As the season winds down, the games get bigger. With the games getting bigger, some players crack under the pressure. Others? Well they rise to the occasion.
With District action on the soccer and baseball fields across Missouri, these four athletes certainly didn't back down. Here are the nominees for Athlete of the Week for the week of May 14.
Gerrion Grim—: A big reason why the Fort Zumwalt South Bulldogs are Class 4, District 8 champions is the right arm of Gerrion Grim. The senior, and future Missouri Tiger, was on the mound for the Bulldogs on Friday when South dispatched favored Francis Howell 5-3 to win the title. Grim tossed a complete game for the win. He struck out seven, walked two and gave up just two earned runs to earn the win.
Kyle Kramer—Orchard Farm: The Orchard Farm are Class 3, District 6 champs and the dominant pitching of Kyle Kramer made that possible. The Eagles won the District title with a 9-5 win against Trinity—a game Orchard Farm was in only because of a huge win on May 14. Against , in semi-finals, the Eagles advanced with a narrow 1-0 win. Kramer was simply dominant on the hill for Orchard Farm. He tossed a complete-game four hitter without allowing a single run. He gave up five walks and struck out three to pick up the win and help the Eagles move on in the tourney.
Mackenzie Crawford—: For four straight games the Fort Zumwalt goal has been an impenetrable area. For the first two, Mackenzie Crawford and Samantha Fennessey combined for the clean sheets. When the District playoffs started, the Jaguars turned to Crawford for all 80 minutes. She hasn't given up a goal yet. The Jaguars won the Class 3, District 7 tournament thanks to a pair of 1-0 wins. Crawford picked up two saves against Timberland for the shutout win and four saves against Zumwalt South to clinch the District title.
D.J. Hickey—: The Timberland Wolves fell in the Class 4, District 9 championships, but still made an impressive run to the final game. Perhaps the biggest contribute to final run was the semi-final win against rival Holt. The Wolves blanked Holt 5-0, thanks in large part to the pitching of D.J. Hickey. From the mound, Hickey threw a complete-game shutout and allowed just seven hits. He struck out seven and walked none to guide the Wolves past the Indians and into the finals.
Remember: It's all for fun. This is simply a fan's choice award.
Want to write in your own candidate? Go ahead! But be sure to explain your pick in the comments and be sure to vote by 12 p.m. on Friday, May 25. Again, the poll closes at noon on Friday.
Have a nomination next week? Email your Athlete of the Week nomination to Joe Barker at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll do our best to put them in the mix.