Republic Sports 10-25-23

Caide White gets upended during Republic’s game at Carl Junction. White had 108 yards rushing. (Photo by Steve Rackley)

Kendell Curbow tackles Carl Junction quarterback Dexter Merrell. (Photo by Steve Rackley)

Before its game against Rogersville, Republic honored seniors Mason Cole, Kleber Perez, Brayden Tharp, Will Brock, Xavier Ulshafer, Santino Stiglianese, Mikey Argo, Dakota Thompson and Cooper Davis. (Photo by David Brazeal)

Gracie Troester won the COC cross country championship by a wide margin at Nixa. She also broke her own school record, which she had set during the first race of this season at Bolivar. (Photo by David Brazeal)

Izzy Benson examines a putt during the first day of the two-day state golf tournament at Silo Ridge Country Club in Bolivar. Benson had a total score of 185, finishing 59th. (Photo by David Brazeal)

Simple approach gets it done for Republic football at Carl Junction

Republic football earned a simple, straightforward win against Carl Junction on the road Friday, winning 26–0 and earning the team’s first shutout of the season. Caide White led the offense with more than 100 yards rushing and a touchdown.
“The kids played hard. What our defense (does) is pretty tough,” said coach Ryan Cornelsen. “I thought they did a good job coming in and being ready to play, and had a good game plan.”
Republic controlled the game from start to finish. The Tigers racked up 281 rushing yards and 94 passing yards, for a total of 375. Carl Junction managed just 179 total yards, most of those in the second half, after Republic had taken control.
Republic opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 70-yard drive, concluding with Kanon Krol’s one-yard touchdown run. Mason Cole’s extra point brought the score to 7–0. The Tigers widened the gap to 13–0 in the second quarter, again with Krol on a one-yard run, capping a 66-yard drive. The extra point was no good.
The Tigers’ defense allowed Carl Junction just two first downs in the first half. A strong defensive stand late in the second quarter set up Republic’s third touchdown. With a little over a minute left in the half, Republic turned to its passing game. Starting at the 32-yard line, Wyatt Woods connected on passes to Daniel Phillips, James Rexroat, and Michael Worthy. Woods and Worthy connected again on a fourth and 10, setting up Woods’ touchdown pass to Rexroat. The failed two-point conversion attempt left the score at 19–0 at halftime.
Republic used two long offensive drives in the second half to run out the clock and secure the victory. The first ended on a turnover on downs inside the Carl Junction 10-yard line. The second ended with a three-yard touchdown run by White, and an extra point to make the final score 26–0.
“Offensively, we knew we were going to be basic. We knew we were just going to try to move the ball on the ground, and ground and pound. And we weren’t going to get fancy,” said Cornelsen.
White finished with 20 carries and 108 yards. Krol carried the ball 14 times for 68 yards and two touchdowns. Phillips had seven carries for 77 yards and two catches for 22 yards. James Rexroat caught two passes for 29 yards and a touchdown. Cory Craigmyle caught an 11-yard pass. Worthy had two catches for 32 yards.
Republic finishes the regular season with a 7–2 record. The Tigers are seeded second in Class 5, District 6, and will host seventh-seeded Springfield Parkview in a Week 10 matchup at home.
Republic volleyball season ends against Kickapoo in district semifinal action
Republic grabbed the first set, but couldn’t respond to Kickapoo’s counter-punch quickly enough, losing in four sets in the district semifinals at Waynesville, 22–25, 25–19, 25–12, 25–20.
After winning three of the last four points in the first set to take an early lead, Republic failed to capitalize on its momentum. Kickapoo ran out to a 12–4 lead and fought off Republic’s rallies to even the match at one set apiece. In the third set, Kickapoo used two big runs, winning eight out of nine points to take a big lead, then winning eight in a row later in the set, winning 25–12.
“We knew Kickapoo was going to be a good competitor. We knew they were going to get kills… get aces… and block us. It was about how we were going to recover from those situations,” said Davis. “We didn’t recover as quickly as I would have liked, and by the time (we did) in a couple of those sets, it was too late.”
Republic showed resilience by overcoming an early deficit in the fourth set. Trailing 7–2, the Lady Tigers won five straight points to tie the score. But Kickapoo regained the lead and held off Republic at a few key moments down the stretch, earning the victory and advancing to the district championship match against Ozark.
The match was the last for seven Republic seniors: Brooklyn Claxton, Addison Fanning, Rilynn Finley, Aubrey Haynes, Lexi Mitchell, and Alaina Norman.
“What they’ve brought to this program is just priceless. They’re going to be a hard group to replace, and not just skill-wise. The skill is there, obviously, but just the type of kids they are. They’re great kids and they’ve meant a lot to this program,” Davis said.
Republic finishes the season with a 24–6 record. The Lady Tigers have won 50 matches in the last two seasons. “We have come a long way in the last five years…and it’s exciting,” Davis said. “We’re getting respected in our conference and our district more, and that’s what excites me for the future.”
Republic soccer pushes unbeaten Rogersville Wildcats, falling short in Senior Night loss
Republic nearly delivered the first loss of the season to undefeated Rogersville, but lost in overtime, 4–3, on Senior Night. The Tigers got goals from Isaac Vermule, Kleber Perez, and Diego Zuniga, but couldn’t find the net in the overtime period. The Wildcats scored seven minutes into overtime to grab the win.
Of the Tigers’ 21 matches, six have gone into overtime. Republic is 1–5 in those matches.
Before the game, Republic honored seniors Mason Cole, Kleber Perez, Brayden Tharp, Will Brock, Xavier Ulshafer, Santino Stiglianese, Mikey Argo, Dakota Thompson, and Cooper Davis. After the game, coach Jesus Zuniga complimented the seniors for the lasting mark they’ve left on the program.
“What they mean to the program, each teammate, and each coach would take a novel to summarize, as they each have their own flavorful personalities but also showed up to work this summer, and you can see it,” he said. “It hasn’t always gone our way this season, but the strides this group has made in a year is unbelievable.”
Several Republic softball players earn all-conference, all-district honors
Republic earned four spots on the all-Central Ozark Conference softball team, led by sophomore pitcher Piper Dishman on the first team. Dishman was one of nine unanimous selections.
Dishman’s battery-mate, junior catcher Lilli Richerson, was a second-team all-COC selection. Two other Lady Tigers, junior Addison Walker and sophomore Paige Elsenraat, earned honorable mention.
Dishman, Richerson, and Elsenraat are also members of the Class 5 District 5 All-District Team. They are joined by two Republic seniors, Jenna Belcher and Gracie Woods.
Marshall wins COC swim medal
Republic’s Noah Marshall picked up his first Central Ozark Conference swim medal, slashing .68 seconds off his previous best time and finishing third in the 100-yard backstroke at the COC meet in Webb City, Monday. The performance was good for third place, Republic’s top finish at the 2023 conference championships.

Republic captures three COC cross country medals
Gracie Troester won the COC cross country championship, and she broke her own school record in the process. Troester shaved nine seconds off her previous school mark, finishing the course in Nixa in 18:28.48. That was 42 seconds ahead of the second-place runner.
Kristin Probst finished fourth for Republic, also turning in a personal best. Brady Purcell medaled by finishing 18th in the boys race.
Republic at state golf
(see photo)



Lawrence County Record

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