From the resurrection of the Houston High School football program to several individual achievements, there were many milestone sports moments in 2015. Here’s a look at some of the best:
KELL WINS 400TH CAREER GAME
Longtime HHS girls’ basketball coach Brent Kell hit a milestone moment to begin the year. With a convincing 66-30 victory against Conway in the opening round of the Mansfield Tournament, Kell won his 400th career game.
Kell, currently midway through his 30th season at HHS, was presented the game ball after the win. His daughters, Megan and Haylee, traveled to the game and shared in the celebration with Kell and his wife, Audrey, who kept the scorebook beside him on the bench.
HHS FOOTBALL BACK FROM THE DEAD
Behind first-year coach Eric Sloan and a group of 16 seniors, the Tigers went 4-6 to eclipse the win total of the previous five years combined. The roar was restored.
The highlight of the season was an incredible 36-35 come-from-behind victory against St. James in Week 2. Houston overcame a 22-point deficit in the final 10 minutes, 33 seconds.
HHS, which won the season opener 16-7 the previous week at Hollister to snap a 16-game losing skid, started 2-0 for the first time since 2008. The Tigers lost to Salem the following week before bouncing back to beat Cabool for a 3-1 start to the year.
Junior Chance Hunter provided most of the offensive punch for HHS by rushing for 1,000 yards.
CASPER SPRINTS TO STATE FINALS IN TWO EVENTS
Speedy sophomore Abby Casper made her claim as one of the state’s fastest sprinters by finishing sixth in the state in the 100 meters and seventh in the 200 for all-state honors in both.
Casper was the only underclassman to make the 100 finals and topped the only other in the 200.
Casper qualified for state by winning the 200 at both districts and sectionals and finishing second in both rounds in the 100.
CANTRELL GOES OUT ON TOP
Tanner Cantrell concluded his standout baseball career with two of the top honors in his sport. Cantrell was named all-state for the third time and also was selected the South Central Association player of the year.
A senior third baseman, Cantrell never batted below .400 in his HHS career and twice hit well over .500. He his .547 his final season with an .663 on-base percentage while leading the team in hits (35) and runs scored (24).
ARTHUR NAMED TOP VOLLEYBALL OFFICIAL
One of more than 500 high school volleyball officials in Missouri, Houston’s Teresa Arthur was named the best in the state by the Missouri High School Activities Association. The 1981 HHS graduate is a mechanics clinician who leads one of six clinics around the state every August.
KELLEY SCORES 1,000TH POINT
Sarah Kelley became one of a handful of HHS girls’ basketball players to score 1,000 career points as she led the Lady Tigers past Salem to win the Lady Bulldog Invitational in December.
Kelley, a senior center, reached the mark by converting a left-handed layin between defenders while being fouled with 2 minutes, 15 seconds left in the first half.