Hunter Yeargan of Willard and Brooke Stanfield of Republic were honored Thursday as the Athlete of the Year Award winners at the second ever News-Leader SW Missouri Sports Awards banquet at the Springfield Expo Center.
Of the hundreds of high school students from southwest Missouri who compete in varsity athletics, Stanfield and Yeargan were honored for achievements in multiple sports across their esteemed careers.
Stanfield led Republic to district championships in both volleyball and basketball her senior year. The Tigers basketball team went 25-2 and held the No. 1 ranking in the Class 5 state coaches poll for much of the season. The two-time co-MVP of the Central Ozarks Conference led Republic with 15.5 points per game.
She said the best part of Republic’s basketball run was playing alongside some of her closest friends that she has had since elementary school.
“I wouldn’t have wanted to share it with anybody else,” Stanfield said. “When your teammates are your best friends, it means so much more because you’re not only playing for yourself, you’re playing for all of them.”
She holds Republic High School records in the 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash and high jump. She attained all-state status in high jump with a sixth-place finish at the state meet in 2015. An injured hamstring prevented her from competing for a state championship this spring.
Tori Mooneyham coached Stanfield in track and field and in basketball for her entire high school career.
“I think is one of the best athletes to ever come through Republic. She has God-given athleticism, pure natural ability, but she also has the work ethic and she’s made a name for herself,” Mooneyham said. “She’s one of the best track athletes in the area, and not to see her get to finish is pretty devastating.”
Stanfield signed with Drury University to play basketball and compete in track and field. She feels ready to take on the challenge of playing two college sports.
“It’s comforting to know that I can rely on the lessons I’ve learned, the skills that all my coaches have put effort into developing in me and being able to use those,” Stanfield said.
Yeargan won 53 consecutive wrestling matches at 195 pounds. His one loss of a spectacular senior season came in the championship final of the Class 3 state championship tournament.
“Anything can happen at state, as it did. Obviously, it’s not how I wanted to finish my senior year, but I’ve definitely learned for it and it’s kept a chip on my shoulder, which I think I need going into college,” Yeargan said. “You can’t get knocked down and not get back up.”
Yeargan signed to wrestle at the University of Ohio with a record of 189-11 as a high school grappler. He will drop from playing three sports to one.
“I think for the next four years, five years, that I’m ready to concentrate on one sport and give it my all,” Yeargan said.
College football coaches were also interested in Yeargan’s services at running back, but wrestling ultimately won out. Yeargan ran for second-team all-state status and surpassed well more than 3,000 rushing yards in his career.
“Hunter is a very determined individual, not only in the classroom but on the mat or on the football field,” Willard wrestling coach Justin Wisdom said. “Now he wants to be good (at wrestling) and he wants to be the best.”
Yeargan specialized in sprints on the Tigers track and field team. He placed second in the Central Ozarks Conference in the 100-meter dash.
