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Ryan Boland

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T-Birds ‘making progress,’ hope to extend win streak

With their recent schedule lacking in quality opponents, the North Callaway Thunderbirds have concentrated their focus on testing themselves. North Callaway’s last three foes — including tonight’s opponent, Clopton/Elsberry (2-5) — are a combined 6-15. The Thunderbirds (3-4) will try to climb back to the .500 mark when they carry a two-game winning streak into tonight’s Eastern Missouri Conference home matchup against the Hawks. Kickoff is at 7.

Bartley leans on defense, Lady Bulldogs edge Lady Blue Jays

Even though Abby Bartley’s strikeout totals weren’t nearly as lofty as Sarah Handrahan’s, Bartley emerged with the edge.

Lady Hornets volleyball team upends Eldon

Fulton senior opposite hitter Kendall Love tallied eight kills and four aces Tuesday night, helping direct the Lady Hornets volleyball team to a 26-24, 25-19 non-conference win over Eldon at Roger D. Davis Gymnasium.

No. 6 ’Dogs bounce back with blowout

MOKANE — The state-ranked South Callaway Bulldogs returned to their winning routine in emphatic fashion.

Thunderbirds pull away fast, easily handle Indians

VANDALIA — North Callaway head football coach Mike Emmons wanted to see an initial knockout gap on the scoreboard, and his Thunderbirds complied.

Lady Bulldogs, Lady Wildcats claim district softball titles

South Callaway, New Bloomfield to host Class 2 sectional games Wednesday

CUBA — South Callaway senior starter Abby Bartley helped make sure the Lady Bulldogs softball team would be returning to the state playoffs.

T-Birds’ task: ‘Keep pushing to get better’

Now that the North Callaway Thunderbirds have caught their breath, head coach Mike Emmons knows they can’t afford to relax. North Callaway stopped a three-game losing streak and picked up its first Eastern Missouri Conference win in the process with a 21-14 homecoming victory over Wright City last week. The Thunderbirds (2-4, 1-2 EMO) will try to create some further momentum tonight when they travel to Van-Far for a conference matchup. Kickoff is at 7.

Hornets’ O-line continues to carve own identity

Lack of accolades. It’s an unfortunate side-effect of any offensive line that just so happens to protect the quarterback or consistently opens up holes for running backs — its two primary jobs. It’s a problem any team wouldn’t mind having and one the Fulton Hornets, luckily, are experiencing. “It’s one of those things where if you don’t hear about them, it’s a good thing and they understand that it’s the nature of the beast and they don’t get a lot of recognition,” Fulton head coach Pat Kelley said.

No. 6 Bulldogs look to benefit from loss

No matter the evidence shown that the state-ranked South Callaway Bulldogs are capable of playing on a par with a much larger opponent, the impact of a setback is still to be determined. South Callaway will aim to get back on track after suffering its first loss of the season when it hosts Cuba tonight. Kickoff is at 7. The Bulldogs (5-1) slipped two spots to No. 6 in the Class 2 state rankings after falling last week in a 38-33 thriller at Class 4 Battle, Columbia’s newest high school.

Lady Hornets storm into District 7 semifinals

Fulton tallies seven in first, buries Wright City

The Fulton Lady Hornets softball team relieved any anxiety with an early outburst.

Lady Hornets tennis team settles for second place in District 7

CHESTERFIELD — The No. 2 seed Fulton Lady Hornets tennis team finished as the Class 1, District 7 runner-up after bowing to top-seeded Barat Academy 5-1 in the championship match Wednesday afternoon at the Chesterfield Athletic Club.

No. 4 Bulldogs suffer first loss in shootout with Spartans

It may have ended with their first loss of the season, but the state-ranked South Callaway Bulldogs put on a wildly entertaining show with the Battle Spartans. Down to the very finish.

No. 4 ’Dogs ‘fine’ being underdogs vs. Spartans

Staring at a suddenly empty slot in its 2013 schedule, the South Callaway Bulldogs football team filled it with a bigger, brand-new opponent. Unbeaten and Class 2-ranked South Callaway will confront its toughest test to date this season when it travels tonight to play Class 4 Battle, Columbia’s newest high school. Kickoff is at 7.

