“This year we will feature a very young lineup, with almost half our roster being made up of freshmen,” Penberthy said. “The kids are working hard on and off the ice to be better players and stewards of the game. Our expectations are high and we anticipate to compete in a very tough conference and mimic the success we enjoyed last season and years before.”
In just its third year of varsity play, the Westminster Christian Academy Wildcats field hockey program recorded a winning record. The Wildcats head into the postseason Midwest Field Hockey State Tournament as the No. 13 seed, its highest ever. Westminster Christian Academy has yet to win a postseason game. It wants to change that. It is important for the program to win one and keep playing, Wildcats coach Nancy Schmer said. Schmer is proud of her team’s accomplishments this season.
LB Battle looked at his nine teammates stacked next to one another at the line of scrimmage and licked his chops. When first-year coach Keith Herring left Brentwood to take the reins of the Westminster football program in the offseason, he told his new team he liked to run the ball. “For me that’s a great thing,” said Battle, a senior running back.
The Metro Conference Tennis Tournament proved to be a coming out party for Westminster Christian freshman Izzy Cancila. Cancila knocked off top-seeded Sami Remis of John Burroughs 9-8 in the No. 1 singles title match on Thursday at Westminster. Cancila began her magical run with a semifinal win over Caleigh McClain of MICDS on Tuesday.
For the second time in a week, a St. Louis-area soccer player has been named Gatorade Missouri player of the year. Westminster graduate Kirsten Davis was awarded the girls statewide honor Monday. Summit’s Billy Hency, a junior last season, received the boys honor for Missouri last week. “I’m definitely super excited about it,” Davis said. “It’s such a great feeling to be recognized. I’m super happy.”
The University of Mississippi commit helped the Wildcats to a third-place finish in Class 4. Graham sported a .396 batting average and drove in 41 runs. He also led the Wildcats in runs scored with 51 and was tied for the team lead in home runs.
Westminster coach Rich Van Gilst knew the answer. But he wanted to be certain. So Van Gilst slowly walked out to the hill to visit mound ace DJ Stewart in an early-season showdown against defending Class 5 state champion Francis Howell.
Westminster senior DJ Stewart was the first high school athlete from the state of Missouri to be picked in the Major League Baseball free-agent draft, when he became the Philadelphia Phillies’ 39th-round pick in the 40-round draft that wrapped up Wednesday.
Westminster senior DJ Stewart was the first high school athlete from the state of Missouri to be picked in the Major League Baseball free-agent draft, when he became the Philadelphia Phillies’ 39th-round pick in the 40-round draft that wrapped up Wednesday. “It feels great,” Stewart said.
Josh Pottebaum watched from the stands as the Westminster baseball team captured the Class 4 state championship in 2014. A member of the junior varsity team as a freshman, he remembers the on-field celebration like it was yesterday. “Everyone going crazy, jumping up and down,” Pottebaum said. “Even though I wasn’t part of it, it was a great feeling just to see it.” Pottebaum could be a big part of the revelry this time around.
The Westminster Christian Academy Wildcats will take a 20-game winning streak on the road Tuesday – with hopes to give retiring coach Rick Van Gilst a send-off to remember in a Class 4 sectional game. Westminster (31-1) will travel to play Clayton (11-15) at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday (May 24). The Wildcats advanced after they scored a 12-2 win over St. Charles to win the Class 4 District 6 championship played at Orchard Farm. It was the first district title after in three years for Westminster.
Westminster Christian Academy senior Connor Dolan was recently selected as a recipient for the Hobey Baker High School Character Award. Candidates are selected by their high school coach based on their demonstration of a number of exemplary character qualities including, positive attitude, outstanding sportsmanship, excellent work ethic, and coachability.
The Westminster Christian baseball team is back in the state playoffs and Wes Schad couldn’t be happier. During Schad’s freshman year, in which he was not on the varsity, the Wildcats won their fourth successive state title in 2014. But, even though he blossomed into a standout the last two years by hitting a combined .408 with six home runs and 33 RBI, Westminster failed to make it out of district play.
Westminster Christian Academy takes a nifty 27-1 record into postseason play. Postseason baseball begins Friday (May 12) and is scheduled (weather permitting) to wrap up by Wednesday. The Wildcats’ lone loss came April 1 to Vianney when Westminster was shut out 3-0. This marks the final postseason for Westminster coach Rich Van Gilst. The veteran coach is retiring after the season.
A senior forward and team captain, Davis continues to dominate the area soccer scene and sits alone atop the area scoring leaders with 50 goals and 10 assists. In the month of May, she has 12 goals and two assists in three games. On May Day, she had a hand in all four Wildcats’ goals with two goals and two assists in a 4-1 win over Rosati-Kain and kicked off this week by scoring four times in a 6-1 win over Clayton.
Westminster Christian Academy instituted a new award for senior athletes this year to honor the importance of the athletic program’s guiding principles, the Ten Pillars. Each year, the Senior Ten Pillars Award will be given to one senior female athlete and one senior male athlete to recognize each awardee for his or her embodiment of the Ten Pillars of Westminster athletics.
The GSLAU, Greater St. Louis Association of Umpires presented the 2016 Hal Whiteaker Memorial Award for High School Baseball Coach of the Year this past Tuesday, May 2, to Westminster varsity baseball head coach Rich Van Gilst.
Skippy Kiefer nominee; 10 Pillars Award; Softball Wildcat Award; four-year varsity athlete recognition; varsity softball captain; JV lacrosse captain
Westminster Christian Academy’s Steve Webb and Cliff DeGroot achieved a basketball rarity this year. The two seniors both topped the 1,000-point plateau late in the 2016-17 season. The 6-foot-3, 196-pound DeGroot was the Wildcats’ shooting guard while the 6-1, 184-pound Webb was the point guard. The two are close friends.
Westminster Christian Academy lefthander Matt Ottsen is a pitching headache for opposing teams and he has been dealing lots of problems in his first five starts for opposing hitters. On Wednesday, it was Priory’s turn to be on the wrong end of Ottsen’s mound artistry.