In the absence of March Madness, sports fans have been deprived of the mother-of-all tology time that only truly comes around one time each year. We at 800 Sporting have been in constant communication attempting to form a bracket of our own to give the people their sports fix for the next little bit of time. Our group of analysts has worked around the clock in preparation to cover the biggest event of this spring season. After months of collecting footage all around the greater Saint Louis area, our scouting department has returned and conferred deliberately to seed the athletes appropriately. After hours of argument and tense negotiation, we finally came up with a seeding that we felt comfortable enough to release to the world. We have created a bracket of the top athletes from Westminster Christian Academy over the last 10 years.
We will start by explaining the rules. To set up the bracket, we have one half that consists of boys sports and the other half girls. We could not come up with an even 16 on either half of the bracket, so there will be “play-in” rounds to start it off. The two sides will compete against one another until a male and female winner are determined. These two will face off in the championship round.
To vote, polls will be posted daily on our Instagram and Twitter pages @sportingwca. We will have an updated bracket to keep track of as we go along there as well. So without further ado, we present to you the WCA All-2010’s Athlete Bracket.
We kick this one off in the boys’ half with a slew of play-in games. The first matchup is between a pair of tennis stars, Derek Bell (‘14), Bailey Markel (‘14) and baseball player, Kevin Graham (‘18). The duo of Bell and Markel defined an era of Westminster Boys’ Tennis. As freshmen, they led the team to a second place finish in the team tournament, followed by fifth place the following season. By the time they had entered their junior seasons, they ranked in the top four of all pairings in Missouri. They captured the Class 1 Doubles State Championship in their junior and senior seasons. Bell went on to play at Florida Southern University. Graham, on the other hand, was a star corner infielder during his time wearing the Wildcat. He hit for a .417 batting average with nine home runs and 52 RBI. He hit a total of 16 home runs and had 112 RBI over the course of his three seasons on the team. He has since moved on to play at Ole Miss, taking a starting position at third base in his freshman season in the best conference in the country.
Our next matchup is between 15-seed Luke Linam (19’) and 18-seed Jimmy Obertop (19’). Linam played Varsity Soccer, Basketball and Baseball during his time at Westminster. He scored 23 goals in 2 seasons on the pitch, 433 points on court and hit for an .253 batting average with 27 RBI in his senior season. Linam’s versatility slotted him into the 15-seed. Going over to Obertop, he hit above .400 each of his three seasons as the starting catcher on the varsity team. He was a key piece to a very good team, hitting 20 long balls in addition to 126 RBI. Obertop has moved on to the University of Michigan, where in the first few games had taken over the starting catcher spot before having the season cancelled due to the Coronavirus.
For the final play-in round we have a 16/17 matchup that consists of 16-seeded Sam Haupfear (‘19) and 17-seeded DJ Stewart (‘17). In three years as the starting goalie on the hockey team, Haupfear led the team to two straight Wickenheiser Cup Championships while a .234 goals against average as well as .907 save percentage in his junior season. He also played out as a skater three times and collected 2 assists. We will start with Stewart’s senior season where he hit .409 with one home run, but he displayed dominance on the mound. In his 10 games started, he had eight complete games and a .53 ERA. Stewart was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies and is currently in their minor league system.
So now that we have the play-in rounds set up, let’s start to walk through the heavy-hitters of the bracket. The top seeded player goes back a little bit but not out of left field. Tate Matheny (‘12) hit for a .610 average, 11 home runs and 51 RBI en route to a State Championship in his senior year. He was starting center fielder during the golden era of Westminster baseball, winning 3 consecutive State titles while hitting a total of 27 long balls and 156 RBI in his four seasons. Matheny went on to play at Missouri State University before getting drafted by the Boston Red Sox. He will be going against the winner between the 16/17 matchup of Sam Haupfear and DJ Stewart.
Going down to the 2-seed, we have a two-sport athlete who holds the school’s rushing record on the gridiron and a spot on the 1000-point club on the court. Steve Webb (‘17) was a star player for the Wildcat football team that made the run into the final four in 2015. He moved on to play basketball at UMSL in the collegiate ranks. He will take on the winner of Jimmy Obertop and Luke Linam in his opening round. Could we see another Norfolk State-like upset in the dangerous 2/15 matchup?
Coming in at the 3-seed is one of the most dominant athletes WCA has ever seen. Alex Hopkins (‘16) won a State Championship during his senior year with a record of 34-0. He dominated every match he competed in and was able to attend West Point and wrestle there as well. He was ranked in the collegiate circles throughout his time with the Army Academy. Tasked to slay Hopkins is the winner of the Derek Bell and Bailey Markel duo and Kevin Graham.