Emmons keeping the faith

North Callaway head football coach Mike Emmons trusts in the possibility of a turnaround. Emmons has good reason to be hopeful, citing a fresh example from the Thunderbirds’ recent history to support his optimism. North Callaway will seek to discard a three-game losing streak when it squares off against Eastern Missouri Conference opponent Wright City (2-3, 2-1) in tonight’s homecoming game. Kickoff is at 7.

Ladybirds demolish Clopton, clinch EMO softball title

The unbeaten North Callaway Ladybirds softball team needed just five innings to wrap up the Eastern Missouri Conference title outright as it downed Clopton 10-0 on Tuesday night. It was the second straight EMO championship for North Callaway, which shared the title with Silex last season. “Their focus from the beginning of the season was to be sole conference champions,” Ladybirds co-head coach Sarah Baumgartner said. North Callaway (16-0, 9-0 EMO) racked up its 10 runs on 13 hits in support of junior starter Danielle Cassidy’s ninth shutout of the season. Cassidy (12-0) allowed two hits and no walks while striking out 11.

No. 4 Bulldogs ‘check that box off’ with first-ever win over Cardinals

The South Callaway Bulldogs had never known anything different in their meetings with the Tipton Cardinals, always coming out on the wrong side of the column. Tim Rulo has been involved in nine of those matchups, six in his present capacity as South Callaway’s head football coach and the other three as an assistant. Many of the former contests were decisively one-sided as Tipton — a perennial Class 1 power — roughed up the Bulldogs. But the encounters with Tipton in recent years have become eagerly anticipated showdowns as South Callaway’s success has flourished under Rulo.

Wildcats trip T-Birds

The North Callaway Thunderbirds continue to get in their own way, now stuck in a three-game losing streak. North Callaway wasted five trips inside Montgomery County’s 30-yard line and gave up scores to the unbeaten Wildcats on a fumble return and a crippling fourth-down pass Friday night in the Thunderbirds’ 34-14 Eastern Missouri Conference loss.

Thunderbirds seeking ‘steady mix’ on offense

The North Callaway Thunderbirds’ offensive way, at least for a week, was off-kilter. North Callaway will aim to restore some order to that side of the ball tonight — and halt a two-game losing streak in the process — when the Thunderbirds travel to neighboring rival Montgomery County for an Eastern Missouri Conference clash. Kickoff is at 7.

Rulo: Cardinals’ matchup still has ‘luster’

South Callaway head football coach Tim Rulo doesn’t share the sentiment that the Bulldogs’ normally anticipated showdown with the Tipton Cardinals has lost its prestige.

Gray dazzles again, Ladybirds rough up Montgomery County

MONTGOMERY CITY — North Callaway senior starter Jaida Gray had her second commanding outing in as many days, throwing a one-hitter and striking out 13 on Wednesday night as the Ladybirds overpowered Montgomery County 10-0.

Gray, Coil ignite unbeaten Ladybirds’ romp over Wright City

North Callaway senior starter Jaida Gray tossed a two-hitter and senior designated player Kelsey Coil had three hits and knocked in five runs Tuesday night, fueling the unbeaten Ladybirds’ 12-2 EMO blitz of Wright City.

No. 4 Bulldogs ‘handle test’ against Bearcats

The state-ranked South Callaway Bulldogs’ 25-point margin of victory doesn’t reveal the stern challenge they received from the Hermann Bearcats. South Callaway got its offense going in the second half, with junior quarterback Troy Hentges throwing two touchdown passes and also running for a score, and the Bulldogs’ defense was sturdy again in a 31-6 homecoming win over Hermann on Friday night.

T-Birds can’t keep pace with Bobcats

The North Callaway Thunderbirds were trapped in the constant mode of chasing the Bowling Green Bobcats, never quite catching them. North Callaway spotted Bowling Green a 14-0 lead in Friday night’s Eastern Missouri Conference opener, but made it a game at halftime by closing within nine points. The Thunderbirds, though, became stuck in a back-and-forth exchange, swapping scores with the Bobcats in the second half and eventually dropped a 49-34 outcome.

No. 4 ’Dogs seek some separation in standings

The South Callaway Bulldogs would like to create some wiggle room. Three games into the season, South Callaway — ranked No. 4 in Class 2 — has situated itself as the early front-runner in the District 6 standings. However, the top four teams are separated by a scant two points.

