Imagine this life if you will: You are a senior in high school. You can throw a fastball 90-plus miles per hour. You are a starter on a very good basketball team. And you also happen to be one of the better quarterbacks in the Midwest.
It's getting closer…soon, St. Louis will be hosting the top senior professional golfers in the world.
If the good Lord were to give me one perfect day, it would be to have my father back, and the two of us would head to Busch Stadium for Opening Day. Alzheimers took him from us six years ago. The disease may destroy memories, but it won't erase a single second of the time the two of us spent at the ballpark together.
St. Louis native Scott Langley enjoyed a solid debut on the PGA Tour. Langley, a Parkway South and University of Illinois graduate, earned a spot on the tour this year.
Ryan Robertson arguably posted the best career stats of any high school player in our town's history. Now that he's returned home, Robertson is coaching his children's basketball teams.
If there is anybody who had a more exciting prep career in West County over the last quarter of a century than Bobby Keppel, I would like to meet him. In 1999, Keppel was a star 6-foot-5-inch junior point guard for the De Smet Spartans. In the state championship game, De Smet squared off against the big, bad Vashon Wolverines, who had beaten them badly the year before. Keppel exploded for 19 points in the first half, and De Smet went on to win the state title, 70 to 64. Then in his senior year, Keppel won another state championship—this one was in baseball. Keppel was a flame-throwing righthander who threw 94 on the radar gun and hit homeruns with regularity. When he was on the mound, major league scouts always were behind the plate, all holding up radar guns.
Sports today has become specialized—too specialized. Because of the popularity of select sports, kids are forced to quit sports they are proficient in so they can make that fifth select hockey, soccer or basketball practice of the week. That's why stories like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders don't happen much anymore. In high school, it's tough to be really good at two sports. In college, the two-sport athlete is almost non-existent.
During a 50-plus year high school coaching career, Ron Holtman has garnered numerous wins and countless respect in the St. Louis athletic community.
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