Columbia-Rock Bridge Football Gets Van Vanatta From Hazelwood Central
By Jim Wieners
After six seasons as Hazelwood Central’s eighth head football coach (11 if you combine Hazelwood Senior High and Hazelwood Central High) Van Vanatta is heading to Columbia to be the head coach at Rock Bridge High School.
Vanatta is coming off an 11-1 season and was 56-15 including six season-enders as the Hawks head coach, who was an assistant to Rich Nixon — a three-time state finalist and back-to-back state champion. In 2013 Hazelwood Central lost their first state semifinal game, 36-33 at Rock Bridge — which defeated Hazelwood Central 40-3 in 2011.
Since Hazelwood Central’s first coach in
1974, Bob Stouffer — who guided Hazelwood to the 1972 co-championship with Kansas City Southwest, Vanatta was only the second coach not to get the Hawks to the State Championship game. In 1979 Mike Unger, who was a one-year head coach, saw his team not make the post-season playoffs.
At press time a successor to Vanatta has not been selected.
BOYS BASKETBALL — Hazelwood Central has been going up and down but snapped a three-game losing streak with a 62-55 win Jan. 12 at McCluer, to open Suburban XII Conference North Division play. Central took a 9-6 record to St. Louis University High Jan. 16, visits Hazelwood East Thursday, Jan. 19, at 4:15 in a Suburban XII North game and begins the Ameritime Classic Jan. 23 at Parkway West, where they finished second to Clyde C. Miller Career Academy. The Hawks had lost 60-49 to SLUH Dec. 2 at the Jerry Boeckman Memorial Vianney Invitational.
Prior to Jan. 16 junior Shaun Williams averaged 18.1 points per game, making 79 percent of his free throws and made 25 assists. Junior Cameron Williams has 62 rebounds, 31 steals and blocked 16 shots while senior Evan White shot 51.4 percent including 59.6 percent from inside the three-point arc while making 81.8 percent of his free throws.
TRINITY CATHOLIC was 9-4, 3-1 in the Archdiocesan Athletic Association Small Division prior to the Jan. 17 home game against Lutheran High St. Charles County and is in the middle of a week off before hosting Bishop DuBourg Jan. 24 at 6:15 and Brentwood Jan. 25 at 6:30. Trinity lost to Maplewood-Richmond Heights in the season-opener at the Pattonville Tournament, to Francis Howell and Duchesne at the Mary Institute-Country Day School Tournament and at Cardinal Ritter in an AAA Small game. On Jan. 11 Trinity returned to Pattonville to face the Pirates coached by former Titan Kelly Thames and Trinity won 67-61.
Three Titans, prior to Jan. 17, average in double-figure scoring and all were on the football roster including sophomore Marcus Washington (11.8 points per game), freshman Rashad Weekly (10.9 per game) and sophomore Isaiah Williams (10.5 per game). Washington has 49 steals while Williams has 50 assists. Freshman Ryan Kalkbrenner has made 64.2 percent of his shots, all from three-point range, was 61.5 percent from the free-throw line and has blocked 38 shots.
Trinity has some rematches this season including Jan. 27 at Duchesne, Feb. 3 at Lutheran St. Charles County and Feb. 10 at home against Cardinal Ritter.
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