A look back at the area athletic scene in 2013.
A year ago Rolla High School had by far the worst home football playing surface in the Ozark Conference.
That all changed in the summer of 2013.
And the same can soon be said for Missouri S&T and St. James.
In 2013 synthetic turf finally came to Phelps County. Rolla had been the lone team in the 10-school Ozark Conference without fake grass. However, spurred by the fund-raising efforts by the Turf By '12 Committee, enough money was raised and pledged for the Rolla Board of Education to go ahead with plans to finish the funding. The result was a state-of-the-art field for the Bulldog student body to utilize at Lions Memorial Stadium in time for the 2013 campaign.
Also in 2013, work began on installing synthetic turf, as well as a track, at the St. James High facility. And plans also began to be finalized for synthetic turf fields at Allgood-Bailey Stadium and an intramural field for Missouri S&T.
Among the other highlights in the area sports scene during 2013:
*The St. James High School girls' basketball team returned to Columbia and Final Four action during a standout 2012-13 campaign. The Lady Tigers were ranked No. 1 in Class 3 for much of the season on their way to taking third place in the Missouri Class 3 State Tournament. The squad finished 26-5 overall. Senior M.J. Buschmann earned Class 3 All-State recognition from both the coaches and sportswriters associations.
*Rolla High School's Aaron Froehlich had another brilliant season to become the Missouri boys' soccer all-time career goal-scoring leader. He netted another 68 goals in 2013 to finish his Bulldog career with 182 to set the state record. The Bulldogs opened the season by knocking off Columbia Rock Bridge - ranked 19th nationally - and were ranked as high as No. 2 in Missouri Class 2 before being upset by Jefferson City Helias in the district tournament. Froehlich, Nate Kramme and Hunter Short were all RHS players named to the all-state team, with Froehlich being awarded the Class 2 Offensive Player of the Year honors.
*S&T loses longtime pillars of its athletic department with the passing of former coaches/administrators Dewey Allgood and Billy Key.
*Tyler Fenwick is named S&T football head coach, replacing David Brown. The Miners finish first season under Fenwick 6-5 for the team's third-straight winning season. Senior LB Chris Emisih named GLVC Defensive Player of the Year and selected All-America by Beyond College Sports.
*Peter (Brendan) Beaugard, a junior at RHS, was the starting goalie for Parkway West ice hockey team during the 2012-13 school year and participated in the Winter Classic Outdoor Ice Hockey Invitational in St. Louis.
*There were 89 participants in Arby's Racquetball Tournament at Vessell's Fitness Complex.
*Former S&T softball standout Kandi (Wieberg) Spraggs inducted into Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) Hall of Fame.
*The St. Louis Cardinal Caravan stops in Rolla Jan. 19, with pitchers Shelby Miller and Seth Maness making appearances.
*Joe Ahearn, who led team to its first NCAA Division II National Tournament berth in 2010, resigns as S&T men's soccer head coach for an assistant position at Northwestern University. Gabe Hall named new Miner men's soccer head coach.
*After 32 years on the job Bill Schuchardt resigns as Salem High School football head coach. He had a 255-91 record at Salem with 14 South-Central Association titles, 16 district crowns, five Final Four berths and two state championship game appearances.
*Rolla High School wrestlers Carter Daniels at the 113-pound weight class, Darien Abston at 182 and Thomas Ceja at heavyweight compete in the Missouri Class 3 State Tournament.
*St. James High wrestlers Daniel Davis at 138 and Marshall Woolsey at 170 in Missouri Class 2 State Tournament.
*Several local gymnasts have high places in state and regional meets for Flip-Flop Gymnastics of Rolla.
*S&T swimmers win seventh consecutive New South Intercollegiate Swimming Championship and go on to finish 14th in NCAA Division II Nationals, with All-America finishes from Keith Sponsler in 200-yard freestyle, the 400-yard freestyle relay team and the 800-yard freestyle relay team.
*Eight members of 2012 RHS volleyball team earn Academic All-State Team honors form Missouri High School Volleyball Coaches Association.
*More than 900 anglers on hand at Maramec Spring for 2013 trout season opening day.
*Hailee Parks of the S&T women's basketball team and Mudi Eruteya of the men's squad earn All-GLVC honors.
*S&T's Ryan McGuire tied for 11th in pole vault and Adriel Hawkins took 20th in the 200-meter dash at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships. In the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships McGuire in the pole vault and Jusean Archibald in the 110-meter hurdles competed for the Miners.
*Caleb Copeland earned All-Ozark Conference and all-district honors for RHS boys' basketball team in 2012-13, finishing 13-13 overall.