Next up, we have our first non-play-in matchup. We start with the 4th seeded Brennan Orf (‘20), who’s resume includes a spot in the 1000 point club, 2020 Metro League Conference Player of the Year in basketball and 7 home runs and 72 career RBI in his sophomore and junior seasons. After taking the basketball team to its’ first Elite Eight appearance in over a decade, his senior season of baseball was cancelled, but he will continue to play at SIUE next Spring. He goes up against 13-seed Cole McWard (‘19). McWard was the hockey team’s top defenseman over the course of the three years he was at WCA. McWard was a catalyst for both Wickenheiser Cup Championship runs, scoring six goals and totaling eleven assists from the point in only eight playoff games. McWard left after his junior season to go play in the USHL, the top junior league in the United States. He plans on attending the University of Michigan on a hockey scholarship in the coming years.
Next up are two members of the Class of 2016. The higher seed of the two is Aaron Cook (‘16) who was one of the top basketball players in the area in his senior season. He averaged 22.1 points per game and had a 41% 3-point percentage. He took the team to the Elite Eight in his junior season and had a 20-6 record in his senior campaign. He moved on to play a big role at SIU-Carbondale, hitting a buzzer beater at the Enterprise Center in the Arch Madness Tournament last year to advance his team to the next round. Cook announced this past week that he’ll be playing at Gonzaga as a graduate transfer this winter. His competition is the 12-seed Andrew Murray (‘16) who had a long course time of 16:28:21, good for the 26th best time in the state that year. Murray was a mainstay on the varsity team during his time at the Academy. He has set the standard for what success in cross country is for the team years later. The 5/12 game can be a trap in the tournament, could we see an upset?
The next pairing is of two older athletes, 6-seed Mitch Penning (‘13) and 11-seed Bennett Lewis (‘13). We start with the volleyball star who had 387 kills in his senior season, leading the whole state. He was one of the top players in the state and one of the top recruits in the country, being named an All-American by the AVCA. He chose to go to the boys volleyball powerhouse at Pepperdine University, where he took over a starting spot in his sophomore season and never looked back. He has the third highest hitting percentage in program history. He was selected to the U21 USA team and now plays professionally in Europe. His opponent, Bennett Lewis had an undefeated senior season in 2012-13 with a record of 54-0. He placed third at the State Meet in his junior season before taking the State Championship in 2013. He had a combined record of 103-3 at the 215 pound weight class in his final two years. He moved on to Washington and Lee University in Virginia.
For the next matchup, we have 7-seed Brett Bond (‘14) and 10-seed Dyllan Conway (‘17). Bond was the starting catcher for the baseball team for three seasons, wracking up 7 home runs and 96 RBI to go along with a .420 batting average in his senior season. During his time on the team, he won 2 State Championships as a key player. Bond was the quarterback of the Wildcat football team as well, throwing for career totals of 4,074 yards and 48 TDs. As a safety he also picked off 9 throws from the opposition. He moved on to play baseball at the University of Missouri, taking hold of a starting spot in his freshman season with career totals of 24 home runs, 126 RBI and a .273 batting average over all four years. Bond was drafted in the 2018 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Angels and last played in High A. He goes up against Dyllan Conway, who boasts the school’s best career receiving yards, receptions and long jump record. He played football, basketball and track and field over the course of his four years at the Academy. He earned All-Conference, All-District, All-Metro, and All-State honors each year in track and field. Conway was the top receiver on the 2015 team that made it to the Final Four. Conway went on to play football at SIUC following his graduation from Westminster Christian Academy.
For our final first round matchup we have a couple of 2016 grads. The 8-seed is Shane Benes (‘14) and the 9-seed is Zach Hughes (‘16). Starting with Benes, he took over the starting shortstop position in his freshman season and won a State Championship in each of his first two seasons. He had also earned a spot on the basketball team and became one of the leading scorers. After his junior year baseball season, he had amassed 13 HRs and 106 career RBI, ranking him among the top players in Saint Louis. During the winter of his senior year, he was averaging 18.6 points a game on the hardwood, leading the Metro League. This was all until he tore his ACL, forcing him to miss the remainder of his basketball season and the ensuing baseball season. After recovering, he went to the University of Missouri to play baseball. He tore his ACL again and left the school, in the summer of 2019, he signed a minor league deal with the Saint Louis Cardinals. His opposition, Zach Hughes has a little different resume than anyone else on this list. He was a star tight end/linebacker on the dominant 2015 football team, scoring 8 touchdowns and totalling 57 tackles his senior year. He is the holder of the 4×100 school record in track and field, placing fourth in the State Meet. He was a Bennie Anderson type player on the basketball team. Hughes played roles in many musicals and plays in the Arts department. His diverse skill set led him to apply for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award, choosing from students all over the nation who excel in the classroom, in sports, and do multiple other extra-curriculars. He was selected as a finalist, flown to New York to be on the Heisman Trophy Presentation show televised nationally on ESPN. Hughes was chosen as the male recipient of the award as Wendy’s High School Heisman in 2016.
