Republic Sports

James Rexroat tightropes the sideline to stay in bounds as he makes a catch during Republic's win at Neosho. (Photo by Steve Rackley)

Republic's volleyball team celebrates after the team went 4-0 at the Springfield Classic and senior Rilynn Finley picked up her 1,000th career kill. (Photo courtesy Allison Davis)

On Senior Night, Republic honored tennis seniors Elli Woodward, Caroline Wilson, Katie Teeter, Grace Replogle, Chloe McCann, Monica Henry, Mari Davidson, Katie Barton, Lilly Carlo, and Alivia Coleman. (Photo by David Brazeal)

Gracie Woods lines a double down the third-base line during Republic's win against Joplin. (Photo by David Brazeal)

Republic bounces back with dominant victory over Neosho
Republic’s Sept. 15 game at Neosho started similarly to the previous week’s encounter with Webb City. A quick Neosho score and a Republic turnover put the Tigers in a hole early. But Republic found its footing, putting up 35 points in the second quarter and cruising to a 56–21 win on the road.
Neosho had the ball first, moving 64 yards in nine plays to take a 7–0 lead. Republic’s initial drive ended in a fumble that echoed the five turnovers of the previous week.
“I think anytime you have the bad game, as bad as that was, I think everybody’s kind of tight,” said coach Ryan Cornelsen. “When we fumbled, it’s like, ‘Oh gosh, is it coming again?’ And so once they got over that and we got going, then I felt like that’s our normal personality. That’s how we play, how we act.”
Just like the previous week, the defense stepped up in a tough situation. Cam Allen and Garrett Lester got back-to-back sacks that pushed Neosho backward, and a bad punt gave Republic the ball on the Wildcats’ 37-yard line. Not long after, Caide White ran six yards to get Republic’s first touchdown. Mason Cole kicked the extra point, tying the game at 7–7.
From that point, Republic took over. The Tigers scored on eight drives in a row, with six in the first half and two in the second. White ran in another touchdown from eight yards out early in the second quarter, putting Republic ahead. He did it again on a three-yard run with just over 10 minutes left in the half, making the score 21–7 Republic.
Kanon Krol increased Republic’s lead with a six-yard run, bringing the score to 28–7 with 7:28 left in the half. Woods followed up with a 69-yard run on Republic’s next possession, adding another touchdown. Near the end of the half, Woods found James Rexroat with a 29-yard touchdown pass, extending the lead to 42–7 as the teams headed into halftime.
The defense held strong against Neosho’s spread offense. Republic’s three-man front effectively stopped the run game, and the secondary shut down the potent passing of Neosho’s quarterback, Quenton Hughes. Evan Buchanan recovered a fumble, and linebackers Cole Gimlin and Kendell Curbow played a crucial role in the middle.
In the second half, Republic’s varsity starters rested, but the Tigers continued to score. David Hayes finished a 43-yard drive with an 18-yard touchdown run, making it 49–7. After a touchdown from Neosho reduced the lead to 49–13, Republic responded with a 60-yard drive, culminating in a 10-yard touchdown run by sophomore Jackson Taylor, bringing the score to 56–13. Neosho added a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion late in the game, settling the final score at 56–21.
Republic racked up 81 yards through the air and 336 yards on the ground, for a total of 417 yards. Neosho managed 150 passing and 117 rushing yards, totaling 267.
Woods completed three of four passes for 81 yards and a touchdown, and also ran for 86 yards and another touchdown. Krol had nine carries for 89 yards and a touchdown. White ran seven times for 38 yards, scoring three touchdowns. Mason Fleetwood had four carries for 30 yards, while Taylor had four carries for 38 yards and a touchdown. Owen Klier ran four times for 21 yards, Hayes twice for 21 yards and a touchdown, Treyton Gray twice for three yards, and Trenten Coleman once for two yards.
Rexroat caught three passes, accumulating 81 yards and a touchdown.
Kicker Mason Cole tied a school record. He successfully completed all eight of his extra-point attempts, equaling the record first set by Mitchell Heinzler in a 2014 game against Ozark.
Republic improves to 3–1 and heads into a game with 3–1 Willard at home Friday. Neosho is 0–4.

Republic volleyball shines at Springfield Classic, Finley achieves 1,000th kill
The Republic volleyball team won all its matches at the Springfield Classic on Saturday. The team defeated Bentonville, Ark. (25–20, 25–12), Bryant (25–13, 25–20), Carthage (25–23, 25–10), and Fort Smith Southside (25–20, 25–20).
During the tournament, senior Rilynn Finley achieved her 1,000th career kill.
“Rilynn’s reaching this milestone is a testament to her hard work,” coach Allison Davis said. “She has dedicated herself to this sport through school ball, club ball, and the weight room to get where she is today. Most importantly, she’s a good teammate that recognizes her teammates helped her reach this accomplishment.”
Republic ended up second in the tournament, finishing behind Kickapoo in points, although the two teams did not face each other.
Earlier in the week, Republic (14–4) had swept Springfield Central but lost at Ozark, 3–1.