SW Missouri Sports Awards winners
Female Athlete of the Year Award: Brooke Stanfield, Republic
Male Athlete of the Year Award: Hunter Yeargan, Willard
Team of the Year Award: Hartville Eagles boys basketball
Coach of the Year Award: Jeremy Mullins, Crane
Courage Award: David Odun-Ayo, Glendale
Boys golf: Christopher Obert, Glendale
Nominations: Christopher Obert, Glendale; Sam Holmes, Glendale; Tommy Montileone, Greenwood; Nate Bailey, Springfield Catholic; Jake Walz, Springfield Catholic; Logan Smith, Kickapoo; Josh Fronabarger, Aurora; Taylor Haltom, Ava; Seth Kovak, Nixa; Lucas Turnbull, Nixa
Girls golf: Ari Acuff, Kickapoo and Lyndsey Standage, Rogersville
Nominations: Ari Acuff, Kickapoo; Lyndsey Standage, Rogersville; Meredith Sharp, Greenwood; Beth McDonald, Nixa; Olivia Ramsey, Nixa; Katie Hamilton, Republic; Hannah Aherin, Ozark; Addie Stewart, Bolivar; Maristela Mantala, Rogersville; Amber Wilson, Camdenton
Girls tennis: Anna Rader, Springfield Catholic
Nominations: Anna Rader, Catholic; Emily Kroutil, Catholic; Meghan Zengel, Kickapoo; Coral Tracy, Kickapoo; Rachel Dwyer, Glendale; Brooke Smith, Glendale; Momoka Kikuchi, Bolivar; Erica Reynolds, Bolivar; Macy Hall, Bolivar; Whitney Wiehe, Mt. Vernon; Abby Rinker, Mt. Vernon; Hannah Nelson, Nixa; Maran Altwooll, Nixa; Hannah Todd, Nixa
Boys tennis nominations: Reid Jarvis, Glendale; Hayden Fulk, Glendale; Spencer Weller, Glendale; Michael Nacy, Republic; Jason Nayar, Springfield Catholic; Garrett Howard, Kickapoo; Ethan Chanliongco, Springfield Catholic; Gavin Litherland, Greenwood; Garrett Bacon, Nixa; William Roberts, Bolivar
Softball: Rachel Rook, Republic
Nominations: Rachel Rook, Republic; AnnaMarie McGlone, Bolivar; Ellie Lane, Pleasant Hope; Haley Bledsoe, Rogersville; Lauren Chambers, Ozark; Courtney Ince, Rogersville; Hannah Carvel, Ozark; Jenna Ogletree, Norwood; Tabitha Francka, Morrisville; Audra Metz, Rogersville; Ashlee Parker, Kickapoo; Miranda Lightfoot, Fair Play; Hailey Brown, Rogersville; Hannah Erickson, Reeds Spring
Volleyball: Kendra Sater and Paige Perry, both of Ozark
Nominations: Kendra Sater, Ozark; Paige Perry, Ozark; Emma Brand, Glendale; Kelsey Larsen, Glendale; Jane Kickham, Kickapoo; Chloe Rear, Strafford; Kaylee Larimer, Strafford; Logan Eden, Strafford; Rilie Vote, Strafford; Emma Lander, Crane; Haley Stalling, Fair Grove; Jordan Stacey, Fair Grove; Aubrey Cheffey, Nixa; Kate Bushnell, Willard; Makenzie Bouse, Willard; Laynie Dake, Mt. Vernon
Football: Mason Husmann, Aurora
First team nominations: Jacob LaSalle, Marionville; Anthony Riley, Parkview; Malachi Stout, Kickapoo; Ben Friend, Lighthouse Christian; Luke Montgomery, Glendale; Johnny Scott, Bolivar; Tanner Wright, Marionville; Chase Allen, Nixa; Skyler Hale, Republic; Martin Eidson, Willard; Garrett McGuire, Hillcrest; Hunter Wilson, Bolivar; Jess Emerson, Kickapoo; Mason Husmann, Aurora; Shaun Baker, Reeds Spring; Adam Hale, Reeds Spring; Mason Stipp, Nixa; Samuel Morton, Strafford; Tre Woodring, Kickapoo; Colton Pomeroy, Reeds Spring; Chipper Berry, Skyline; Logan Tyler, Nixa; Mason Pack, Kickapoo; Jacob Eden, Strafford; Dylan Mountain, Skyline; Joshua Scheiderer, Kickapoo