This concludes the boys half of our bracket so now we look over to the girls side. Before we do that though, just a reminder that the voting schedule will be released soon on our Twitter and Instagram pages @sportingwca. There you will also find content breaking down each matchup from our very own Sporting 800 bracketologists/analysts.
We have the same amount of play-in games in this half, giving us 19 people on each side. Our first play-in matchup is between the 14th seeded Madeline Williams (‘18) and the 19-seed, Kristin Keys (‘19). Williams settled into a spot on the varsity volleyball team her sophomore season. In her junior and senior seasons, she was named team captain. In her senior year, she had 158 kills with a 29.48% kill percentage. She went on to play at Indiana State, where she has gained more playing time as well as kills and aces in her two seasons. Keys was a four-year member of the basketball team. She had consistent improvement of her numbers all four years. The forward had career high totals of points and rebounds in her senior season of 294 points and 178 rebounds, she also shot 32% beyond the 3-point line that year. If not for an injury holding her out of most of her junior season, she could have reached the 1000 point threshold. She finished with 782 points and 376 rebounds total. She now plays basketball at Missouri S&T.
Our second play-in round consists of the 15th seed Adrienne Horn (‘15) and the 18-seed Lauren Gates (‘20). Starting with Horn, she was a star player in both volleyball and basketball at WCA. In two seasons on the Varsity Volleyball team, she was a prominent hitter with a combined 132 kills and 130 blocks. She was a member of the 2012 State Championship team. Horn’s true mark was made on the basketball court. A four-year varsity player that averaged a double-double 12.3 points a game along with 11 rebounds a game. Over the course of her four seasons, Horn totalled 1,040 points and 894 rebounds. She went on to play at Drury University. Gates, on the other hand, earned her stripes on the softball field. She played four seasons on the varsity team as an offensive catalyst, as well as, defensive backstop behind the plate. She hit over .500 in her freshman season and hovered around that mark her whole career. Over the course of her career, she hit six home runs and added 61 RBI, nothing to scoff at usually hitting from the leadoff spot. In the Fall of 2020, she plans on attending Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville playing softball.
Our final play-in round is a fight between the 16-seed Reese Earleywine (‘20) and the 17th seed, Morgan Sickels (‘19). Earleywine played two sports during her time at the Beige Palace, but she had a true affinity with diamonds. Over the four seasons on the softball field, she saw steady increases in batting average in addition to power numbers. Her senior year saw her hit a career high of five home runs, giving her a total of 9 long balls and 80 RBI. She had a .517 batting average and began to field college offers. She is going to attend the University of Southern Mississippi in the Fall. Sickels played field hockey during her time at Westminster. She finished in the top 15 in scoring in the area her senior year with 14 goals. She holds both the single-season and career goal records for the field hockey program. She now plays field hockey at Skidmore College.
Getting into the first round matchups, we are going to start at the top. Our top seeded female should come as no surprise. Every time she touches a diving board, a decade-old record is broken. With countless amounts of achievements all the way up to the national level, Margo O’Meara (‘21) slots in at the 1st seed. In three seasons, she has cruised to three state championships in diving and has medaled in swim events at the State Meet as well. Should she have continued on with soccer, that resume alone would have placed her high on this list, being one of the team’s best players even during her freshman season scoring 28 goals and adding 7 assists for a total of 63 points in her freshman season. She gave up playing soccer to pursue a career in diving. She is currently committed to Duke University and is training in hopes of making it to the Olympics. Slated to go against her is the winner of #16 Earleywine and #17 Sickels.
Coming in at number two in our bracket is Kirstin Davis (‘17). She will take on the winner of the 15 seeded Horn and 18-seed Gates. In just her freshman year, Davis tied for the area lead in goals with 35. Every season, she broke more and more goal scoring records. Over the four seasons she showed just how dominant she was scoring 172 goals. In 2017, she was named the Gatorade Missouri Girls Soccer Player of the Year. She had multiple stints on Team USA, taking her all over the world to play in international competition. She decided to attend Texas Tech University, where she has continued to be one of the top players in the country, climbing up the record books there as well. In 2019, she was named to the First Team All-American and Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year among many other accolades.
To take on the winner of the 14-seed Williams and the 19-seed Keys is Charisse Williams (‘15). Williams took over the starting point guard position in her junior season and never looked back. She was a consistent player bringing the ball up, averaging 5 assists a game each season. She scored a total of 463 points in her senior season, leading the team to the District Championship Game. She averaged sixteen points a game in her final season before heading out to Lindenwood University to play college basketball.