T-Birds’ defense aims for ‘higher level of intensity’ against Bobcats

The North Callaway Thunderbirds’ defense — rocked by Fulton’s high-powered attack — has to be wary of another opponent capable of rattling off points at a similar clip. North Callaway was tagged for 477 yards of total offense by the Hornets last week in a 54-14 loss at Fulton. The Thunderbirds (1-2) return home tonight to start Eastern Missouri Conference play against an undefeated Bowling Green Bobcats team that is averaging 51 points per game. Kickoff is at 7.

No. 4 Bulldogs throttle Tigers in beatdown

Pardon the South Callaway Bulldogs for what was perceived as excessive revelry. With the outcome long having been determined, backup sophomore quarterback Ethan Livengood scooted 25 yards for a touchdown in Friday night’s matchup against the Scotland County Tigers with 2 minutes, 13 seconds left in the game. In the aftermath of Livengood’s score, South Callaway was flagged for being too demonstrative with its celebration. When his squad prevails in such an imposing fashion, Bulldogs head coach Tim Rulo isn’t necessarily going to mind such penalties.

Lady Eagles volleyball team moves to 2-0

Freshman outside hitter Elizabeth Harrison tallied 14 service points Saturday to help steer the Missouri School for the Deaf Lady Eagles volleyball team to a 25-19, 25-20, 16-25, 25-14 home victory over the Arkansas School for the Deaf.

Kelley sisters medal at Osage Invitational

Lady Wildcats golf team finishes fifth

OSAGE BEACH — New Bloomfield junior sisters Ashley and Brooke Kelley each medalled on Wednesday as the Lady Wildcats golf team took fifth place at the School of the Osage Invitational at Dogwood Hills Golf Club.

Lady Hornets pull off dramatic win over Moberly

Baysinger drives in Depping with winning run in bottom of ninth

The Fulton Lady Hornets softball team worked itself into two holes and worked its way out of both. Fulton junior pitcher Brooke Baysinger’s sacrifice fly to score junior second baseman Dacrie Depping in the bottom of the ninth inning was the game winner in the Lady Hornets’ 7-6 North Central Missouri Conference win over Moberly on Tuesday night at the high school athletic complex.

No. 4 'Dogs race past Hornets

It’s difficult to find fault when your offense is averaging 38.5 points through two games and your defense has basically posted a pair of shutouts. South Callaway junior quarterback Troy Hentges heaved a pair of long touchdown passes and also ran for two scores, and the Bulldogs’ defense allowed a scant 73 total yards Friday night in a 46-6 dismantling of Crystal City.

Branson brothers pair up on T-Birds’ winning TD in OT

North Callaway picks up first victory

Cole Branson will probably have selective recall about this one. North Callaway’s junior quarterback endured a brutal second half against Tipton in the Thunderbirds’ home opener Friday night, throwing four interceptions inside the Cardinals’ 10-yard line — including a pair that were picked in the end zone. Somehow, North Callaway was able to erase a 13-point deficit — energized by senior Anthony Moses’ kickoff return for a touchdown near the end of the third quarter — and pushed the game into overtime.

Howard, two other Lady Bulldogs medal at Jefferson City race

The South Callaway Lady Bulldogs cross country team had a trio of senior medalists, headlined by Taylor Howard, who finished in 15th place in 23 minutes, 11.40 seconds at the Jim Marshall Invitational on Saturday.

Cassidy throws perfect game, keeps Ladybirds spotless

Danielle Cassidy was perfect and, in the process, kept the North Callaway Ladybirds perfect as well. The junior pitcher threw five flawless innings and struck out eight batters to help North Callaway coast to a 10-0 victory over the Silex Lady Owls in Eastern Missouri Conference play Thursday night.

No. 4 ’Dogs work toward ‘tightening up’ tonight

South Callaway head football coach Tim Rulo always scrutinizes the broader context. The state-ranked Bulldogs eased to a dominating 31-0 triumph over visiting North Callaway in last week’s season opener, eventually gaining control in the second half of the annual Callaway Cup game. Still, Rulo and his coaching staff have myriad questions — not surprising at this early stage — about all phases as South Callaway prepares for its first road game tonight at Crystal City. Kickoff is at 7.