Second team nominations: Nick Haddock, Reeds Spring; Alex Huston, Glendale; Jerney Jones, Republic; Hunter Yeargan, Willard; Garrett King, Central; Skyler Cahill, Aurora; Jarrett Massie, Mt. Vernon; Brandon Emmert, Bolivar; Scott Wichmer, Springfield Catholic; Waylon Davis, Marionville; Zach Bray, Kickapoo; Austin Heatherly, Nixa; Jake Luellen, Glendale; Corbin White, Willard; Chance Davis, West Plains; Clay Loveall, Parkview; Tanner Schnelle, Aurora; Adrian Palmer, Lebanon; C.J. Oliver, Central; Seth Holyfield, Central; Cameron Witt, Monett; Conner Hicks, Lebanon; Travis Vokolek, Kickapoo; C.J. Loveall, Parkview; Tyrone Walker, Central; Anthony Guynn, Fair Grove
Boys cross country: Stephen Kielhofner, Catholic
Nominations: Stephen Kielhofner, Catholic; Austin Rieth, Catholic; Lachlan Moore, Catholic; Nathan Hall, Kickapoo; Matthew McHenry, Rogersville; Dustin Shoemaker, Humansville; Keaton Wheeler, Morrisville; Easton Sabala, Hermitage; Bailey Jones, Hermitage; Logan Bohannon, Ozark; Dalton Edwards, Glendale; Caleb Stillings, Ava; Nathan Painter, Bolivar; Shane Burns, Strafford
Girls cross country: Claire Workman, Summit Prep
Nominations: Claire Workman, Summit Prep; Katie McCune, Summit Prep; Claire McCune, Summit Prep; Adeline Holder, Branson; Tabitha Weber, Marshfield; Bailey Ray, Ava; Allison Porter, Bolivar; Laci Lindsay, Bolivar; Stephanie Penticuf, Glendale; Shelby Jackson, Buffalo; Memphis Coble, Humansville
Boys soccer: Joey Clem, Nixa
Nominations: Joey Clem, Nixa; Tustin Baker, Nixa; Parker Crawford, Nixa; Jakob Price, Nixa; Bobby Spence, Glendale; Nick Moore, Glendale; Sean Perryman, Glendale; Nicholas Lantz, Glendale; Jason Puente, Monett; Josh Ellerbee, Kickapoo; Sam Hockett, Kickapoo; Brody Johnson, Parkview; Manny Torres, Central; Jesse Salvato, Central; Jason Salvato, Central; Ben Rash, Catholic; Ethan Schroeder, Catholic; Anthony Gomez, Catholic; Kyle Cavanaugh, Fair Grove; Mason Kesterson, Fair Grove; Jack Gold, Rogersville; Matt Rowe, Greenwood
Girls soccer: Daley Townsend, Nixa
Nominations: Ari Acuff, Kickapoo; Hannah Sweany, Kickapoo; Rachel Williams, Kickapoo; Stacy Goodale, Kickapoo; Jadyn Easley, Ozark; Mikayla Putt, Ozark; Alex Johnson, Nixa; Daley Townsend, Nixa; Brooke Lannutti, Nixa; Brionna Halverson, Bolivar; Emilie Armstrong, Fair Grove; Brinn Cooper, Springfield Catholic; Kristin Knetzer, Glendale; Lexi Wapelhorst, Lebanon; Bayley Flavin, Greenwood; Emma Skornia, Springfield Catholic
Boys swimming: Samuel Senn, Kickapoo
Nominations: Samuel Senn, Kickapoo; Henry Feyh, Glendale; Frederick Weiss, Glendale; Ross Ducan, Glendale; Gabriel Ting, Central; Daniel Brinck, Nixa; Marcus Latz, Ozark
Girls swimming: Macie Beairsto, Glendale
Nominations: Macie Beairsto, Glendale; Molly Moore, Summit Prep; Krystal Caylor, Kickapoo; Kaylee Sisson, Glendale; Maddie Duncan, Glendale; Cali Hackworth, Glendale; Katie McCune, Summit Prep; Claire McCune, Summit Prep; Claire Workman, Summit Prep; Olivia Stoneman, Nixa; Kayla Herron, Kickapoo
Diving nominations: Krista Shimizu, Summit Prep; Victoria Carder, Hillcrest; Megana Swords, Central; Josie Stephens, Glendale
Wrestling: Niko Chavez, Willard
