Many local collegiate athletes helped drive Columbia’s Pulse to victory during the Show-Me STATE GAMES of the Midwest basketball competition on June 11-13.
The team included 2010 Tiger Seniors Zaire Taylor and J.T. Tiller, former MU Tiger Albert White, Moberly’s Brennen Hughes, all-American wide receiver Shaun Coleman, as well as Eric Sanders and Kevin Parker.
Many of the teammates are long-time friends, but this in the first time they have all played together in the Show-Me STATE GAMES. The team plans to defend its title in the GAMES next year.
“It was a good experience,” said Al White. “Many of us have been playing in the Show-Me STATE GAMES for two or three years, but came up short. The younger guys gave us a good chance.”
The Pulse team is sponsored by Craig Miller.
Results records dating back to 1995 don’t show a Columbia team winning the competitive I division.
Alan Murphy began learning how to pole vault last year when he was in seventh grade. At the beginning of track season this year, Alan injured his foot, causing a stress fracture. Despite this injury, he went undefeated during his eighth grade track season. His personal record stands at 11’6’’. He hopes to continue pole-vaulting throughout high school and into college. Alan and his family are thankful for his parenting coach Lynn Young and his special coach Todd Cooper for the time and instructions they gave to Alan.
Alan will be competing in the GAMES in July. Good luck, Alan!
Jason Corson is a police officer for the City of Hazelwood in St. Louis, Mo. He is bringing some players from his organization, Unsung Heroes Soccer Organization, to compete. The organization includes police officers and fire fighters from the St Louis area. Their organization puts together a tournament every year and donates the profits to a local organization (Backstoppers) that helps families of those who have lost a love one in the line of duty.
The Wagner family will be participating in the GAMES this year. Gavin, Nerissa and Matthew Wagner are members of the Northland United swim team from Kansas City. Their father Rob Wagner will be swimming as well. Nerissa will also be competing in the synchronized swimming event in July. The Bell’s, another NLU family will be joining the Wagners at the GAMES. Austin and Brady Bell are both members of NLU. Their father, Darren Bell, will also be swimming.
In the NCYA Seminoles first year in the St. Louis Metro Football League, the team did not win a single game. However, the team stayed together and worked hard. The team has improved significantly and even won the Super Bowl back to back in the STLMFL in both the 7/8 and 9/10 age divisions. The team has been together for three seasons. The coaching staff has known each other since childhood, playing in high school and on the collegiate level. The coaches wanted to give back to the community and share their football experiences with the kids. The team has well-rounded athletes. The team has an average GPA of 3.5, an athlete who also plays the piano, and several 3-sport players.
Nathan Wagner is coach of the Eagles for Adult Open Recreational Soccer. The team members are from several different cities, including Columbia, West Plains and St. Louis. The captains of the team have not played in the GAMES since their high school days, which was more than 10 years ago. Nathan usually plays as goalie for the team, and he has won at least 11 medals at the GAMES. Nathan is also a high school soccer referee.
Margaret has been playing basketball in the Show-Me STATE GAMES for 15 years, since she was ten years old. She is coming back this year to compete, and will be playing alongside many friends, as well as family members. She will have three cousins on her team as well as her aunt, who is in her 40s.
Show-Me STATE GAMES will truly be a family affair for Jonathan Pickrell. He and his two brothers will be playing on the same team during the weekend of June 11-13. His dad coaches the team so almost half of the group is his family. They are competing in the 19+ Mens Basketball Recreational Division.
Justin Darlington is one of the world’s best amateur dunkers. He plays for Team Flight Brothers, “a collection of the best slam dunkers in the world & best in half-time entertainment, charity, exhibition basketball, streetball & any extreme sporting event.” He will be competing in Show-Me STATE GAMES basketball.
All of the members of D.J Dace’s high school basketball team from Cuba, MO have been playing together since they were in fourth grade, with the exception of a few guys on their GAMES team. In 2006, the team went into districts seeded seventh. The team went on to the championship game, playing number one seed Dixon, MO, staying close throughout the whole game. With only seconds left, the team’s star player took a last second shot that rimmed out. The team went on to lose by two in overtime, finishing the season at .500. This year, the team is dedicating the GAMES tournament to one teammate’s younger brother who passed away in March of this year.