Kennett adds five inductees to Kennett Athletics Hall of Fame
KENNETT - Four former teams and one former standout athlete of the Kennett School were added to the Kennett Athletics Hall of Fame last week.
Nathan Baker, the 1926 Kennett High School Track Team, the 1991 Kennett High School Track Team, the 2014 Kennett High School Softball Team, and the 2015 Kennett High School Softball Team were recognized as new inductees in a ceremony at halftime of the Kennett-Doniphan varsity football game Sept. 4 at Metz Cherry Stadium.
“We had three teams that claimed state titles who were automatic selections - the 1926 Kennett Track Team and 2014 and 2015 Kennett Softball Teams,” Kennett athletic director Jim Vaughan said. “We had two other selections that were voted in by the selection committee. The 1991 Kennett High School Track Team finished second in the state and was three points shy of a state championship. There were two individual Hall of Famers on that team - Chris Whitfield and Brett Sullivan. Brett Sullivan broke a state record that year and Chris Whitfield still ranks third all-time in most gold medals in state track meet history.
“We also had one individual - Nathan Baker - who was also selected by the selection committee,” Vaughan continued. “It was a great class that went in this year. Our Hall of Fame is well-represented and I think we’ve added to it very nicely this year. It was great that we had nice representation to receive the plaques. I thought the event went great once again."
Baker is a 2002 graduate of Kennett who played football and baseball all four years of high school.
On the gridiron, he was the starting quarterback for three seasons. He led the region in passing yards with 1,673 and touchdown passes with 18 in 2001. He also broke school records for passing yards and touchdowns in 2001. He was selected second-team all-conference in 2000, first-team all-conference and all-region in 2001, and named a member of the Standard Democrat Football Dream Team in 2001.
On the baseball diamond, he was a four-year starter. He was named second-team all-conference, second-team all-district, and honorable mention all-state in 1999; first-team all-conference, first-team all-district, and second-team all-state in 2000; first-team all-conference, first-team all-district, and first-team all-state in 2001; and first-team all-conference, first-team all-district, and first-team all-state in 2002. He was also named Bootheel Conference Baseball Player of the Year and selected to the MSHSAA All-Star Team in 2002.
Baker was the starting shortstop for four years at Lyon College. He was a part of two squads that won regional championships at the collegiate level.
2015 KENNETT HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL TEAM
The 2015 Kennett softball team finished 21-7 under head coach Kevin McCaig and assistant coach Laura Ort.
The squad beat Holcomb 10-0 and Senath-Hornersville 16-1 in district tournament play. Kennett beat New Madrid County Central 10-3 in sectional play, knocked off Scott City 9-1 in a quarterfinal, beat Crest Ridge 11-1 in a state semifinal, and beat West County 7-1 in the state championship.
Kennett and West County were scoreless heading into the third inning before Logan Vaughan hit a solo home run to put Kennett on top.
Kennett added six additional runs in the sixth inning with RBIs by Kayton Harris, Jasmine Jones, Hannah Criswell, and three additional RBIs by Vaughan.
Madi Parr collected a complete game victory in the state final. She allowed only seven runs in the state playoffs in 2015.
Parr, Criswell, and Vaughan were named all-state.
2014 KENNETT HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL TEAM
The 2014 Kennett softball team finished 24-2 under head coach Kevin McCaig and assistant coach Kandi McCaig.
Kennett beat Southland 19-4 and Senath-Hornersville 19-2 to claim its first district title.
Kennett beat North Pemiscot 10-0 in a state sectional, beat Bernie 16-1 in a state quarterfinal, edged Scott City 4-1 in a state semifinal, and defeated Crest Ridge 15-5 in the state championship.
Shayla Jansson enjoyed an impressive pitching performance in the closest state playoff game against Scott City.
Jansson, Kelsey Washburn, and Hannah Criswell hit home runs in the state title game against Crest Ridge.
Jansson, Washburn, Criswell, and Logan Vaughan were named all-state
1991 KENNETT HIGH SCHOOL TRACK TEAM
Led by coach Mike Hunter, the 1991 Kennett High School Track team placed second at the Class 3A boys state meet.
Kennett tallied 55 points, finishing only three points behind state champion McCluer South Berkely.
Kennett recorded points in eight events.
Chris Whitfield secured a gold medal in high jump, triple jump, and long jump.
Brett Sullivan won gold medals in discus and shot put. He broke the shot put state record with a throw of 62-1.
Kennett also finished seventh in the 200-meter dash, seventh in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles, and eighth in long jump.
The 1991 track team finished the regular season 14-0, won the SEMO Conference Championship, claimed a district title, broke nine school records, and set one state record.
1926 KENNETT HIGH SCHOOL TRACK TEAM
Led by coach Metz Cherry, the 1926 Kennett High School Track Team won the Class B Outdoor Boys State Championship.
The team tallied 22 points, edging Maysville which finished second with 18 points.
Kennett placed first in the100-yard dash, first in high jump, second in the 440-yard dash, third in the 880-yard dash, and third in javelin.