Nominations: Niko Chavez, Willard; Hunter Yeargan, Willard; Broden LeMaster, Reeds Spring; Alex Garrett, Willard; Daniel Meier, Camdenton; Kyle Caldwell, Willard; Christian Smart, Willard; Zach Dickens, Republic; Shayne Piles, Republic; Josh Keys, Camdenton; Ethan Smith, Buffalo; Joel Barrientos, Monett; Luke Moffett, Bolivar; Onis Howard, Monett; Floyd Miller, Buffalo; Ian Meyer, Monett; Cody Curnutt, Ozark; Marquise Jacoby-Davis, Kickapoo; Deidryck Tichner, Glendale; Adrian Palmer, Lebanon; Brock Carter, Rogersville; Jacob Ulrich, Branson; Matt Kahnert, Reeds Spring
Boys basketball: Jared Ridder, Kickapoo
Nominations: Isaac Johnson, Kickapoo; Chase Allen, Nixa; Kyle Cavanaugh, Fair Grove; Dallas Meinders, Walnut Grove; Brandon Emmert, Bolivar; Bryce Krueger, Bolivar; Jared Ridder, Kickapoo; Julius Walker, Greenwood; Ryan Ward, Hartville; Monty Johal, Glendale; Garrett Kesterson, Fair Grove; Tristan Oller, Republic; Jordan Walton, Glendale; Grant Dedmon, Hartville; Logan Thomazin, Walnut Grove; Kyland Hewett-Newbill, Ozark; Cameron Davis, Kickapoo
Girls basketball: Lexie Vaught, Crane
Nominations: Laura Vierkant, Kickapoo; Lexie Vaught, Crane; Kaycee Gerald, Hillcrest; Brooke Stanfield, Republic; Hayley Frank, Strafford; Abby Oliver, Strafford; Jordan Sanders, Kickapoo; Jordan Kabetske, Republic; Bayley Harman, Walnut Grove; Kaylee DaMitz, Skyline; Kylee Moore, Crane; Kaylie Rothdiener, Bolivar; Taylor Faulkner, Buffalo; Bailey Weaver, Fair Grove; Raylie Hejna, Walnut Grove; Emily Parker, Aurora; Amanda Kearney, Branson
Baseball: Kaleb Schmidt, Kickapoo
Nominations: Kaleb Schmidt, Kickapoo; Hayden Jeffryes, Walnut Grove; Kyle Smith, Willard; Connor Sechler, Bolivar; Mason Dickemann, Springfield Catholic; Tanner Wallace, Ozark; Parker Dent, Nixa; Matt Searson, New Covenant Academy; Cameron Witt, Monett; Thomas Barrett, Hillcrest; Isaac Carlson, Hurley; Westin Gann, Kickapoo; Jordan Fitzpatrick, Rogersville; Layn Hurst, Forsyth; J.D. Murders, Bolivar; Joel Ogletree, Norwood; Logan Thomazin, Walnut Grove; Owen Gann, Glendale; Cody Malan, New Covenant Academy; Riley Herron, Kickapoo; Justice Jones, Hurley; Jacob Zahn, Rogersville; Tanner Ryan, Hillcrest; Brant Schaffitzel, Hillcrest
Boys track and field: Gunnar Allison, Rogersville
Nominations: Nathan Hall, Kickapoo; Savion Hill, Hillcrest; Gunnar Allison, Rogersville; Cody Franklin, Hollister; Marcus Walton, Parkview; Dylan Mountain, Skyline; Maverick McGee, Kickapoo; Dave Hundley, Parkview; Joseph Nickell, Nixa; Jerney Jones, Republic; Phillip Canfield, Republic; Korey Robinette, Reeds Spring; Ransom Allphin, Reeds Spring; Anthony Perryman, Ozark; Stephen Kielhofner, Springfield Catholic; Austin Rieth, Springfield Catholic; Shane Burns, Strafford; Erik Savage, Hillcrest
Girls track and field: Jaslyn Williams, Central
Nominations: Jaslyn Williams, Central; Allison Bailey, Kickapoo; Claire Workman, New Covenant/Summit Prep; Addie Jones, Mt. Vernon; Elleigh Spragg, Rogersville; Tabitha Weber, Marshfield; Jesse Farrales, Nixa; Brooke Stanfield, Republic; Shelby Jackson, Buffalo; Brocklyn Barber, Ozark; Alexis Barber, Ozark; Kennedy Aurentz, Kickapoo; Stephanie Penticuff, Glendale; Sydnee Cashio, Ash Grove; Kelsey Winfrey, Lebanon