To kick off the set matchups of the first round, we have a 4/13 between Brooke Cusamano (‘13) and Kiley McKee (‘19). Cusamano earned a spot in the tournament due to the many accolades she received while competing on the golf course. She went to the State Tournament all four years with the lowest finish being 20th. She battled to win the Class 1 State Championship in her junior and senior seasons. Cusamano also played a big role on the basketball team, averaging 10 points a game in her senior season. She went on to golf at SIU, where she broke many program records including most scores in the 70’s as well as matches played. Jumping over to McKee, Kiley earned the 13-seed due to her stellar play on the basketball court. She led the team in scoring both her junior and senior seasons. Her junior year saw a career high 14 points along with five rebounds a game. She surpassed the 1000 point mark near the end of her senior season, marking one of the top moments of that calendar year.
The next matchup is between the 5-seed, Jordan Hauesser (‘18) and Elisabeth Sems (‘17), the 12-seed. Hauesser played three sports for the Wildcats, volleyball, basketball and lacrosse. On the volleyball team, she served as the main setter, accumulating 205 assists in her senior season. She faced injuries in the winter of her senior year and was limited on the court. Her top sport is played on the turf. She led a very solid lacrosse team to a deep run in the playoffs, playing solid on both sides of the ball. She went on to play lacrosse right down the street and Missouri Baptist University. Sems only played volleyball while getting educated at the Academy.She was one of the leaders for the program all four years she was involved. Sems was the backbone of the team primarily playing a role as an outside hitter. She totalled 214 career kills with a single-season high of 77. She went on to play at Grove City College.
The 6/11 matchup consists of McKenna Montgomery (‘16) and Amanda Espy (‘19). The 6th seeded Montgomery made a name for herself on the golf courses and basketball courts around the Metro Saint Louis area. In golf, she went to the State tournament three times, with her highest finish being third place individually. She holds the lowest 18-hole score record, shooting a 71 in her senior year. On the courts, she averaged 13.8 points and five rebounds a game in her senior season. She really excelled outside the three-point line, holding a 47% 3-point percentage. After reaching 1000 points, she moved on to play basketball at Union University. Going up against Montgomery is a girl who didn’t start running competitively until the spring of her sophomore year. She joined the cross country team the following fall and was a member on the state-qualifying team. During the ensuing spring, she really found her place, breaking the school record in the 3200m race and qualifying for state, as well as the 4x800m team relay. In her senior cross country season, she broke the school’s 5k race record with a time of 19:39, she finished the State Meet in 15th place. In track that spring, she broke her own record for the 3200m race, placing it at 11:40.
Up next, the 7-seed, Dani Mabry (‘19) goes up against the 10-seed, Sadie Stipanovich (‘13). Upon graduating in the Spring of 2019, Dani Mabry had achieved the Iron Wildcat status, playing a sport every season all four years. By her senior year, she played a pivotal role on each team she played on. In the Fall, she dominated on both sides of the ball, hitting for a .517 batting average while pitching in 21 of the 23 games. She pitched all but nine innings all season en route to the team’s shocking district title. She dealt with injuries and only was able to play in four basketball games in the winter, but her top sport awaited her in the Spring. As lacrosse season rolled around, she was able to get healthy to play mid way through the season. She led the team in goals and points with 47 and 63, respectively. She now attends Rockhurst University and plays lacrosse there. Stipanovich was one of the many athletes that the Class of 2013 produced, playing both volleyball and basketball. She won a state title as the middle hitter on the volleyball team in 2012. She had a hitting percentage of 27.52% and ended 155 points in her senior year. In the winter, she averaged a double-double with fifteen points and 10 rebounds a game. Her biggest season was her junior year, where she totaled 469 points and 276 rebounds. She ended with 1,098 points and 603 rebounds in her career. She went on to play basketball for the Billikens at Saint Louis University.
Our final first round matchup is between the 8th seeded Adrianna Minner (‘19) and the 9th seeded Erin Bognar (‘13). Adrianna Minner is the most accomplished thrower in Westminster history. She holds the school record in both shot put and discus. She finished ninth in the Missouri State Meet with a shot put throw of 40’4”. She also holds the female squat record in school history. She currently attends Central Missouri where she continues to compete in track and field. Bognar was a force on the volleyball court, being a vital piece to the State Championship team in 2012. In that season, she had a 35% kill percentage to go along with 4.7 kills per game. She was one of the premier outside hitters in the Saint Louis area. She went on to play at Samford University.
This concludes the official breakdown of the bracket to crown the top Westminster athlete of the 2010’s. Who do you think was the best athlete of the last decade? Let us know @sportingwca on Instagram and Twitter, which also happens to be where the voting will take place, voting will begin shortly.