The reigning Missouri Class 4 champion, the Lafayette girls volleyball team has been downright dominant this season.
The Lancers (17-0), who are ranked sixth nationally by PrepVolleyball.com and are the No. 1 team in the STLhighschoolsports.com large-schools rankings, have won each of their 34 games played.
“Last year’s team was really good, and a bunch of them are back,” first-year coach Zach Young said. “It’s probably the best group we’ve had at Lafayette.”
Lafayette is powered by four Division I commitments.
Stephanie Campbell, a 6-foot-2 senior middle blocker, committed to Auburn during her junior year. Melanie Crow, a 6-1 senior opposite hitter, committed to Ole Miss during junior year. Maggie Scott, a 5-10 junior setter, committed to Oregon this summer. Lily Johnson, 5-11 junior outside hitter, committed to Missouri State a few weeks ago.
But those four aren’t alone as Lancers who will or could play volleyball in college. Madison Jones, a 6-2 senior middle blocker-outside hitter, has committed to Central Missouri. Ashley Beaton, a 5-11 senior outside hitter, and Lindsey Pecoraro, a 5-8 senior defensive specialist, are also getting looks from colleges.
The junior class has talent besides Scott and Johnson. Jackie Scott, a 5-11 outside hitter and Maggie’s twin sister, has caught the interest of some schools. So does Brenna Griffey, a 6-0 middle blocker whose older brother, Tyler, was one of the top basketball players out of Lafayette and is entering his senior season at the University of Illinois.
It is an impressive collection of talent that has produced extraordinary results over the past one-and-a-half seasons. The team’s 17-0 start is something special.
“This may be a first for us, I’m not sure,” Young said. “We try to beef up our schedule to where it’s highly unlikely to have that kind of record, especially at this time of the year.”
ST. LOUIS U. HIGH’S WINGO GETS FIRST OFFER
Raymond Wingo wasn’t expecting it.
The St. Louis University High junior standout was on an unofficial visit to Arkansas on Saturday, preparing to watch his older brother, Ronnie, a senior running back for the Razorbacks.
That’s when offensive coordinator Paul Petrino pulled Wingo aside and told him they were offering him a scholarship.
“I wasn’t expecting it,” he said. “The time surprised me. It was only about an hour and 15 minutes before they played Alabama.”
It was the first scholarship offer for the 6-0, 166-pounder, but it won’t be the last. Wingo is showing what he’s capable of on both sides of the ball for the Junior Billikens this fall.
He has racked up 597 total yards (518 rushing, 79 receiving) and seven touchdowns while lining up as quarterback, running back and wide receiver. He is averaging 13 yards per rushing attempt.
As a cornerback, Wingo had 53 tackles, four interceptions and one fumble recovery a year ago as a sophomore. He also scored two touchdowns on returns.
Wingo could end up on either side of the ball in college, at wide receiver or cornerback.
“I think I can play both,” he said. “I love cornerback, too.”
Now that he has received his first offer, the recruiting process will start to heat up for Wingo. He’s planning to take an unofficial visit to Illinois on Sept. 29 when the Illini host Penn State.
CBC’S WALLACE GETS FIRST OFFER
CBC junior right tackle Brian Wallace received some great news last week when he found out the University of Missouri was extending him a scholarship offer.
“It was very exciting,” he said. “I didn’t expect it to happen. My coach (Scott Pingel) told me to call Coach Ford, and Coach Ford told me they were offering me.”
The 16-year-old stands 6-6 and weighs 285-290 pounds and is part of a strong junior class of offensive line prospects that includes De Smet’s Andy Bauer and Hazelwood Central’s Roderick Johnson.
Wallace hasn’t been playing football for very long, but it has become apparent with his size and improving skill set that he would be able to continue to play in college.
“Freshman year I didn’t really think about it,” he said. “I didn’t start to get a feel for it until my sophomore year. That’s when I started to get serious about it. I’ve only been playing football for four years.”
Wallace played soccer when he was younger, starting when he was 8, and then began playing basketball. Now he’s a Division I football prospect with a scholarship offer from Mizzou who is gaining increased attention from colleges.
“Nebraska and University of Illinois are looking at me right now,” he said. “They are very interested. Also Indiana.”
TATUM MAKES VISIT, GETS INVITE FROM USA BASKETBALL
Chaminade freshman Jayson Tatum has yet to play a game in high school, but he’s already drawing plenty of interest from colleges.
A 6-5, 168-pounder, Tatum recently took an unofficial visit to Missouri and is planning trips to Kansas and Indiana as well as another trip back to Mizzou.
“People are calling (his mother) out of the blue, and he hasn’t played a game in high school,” said Jayson’s father, Justin, the basketball coach at Soldan, who played at Saint Louis University. “This is different from when I was coming up. It wasn’t like this. He’s been handling it well. He just wants to keep working out and going to school and getting good grades.”
Tatum has accepted an invitation to attend the 2012 USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team mini-camp on Oct. 6-7 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
There, the players will be evaluated for future events with the developmental national team, like the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship tournament.