Making History Once Agian


Emma Larkin

Seniors Ethan Cornett and Nash Kell celebrate after big win.

Lily Hente and Alyssa Baird

History repeated itself this year as the St. Dominic football team won their district for the second consecutive year. However, this team’s goal wasn’t about repeating history; they were out to make their own history!

With a 29-0 victory over Parkway Central in the Class 4 football quarterfinals, they accomplished just that. Now poised to play in the final four matchup against West Plains on Thanksgiving Saturday, the Crusaders are stepping into history as the first St. Dominic football team to ever reach the semifinals of a state championship.

This is even better than last year. It’s awesome. The fact that we get to practice on Thanksgiving morning and play on the weekend is just like a dream come true,” Assistant Coach Joseph Groaning said.

It is true that this football team has much to be thankful for, including the long-awaited return of senior running back Jackson Overton. He may have had only a handful of touches against Central, but he took one of them to the house, breaking through for a 42-yard run.

“To see him touch the ball for the very first time all year and then, you know, make that great run for a 42-yard touchdown. It’s definitely given the whole team boost,” Coach Groaning said. 

However, this team has survived and thrived despite Overton not being in the lineup. Running backs Sam Cross and Thomas Pulliam have carried the ball all season long at a very high level. Cross has rushed for over 1000 yards and has scored 18 touchdowns including one against Parkway on Saturday. Pulliam and Cross combined in the quarterfinal game for just shy of 200 yards.

“We’re confident! We believe that if we put in the work, we’ll be able to win any game this season,” Pulliam said.

Putting in the work is something this team has done all year. Even at the point in the season where they were below .500, they believed they could turn things around if they kept at it and did their job.

“Coach talks about it all the time, you know, do your job. We’re out there doing our own job and trusting in our teammates which has really allowed us to come together as a team and peak at the right time,” Overton said.

Peaking at the perfect time is just what this team has been doing  as they have rolled through the playoffs. The Crusaders have outscored their opponents over their three postseason games 101-12. They’ve come to play on both sides of the ball and are ready to take on a talented West Plains club that beat Hannibal to get here.

Definitely going into this week with a lot of confidence. The team is playing really well right now. The stakes are high and you do not want to go home,” junior tight end Connor Beerman said.

The stakes are high as a chance at a State Championship is on the line. This historic game has had a ripple effect on Crusaders both past and present as a berrh into the state semifinals has electrified the whole St. Dominic community.  

“What a great opportunity for our community to bring back so many alumni who will be in the stands this Saturday living out ‘Once a Crusader, always a Crusader.’ This is such a wonderful testament to the hard work these boys have put in all year,” SDHS President Jim Welby said. 

There is no doubt that the Crusaders will come out on Saturday ready to give West Plains all they can handle. Make sure if you’re in town, you’re at Crusader Stadium at 1:00 on Saturday for this historic game.