*Andrea Zalis also all-conference and all-district for RHS girls' basketball squad. A two-sport standout, Zalis chooses to play basketball over softball at college level, signing at Westminster College.
*The St. James High boys' basketball team enjoyed a 24-4 season in 2012-13, being state-ranked much of the season before falling to eventual Class 3 Final Four placer Fatima in district tourney finals. Tiger forward Jack Mueller named to all-state team.
*Freshman guard Ryan Ward named All-Frisco League and all-district for Newburg boys' basketball, averaging 17.3 points as Wolves finished 15-13.
*Rolla Lady Knights youth soccer coach Hank Pernicka named 2013 Missouri Youth Soccer Association Coach of the Year for girls' competitive division.
*Former Rolla High wrestling standouts Blayne Shockley, Masen Ridenhour and Marcus Prosser represented Lindenwood University wrestling team at National Collegiate Wrestling Association's National Championship in Allen, Texas, with Lindenwood finishing fourth as team and Shockley taking third place at 125. Lindenwood also won the NCWA National Duals in Dalton, Ga.
*Former S&T football head coach Kirby Cannon named head coach of NCAA Division I program Austin Peay. He hires two of his former S&T assistants - Rolla native Josh Richards and Kyran Weaver - for his staff at Austin Peay.
*Rolla High golfers Michael Steelman and Jake Drewniak advance to Missouri Class 4 State Tournament at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield.
*Jennifer Costello of volleyball team, Andrew Schranck of swimming team and Spencer Brinkmeyer of men's soccer team win S&T M-Club's Gale Bullman Awards for excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
*Former Rolla High all-stater Chris Bowe named All-GLVC as pitcher for S&T baseball team, which finished 2013 24-25.
*Fields at Ber Juan Park dedicated in the names of longtime Rolla Parks & Recreation Director Ken Kwantes (softball field), former Rolla Mayor Joe Morgan (softball field) and longtime youth soccer supporter Kittie Robertson (soccer field).
*Havener Center youth bowling team won the 2013 Missouri Youth State Division 7 championship. Team consisted of Josh Elliott, Nate Potrafka, Jordan Youngblood and Gavin Lewis.
*S&T's Jennifer Costello (volleyball) and Spencer Brinkmeyer (soccer) win GLVC's Paragon Award, based on academic excellence, athletic ability, achievement, character and leadership.
*Newburg High track athletes Kylon Bales (pole vault), Renate Richardson (300-meter hurdles) and Austin Thompson (110-meter, 300-meter hurdles) compete at Missouri Class 1 State Championships. Bales all-state by placing fourth, Thompson all-state in 300-hurdles by placing eighth.
*Evangel's Emily Perona, a former standout at St. James, placed 33rd in the marathon event at the NAIA National Championships.
*Rolla High girls' soccer has fine bounce-back season, finishing 16-5. Forward Nicole Howard earns all-state honors and has signed to play soccer at Lewis & Clark Community College.
*Six members of RHS track team compete in Missouri Class 4 Championships - Alex McCormack in 300 hurdles, Aaron Froehlich in triple jump, Shannon McCaul in 800-meter run and girls' 4x800-meter relay team of Madison Collier, Jade DeShurley, Katie Brow and McCaul. McCormack earns all-state honors with eighth-place finish.
*St. James' Shelby Ridenhour qualifiers for Class 3 Track Championships in 100-meter, 200-meter and long jump. She signs with William Jewell College and during indoor track season sets school record in 60-meter dash.
*S&T baseball team's second baseman Michael Lockett earns All-Midwest honors from both Daktronics and National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America.
*Six S&T student-athletes earn Capital One Academic All-America honors during 2012-13 school year.
*Local youths Blaize Klossner, Alcina Reese and Taylor Heimbaugh compete at Busch Stadium in St. Louis during Pitch, Hit and Run semifinal competition.
*Missouri State University pitcher Grant Gordon, a former all-stater at Salem High, taken in 10th round by L.A. Angels in Major League Amateur Draft.
*St. James' Jake Ford (outfielder) and Justin Ray (catcher) named to Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 4 All-State Team. Ford is Four Rivers Conference MVP and also named all-state by sportswriters.
*Rolla golfer Chad Saladin 22nd in Buffalo Run-Prairie Moon Casinos Classic in Miami, Okla. As part of Adams Pro Tour Series.
*Rolla golfers Michael Steelman and Jared Jordan make match play in 106th Missouri Amateur at Blue Hills County Club in Kansas City.
