotted in different classes. Also of note is the East coach Mike Jones. Jones, (who is still considered the interim coach in his first season) helped the St. Louis Rams win a Super Bowl in 2000.
Pictured: Tarrell Downing catches the winning score on the final play of the game for Hazelwood East
Congratulation to all three teams who are less than 30 miles apart.