Season-best performances highlight Republic’s cross country showing
Four girls and four boys from Republic’s cross country team recorded their fastest times of the season at the Missouri Southern Stampede in Joplin on Saturday. Gracie Troester led the Republic participants, securing seventh place with a time of 18:44.44 in a field of 270 girls in her division.
While Troester didn’t beat her own season record, Kristin Probst did, finishing 32nd with a time of 19:41.19. Millie Waterman and Catherine Wilson also set their season-best times, at 21:36.56 and 21:57.60, respectively. Other participants included Misora Nambara with a time of 22:47.80 and Mylee Ramsey finishing at 23:33.83. Mei Pruit rounded out the group with her season-best time of 23:47.44.
On the boys’ side, Brady Purcell stood out with a season-best time of 16:17.15, securing 38th place among over 340 runners. William Payne, Kasei Wilcutt, and Dak Henning also achieved their best times of the year, clocking in at 17:02.91, 18:28.79, and 19:05.15, respectively. Other Republic runners were Hayden Mitchell with a time of 19:14.96, Gabe Benjamin finishing at 19:28.96, and Joey Mullins who ran a time of 20:07.24.
In the team standings, the Lady Tigers ranked 19th out of 33 teams, while the Tigers placed 29th out of 41 teams.

Republic tennis honors seniors ahead of sweep
Republic recognized 10 seniors, then won all nine varsity matches in a 9–0 sweep of Webb City, Thursday. Senior Night festivities centered on seniors Grace Replogle, Monica Henry, Chloe McCann, Lilly Carlo, Katie Teeter, Mari Davidson, Elli Woodward, Caroline Wilson, Katie Barton, and Alivia Coleman. Coach David Smashey praised them for their participation in some of Republic tennis’s most successful years.
“The last two years, they have taken on leadership roles on our team and have helped create an open and welcoming team culture where new players feel welcome and valued. On the court, their depth of talent and experience has made us competitive with every team in the area,” Smashey said.
Republic Soccer’s Improvement Continues with Two Solid Wins
Republic picked up two wins last week, equaling last year’s win total from the entire season and surpassing its goals scored for all of last year.
In a match against Branson, the Tigers eked out a 1–0 victory. Santino Stiglianese, assisted by Mason Cole, netted the sole goal before the halftime break. Coach Jesus Zuniga said a collective defensive effort was key to his team’s third shutout this season.
Thursday, the Tigers dominated Parkview with an 8–0 win, a game cut short by the mercy rule after Republic built an eight-goal lead early in the second half. The victory featured goals from six different players, including a hat trick by Stiglianese and the first goals of the season for Miles Thomas, Mason Tackett, and William Pinnell. This win built the Tigers’ goal tally to 25 in seven matches, surpassing last season’s total.
Republic ended the week at 5–3 after a five-win season in 2022.

Republic softball slips to end busy week
Republic softball started the week with two solid Central Ozark Conference wins against Carl Junction and Joplin, but the weekend competition at the Park Hill South Tournament tripped up the Lady Tigers. Republic dropped three of four games at the tournament, losing to Mid-Buchanan, Park Hill, and Smithville before beating William Chrisman to end the week.
The week started on a high note, with an 11–7 home win over Joplin on Tuesday for Republic’s first Central Ozark Conference victory. Lilli Richerson starred, going 4-for-4 at the plate with a two-run double and three RBI's. Annabelle Gerhardt-Hobbs also drove in three runs in the win.
On Thursday, Republic beat Carl Junction 3–0 behind a strong pitching performance from Kara Goeke, who threw a complete game four-hit shutout. Paige Elsenraat provided the big hit with a two-run homer.
The Lady Tigers suffered a tough 5–1 loss to Mid-Buchanan at the Park Hill South Tournament on Friday. They left the bases loaded in the first inning and never recovered. Gracie Woods had two of the team’s five hits in the loss. That same day, Republic lost a close 5–4 contest against Park Hill on a walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh after leading earlier in the inning. Sammi Watson hit a home run and Piper Dishman had an RBI single to give Republic a 4–3 lead before Park Hill rallied.
The Lady Tigers ended their week with a 10–0 rout of William Chrisman. Goeke was stellar again, allowing just one hit over five shutout innings with nine strikeouts. Allison Burford led the 10-hit attack, going 3-for-3 on the day.



Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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