*Mid Mo Stealers local youth baseball team third in Grand Slam World Series Tournament at Panama City Beach, Fla.
*St. James Public Schools add high school boys' soccer and middle school wrestling for 2013-14 school year.
*Sarah Moore, who began working in the S&T Athletic Department in 1979, retires as school's assistant athletic director and senior woman administrator at the university. Ron Henderson is hired as assistant athletic director.
*Local slow-pitch softball player Randy Gresham plays at game's highest level with TPS Louisville Slugger Nightmare in Major Division tournaments.
*Former Rolla High standout Gavin Otte is on the roster as wide receiver on record-setting Mizzou football team.
*West Plains junior golfer Ben Charles wins annual Ken Lanning Junior Golf Tourney at Oak Meadow C.C.
*Extreme Accessories, a coed softball team from Rolla, finishes second in ASA Class C State Tournament at Ber Juan Park.
*S&T women's track team posted the highest cumulative grade-point average in NCAA Division II (3.66).
*Rolla junior golfer Mark Martin competes on Missouri Golf Association's (MGA) Team Missouri in Southern State Junior Cup in Jackson, Miss.
*Team Missouri, featuring Rolla's John Brown and Larry Sexton, places third at 2013 Senior Olympics 3-on-3 basketball tournament in Cleveland, Ohio.
*Greg and Justin Doss win top flight of MGA's Father-Son Championship at Porto Cima in Sunrise Beach; Rolla's John and Jared Jordan also win their flight.
*At Newburg High School Logan Ray named new athletic director, Andrew Lott new softball coach and Russ Mudd returns as baseball coach.
*Rolla High football DT Jacob Banholzer earns all-state honors by coaches association for second straight year while RB Andy Satulla rushes for 1,345 yards and 11 touchdowns to highlight Bulldog season. Banholzer verbally commits to play football at Navy.
*St. James Oil Co. wins NSA Missouri Coed State Tournament championship at Ber Juan Park.
*Ber Juan hosts ASA Class C and Class D Coed National Tournaments in August.
*RHS football career rushing leader Cameron Fore named NAIA Offensive Player of the Week for Benedictine College after rushing for 236 yards and six touchdowns in 62-37 win over Avila. Fore's 36 points in the game established a new single-game NAIA high. A senior, Fore rushed for 1,436 yards and scored 25 TDs on the season and was named to the NAIA All-America first team.
*Rolla High softball goes 14-9; Jade DeShurley, Sydney Wells and Anna Feeler earned all-district honors. Feeler, a catcher, is Ozark Conference's Co-Player of the Year.
*RHS volleyball has one of its best seasons ever, going 24-12; Aarika Froehlich named all-region. Lady Bulldog volleyball teammates Emily Dodge and Gabe Otte will be Heart of America Conference rivals, as Dodge signs to play at Missouri Valley and Otte at Central Methodist.
*Newburg senior pitcher Shelby Friend named to Class 1 All-State Team. Friend led Newburg to 17-3 record, with 0.99 ERA, 188 strikeouts and 30 walks in 110 2/3 innings and at the plate a .545 average with five homers, eight triples, 13 doubles, 24 RBI and 15 stolen bases.
*Rolla High cross country team sends three to Class 4 Championships - freshman Addy Brow in girls' race and junior James Kosbar and sophomore Dalton Rabenau in boys' race. Brow all-state, placing 16th.
*St. James cross country female runners Leslie Perona and Parker Fane, both sophomores, and junior male runner Alex Auxier compete in Class 3 State Championships.
*St. James powerlifter Cash Bliss had 700-pound deadlift and 420-pound bench press to set national records in masters division of Southern Powerlifting Federation Missouri State Championships.
*Rolla powerlifter Becky Rich set world records May 18 in USPA Best of the Bluegrass Meet in Lawrenceburg, Ky with 314-pound squat. That broke all-time record for squat without knee wraps in women's 123-pound division and all-time raw record with or without knee wraps at 123.
*Rolla powerlifter Dustin Phelps took first in open classic raw division at 275-pound class in USPA Central States Powerlifting Classic III in Blue Springs with 727-pound squat, 363-pound bench, 694-pound deadlift for 1,785-pound total. His squat ranked 16th nationally.
*S&T men's basketball team has fast start to the 2013-14 season as one of the nation's highest-scoring teams.
*Rolla native Becky (Geers) Oaks, longtime executive director of Missouri State High School Activities Association and current Director of Sports National Federation of State High School Associations, to be inducted into Missouri Sports Hall of Fame on Jan. 26.