T-Birds seeking to inject some life into offense in home opener

It’s troublesome enough that North Callaway’s offense was dogged by what head coach Mike Emmons described as “drive-killers.” Compounding those issues, Emmons and his Thunderbirds are hoping they won’t be too adversely impacted by injuries to some integral offensive components as they head into their home opener.

Lady Wildcats golf team places third at Paris

PARIS — New Bloomfield junior twin sisters Ashley and Brooke Kelley medalled with respective fifth- and sixth-place finishes Wednesday, directing the Lady Wildcats golf team to a third-place showing at the Paris Tournament.

Lady Hornets ride singles victories to 6-3 win over Battle

The Fulton Lady Hornets tennis team triumphed in four of six singles matches Tuesday night to turn back the Battle Lady Spartans 6-3. Notching singles victories for Fulton (2-0) were a quartet of seniors — Grace Hegemann at No. 3, Rachel Kucera at No. 4, Danyiell Lee at No. 5, and Jessica Popkey at No. 6.

No. 6 Bulldogs finally break through

QB Hentges runs for three TDs in first start, triggers romp over T-Birds

MOKANE — South Callaway head coach Tim Rulo’s thoughts were on a barrier, and how to bust it down.

South Callaway’s Howard, Peneston take top honors at Callaway meet

South Callaway seniors Taylor Howard and Tristan Peneston swept first place in both the girls’ and boys’ divisions Saturday as Fulton hosted a four-team Callaway County cross country meet that also involved North Callaway and New Bloomfield.

Bulldogs, T-Birds hand offenses to new QBs

Player turnover and the accompanying level of uncertainty — and anxiety — that comes with ushering in new starters is an issue that all coaches have to contend with each year. As the 2013 high school football season launches tonight, South Callaway Bulldogs head coach Tim Rulo and North Callaway Thunderbirds counterpart Mike Emmons will both trot out first-time starters at the most high-profile position on offense.

Neal marks birthday with hat track as Hornets rally

Trevor Neal probably couldn’t have imagined a better birthday gift for himself. Fulton’s senior midfielder celebrated his 18th birthday by scoring three goals, including a pair in the second half to help rally the Hornets to a 4-3 win over Warrenton in Thursday night’s season opener.

Fulton, Callaway football game kickoffs pushed back

Because of the excessive heat, the kickoff times for Friday night’s 2013 high school football season openers in Callaway County have been moved back an hour.

Leeper, Lady Bulldogs rough up Van-Far in opener

MOKANE — South Callaway senior third baseman Karli Leeper just missed hitting for the cycle — driving in three runs and scoring three times — and the Lady Bulldogs easily subdued Van-Far 15-0 in Wednesday night’s season opener.

Bulldogs dodge injuries at jamboree

Tim Rulo exhaled and expressed a sentiment most likely shared by every high school football coach in the state of Missouri. Rulo — heading into his fifth season at South Callaway — was understandably relieved that his Bulldogs emerged without any injuries from Saturday night’s preseason jamboree scrimmages against host Hallsville, Southern Boone and Father Tolton.

Westminster chosen fourth in UMAC football poll

The Westminster College Blue Jays football team was picked to finish fourth in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference this season in the 2013 preseason coaches’ poll released Thursday.

Horstmeier, Murphy named all state by Missouri coaches

Fulton junior Dalton Horstmeier and recent North Callaway graduate Justin Murphy were both first-team choices on their respective all-state teams selected by the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association.

Lady Owls’ Hassan chosen as All-American

William Woods University’s Myriam Hassan was one of four freshmen named as a first-team choice on the 2013 NAIA women’s golf All-American team announced Tuesday.

Lady Owls golf team takes sixth at NAIA championships

LINCOLN, Neb. — The William Woods University Lady Owls ended up with a sixth-place finish at the NAIA women’s golf national championships after Friday’s fourth and final round at Wilderness Ridge Country Club.

Hurt remains undefeated, reaches Class 1 semifinals

SPRINGFIELD — Josh Hurt is still perfect, and is now in a position that no Fulton tennis player has ever been in before.

Strough, Barkho make ‘mind-boggling’ trek

Journey brings them to Class 1 doubles tourney

Scott Strough still tries to fathom how he and Philip Barkho reached this ultimate destination.